Entering Your First Race

So, you’re Cross curious. Perhaps you’ve been finding a guilty pleasure in glancing at pictures of CX bikes on cxmagazine.com. Maybe you know someone who is into Cross, but you’ve been too shy to show more than a passing interest. Don’t worry, you’ll find we are an understanding lot in the Wessex League. We understand that taking that first step can be difficult. We are here to help.

This article will concentrate on how to enter Wessex League races. I’m not going to try and persuade you of the benefits because I’m assuming that if you are reading this you are probably convinced already.

Actually I lied. A quick reminder of some of the benefits:

  1. You’ll have lots of fun and make new friends. I’m not sure if friendly people are attracted to Cross or it makes people more friendly. You can make your own mind up.
  2. It has benefits for other disciplines. I’m sure that Cross has helped my road racing sprint.
  3. No matter your level of fitness or skill you will find it a rewarding challenge and there will be someone to compete against.
  4. It’s very family friendly. Everyone in the family can compete. Kids are especially encouraged.
  5. There are no cars and if you fall off it’s likely to be on soft mud or grass.

Other Cyclocross leagues are available, but Wessex is clearly the best.

If you plan to ride more than a couple of Wessex League events then it’s worth registering with the League. It costs nothing and can be done online (see post on front page of site before the season starts). Registering makes your life and that of the race organisers much easier. You keep the same race number throughout the season.

Now you’ve registered for the Wessex League you need to enter some races. All Wessex events will eventually be listed on the British Cycling website. At this point in the season you can check the provisional race calendar on the Wessex League website events page. Here you will also find a link to all of the Wessex events as they appear on British Cycling’s website.

It’s always best to enter races in advance rather than taking the chance and entering on the line. You can enter online via the British Cycling website. It’s cheaper and you avoid the risk of turning up on the day and finding it is full and many races are pre-entry only in 2021. It’s also much easier for you when you sign on for the race.

Online entry normally closes in the week before an event.

Which race you can enter is dependent upon your age and gender (see category definitions here). The online entry system on the website makes it clear which are the different categories of race.

You don’t have to have a British Cycling licence to enter, but it will cost you more to ride unless you are under 12 or Youth  in which case there is no additional fee. There are lots of benefits of British Cycling membership including discounts and insurance cover. I saved over £1,000 on a Fiat 500.

That’s it for entering events. Just one final note. The first race of the season usually attracts a very high number of riders and everyone will be picking up their race number for the first time. Allow extra time!

Tim Costello