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Cyclocross History

RD-Black-BackgroundCrosstoberfest is an annual event that supports Road & Dirt and is designed to promote the cyclocross revolution in the Wood River Valley and showcase brewers and hand-crafted beer and microbreweries from the United States and Europe. The goal of the event is to create a positive economic, educational and environmental effect in our community. In 2013 the destination to discover beer, music and cyclocross action is Crosstoberfest at the Old Cutters development in Hailey, Idaho!

Up to 30 different breweries from around the world and across the country will showcase their unique libations. The focus of Crosstoberfest remains cyclocross racing combined with the promotion of craft beers and the brewers that create them.

This event is the perfect opportunity for beer aficionados, beer lovers and the casual beer drinker to speak directly to the companies and brewers responsible for some of their favorite suds, in addition to offering a venue for discovering new flavors.

Cyclocross quick rundown

Cyclocross (sometimes cyclo-cross, CX, CCX, cyclo-X or ‘cross’) is a form of bicycle racing. Races typically take place in the autumn and winter (the international or “World Cup” season is September–January), and consist of many laps of a short course featuring pavement, wooded trails, grass, steep hills and obstacles requiring the rider to quickly dismount and carry the bike while navigating the obstruction, then remount. Course length ranges from 2.5 to 3.5 km (1.5 to 2 miles). Races for senior categories are generally between 30 minutes and one hour, with the distance varying depending on the ground conditions. The sport is strongest in the traditional road cycling countries such as Belgium (and Flanders in particular), France and the Netherlands. It is a perfect match for a handcrafted brew tasting festival!

Did you Know?

For the first time in the 60+ year history of the sport the Elite World Championships will take place outside of Europe. The 2013 Elite Cyclocross World Championships will be held in Louisville, Kentucky on February 2nd & 3rd and the 2013 Masters World Championships from January 29th through February 1st.

Cyclocross History by Barry Boyce  CyclingRevealed Historian
The sport of cyclocross began at the ends of the 19th century in France. Its creator was a French soldier named Daniel Gousseau , who frequently rode his bicycle over the rough trails and difficult obstacles to maintain cycling fitness during the winter months. Generals on horseback observed this strange discipline and moved quickly to train the French Army troops on bikes.

The first National Championships were run in France in 1902. Belgium organized their first championship 8 years later in 1910. Then others followed: Switzerland (1912), Luxembourg (1923), Spain (1929) and Italy (1930). The first competitions were more what a mountain bike rally is today. They would consist of leaving one point and arriving at another, after crossing fields, forests, hills and rivers. The first rider to pick-up the bike, carry it on the shoulder and run with greater agility was the winner of the 1910 Tour of France, Octave Lapize (Fra). Tragically this great French champion died during an air battle during World War 1. But Lapize’s style was adopted by another rider, the original “eternal second” Eugene Christophe. The practice of carrying the bike on the shoulder served him well when in the 1913 Tour de France he had to run down most of the Col du Tourmalet with his broken bike in search of a forge. Cyclo-cross helped start a great Tour de France legend in 1913.

The first important event of cyclocross was called the “Criterium International.” It took place in 1924 and was organized in a forest west of Paris . The race was in a rural area and attracted great enthusiasm from the public. Year after year the competition continued and became increasingly popular. The crown favorite was a terrifying descent known as the “Trou du diable” (the hole of the devil, or today: the drop of death). This was where a very dense crowd concentrated to see the better cyclists showed their abilities and the lesser ones rolled down with the bicycle like a ball.


Slowly cyclocross was developing great popularity and promoters searched for short circuits to facilitate spectator’s overall vision. Driven by this popularity they looked to central areas of cities, where the courses were characterized by long sections of stairs, paved streets, gardens and small fences (or barriers) similar to the ones utilized today.