Cyclocross invokes images of soggy Belgian fields, a muddy Mathieu van der Poel grinding inexorably away from Wout van Aert while thousands of cheering, beer drinking fans shout their encouragements. It looks part festival part bike race. South African cyclists have been missing out for too long on Europe and North America’s favourite winter bike sport. To remedy that the Steeple CX Cup was born.
Founded with an invitational race in 2018, followed by a two round series, the Steeple CX Cup boasts a seven event series in 2019. Race number one, of the competition, took place on the 19th of May at Klein Constantia Wine Estate and the second round is this Sunday, the 9th of June, at Rondebosch Boys High. Thereafter the venues alternate between one of Cape Town’s most storied wine farms and schools; with races on the 30th of June, 21st of July, 4th of August, 18th of August and the Grand Finale, at Klein Constantia, on the 1st of September. Would-be-competitors can enter one or multiple events and need five results to be in contention for the overall series title.
For those unfamiliar with cyclocross, or CX, Louis Daffarn, co-founder of the Steeple CX Cup, explained: “It is an inclusive sport. All bikes, skill levels and riders are welcome. We have racing and social categories along with a great festival-like atmosphere created by the sponsors, RedBull, SRAM, Camelthorn Beers and Sir Fruit juices.”
“The Racing event, often combing both genders, encourages riders to take part on cyclocross bikes and race on the roughly 2.5 kilometre long course, completing as many laps as possible in 50 minutes” Daffarn elaborated. “Thereafter the Social event for those looking for a little less intensity and allowing novices to make their first CX attempt allows for riders to take part on cyclocross or mountain bikes over a shorter time frame.”
With a shortage of boggy fields in the Mother City the Steeple CX Cup makes use of two dedicated cyclocross courses for the 2019 season. Both the Klein Constantia and Rondebosch Boys routes provide a mixture of terrains to be conquered; including grass, gravel and asphalt. It would not be a CX course without a man-made obstacle or two though, these force riders off their bikes and ensure the classic cyclocross photo opportunity of hurdling obstacles with a shouldered bike. To ensure fans have as much fun as the riders the courses are compact with great viewing areas near the route’s primary features.
To come experience the thrills and festivities of cyclocross, riders are encouraged to come take part in Round 2 of the Steeple CX Cup at Rondebosch Boys High this Sunday.
Registration opens at 08h30 and the racing starts at 09h10. For more information please visit www.steeplecx.co.za, like the Steeple CX Facebook page or follow @steeplecxcup on Instagram and @CxSteeple on Twitter.