The Rules

The Challenge Tires London Cyclo-Cross League is run by the London Cyclo-Cross Association (LCCA) and covers an area that includes London, Kent, Surrey and Sussex.

We thank our sponsor for this season – Challenge Tires.

Who are the LCCA?

This is the website of the London Cyclo Cross Association (LCCA) which covers the South East area of England. Races and events are held in London, Surrey, Sussex and Kent.

The LCCA is responsible for all cyclo cross events held under the auspices of British Cycling and these events include the London Summer Cyclo-Cross League, East Kent CX League and of course the Challenge Tires London and South East Cyclo Cross League.

Additionally, there are stand-alone events; each event has to be held in accordance with British Cycling Cyclo Cross rules and regulations and the LCCA is responsible to provide officials to oversee each event.

The LCCA has a committee to manage different tasks.

The committee…..

  • Chair: Stuart McGhee
  • Secretary: Richard Hemsley
  • Treasurer: Jonathan Goodge
  • Calendar coordinators: Stuart McGhee & Richard Hemsley
  • Gridding & Ranking coordinator: Chris Clague
  • Sussex League coordinator: Lynsey Larkin
  • East Kent League coordinator: Robert Kingsland
  • Results & Timing System Officer: Chris Clauge
  • Technical officers: Stuart McGhee, Richard Hemsley and John Beggs
  • Publicity Officers: Stuart McGhee & Glen Whittington
  • Women’s representative: Caroline Reuter

 

We host an AGM once a year usually in February or March in a central location once the season has ended and all are welcome to attend. This is your opportunity to shape how the league is run. We advertise the AGM about a month before meeting

You will see many of the committee either organising, commissaireing, Judging and even sometimes racing, so please say hello as we are all only too happy to talk.

 

Challenge Tires London and South East Cyclo Cross League 2021/2022

The season long London and South East Cyclo Cross League is based on the following categories for both Male and Female riders:

Category From To
Under 8 2014 2022
Under 10 2012 2013
Under 12 2010 2011
Under 14 2008 2009
Under 16 2006 2007
Junior 2004 2005
U23 2000 2003
Senior 1922 1999
V40 1972 1981
V50 1962 1971
V60+ 1922 1961

 

Please note that Cyclo Cross has a different date that you change categories to ensure you do not change category mid season. This is from September 1st. To view full rules please visit

https://www.britishcycling.org.uk/zuvvi/media/media/other/9._Cyclocross_2021.pdf

There are 9 rounds in total and your best 5 rounds to count.  If we lose a round for any reason it will stay as the best 5 rounds.However we do have the possibility of a mystery event later in the season, this will simply add to available rounds to race but will not affect the counting round total.

What are the points?

Seniors and Veteran men 40/50
1. 100 points
2. 94
3. 90
4. 86
5. 83
6. 80
7. 78
8. 76
9. 74
10. 72
11. 70
12. 69

…..and further reducing by 1 point per place down through the race field.

All other categories (Vet 60+, Women, Juniors, Under 14/16 and Under 10/12)

  1. 50
  2. 44
  3. 40
  4. 36
  5. 33
  6. 30
  7. 28
  8. 26
  9. 24
  10. 22
  11. 20
  12. 19

 

..…and reducing by 1 point per place down through the race field.

In the event of a tie-on points we follow the count-back process as detailed below.

  1. Most Wins
    2.  Best results (2nd, 3rds etc)
    3.  Head to heads from all league events

After each race the series standing will be updated so you can follow how you are doing.

Our Sponsors Challenge Tires have supplied some fantastic prizes to go with the custom built trophies for the overall winners, the presentation will be hosted at the Team Championship in February 2022.

How do I enter a race?

All races are advertised on the calendar section with links to enter the event on the British Cycling website.

For this season there will be only entry online, there will be NO opportunity to enter on the day.

Entries will open at 6pm on the Sunday 2 weeks before each event. The entry system will close at 11pm the Thursday evening before the event.

There are limits on the size of each race of 120 riders per event to ensure we are able to space the grid and allow riders to freely race.

There will be the option to purchase a 2nd race number pack for those riders that have 2 bikes. Please note that British Cycling rules state that for Under 8/10/12 categories, no equipment pits will be provided, so these riders will not have the option to purchase a 2nd bike race number.

There is no race number pack charge as in previous seasons or club/team/individual registration. Once you enter one race you will be provided at your first race and sign on with your race number pack. This will be the number pack that you would use at all events thereafter.

The pack consists of a Jersey mounted Number, Bike seat post mounted bike number that also has the timing chip attached.

You will receive an email confirming that you have been accepted into the race, if you do not receive this email we suggest you contact the organiser details on the events page

You will also receive a few days before each race an event document detailing any event/venue specific details. We suggest you read that in advance. 

Race day Schedule

 

Race Sign on Start Sign on Close Gridding Race Start Duration
Practice 1 9.00 to 9.25
Under 10 8.45 9.30 9.25 9.30 10 mins
Under 8 8.45 9.30 9.25 9.30 10 mins
Under 12 8.45 9.30 9.45 9.50 15 mins
Under 14 + Under 16 8.45 10.00 10.15 10.20 30 mins
Practice 2 11.00 to 11.25
Vet 50 plus Men 10.00 11.00 11.25 11.30 40 mins
Women (All Cats) 10.30 12.00 12.25 12.30 40 mins
Practice 3 13.20 to 13.40
Junior + V40 Men 12.00 13.15 13.40 13.50 40 mins
Senior Men 12.45 14.15 14.45 14.50 60 mins

 

Sign on

Please keep to the allocated times that sign on is open for your categories. 

Riders are only allowed to ride on the course if they have entered a race at the event and are displaying their race number on the bike.

Even though we have allocated sign on times for each category,  we will allow a family to collect all family rider numbers in the sign on allocation timing of the first race entered (Example under 8 and Vet 40 Women and Vet 40 Man, we would allow all riders number packs to be collected in the allocated time for the the under 8 rider which is 8.45am to 9.30am)

The process for Sign on – Rider turns up and states their name, Sign on team will provide a race number pack in an envelope. Rider leaves the area. We suggest you allocate 5 minutes to set up the number pack and timing chip.  Riders are not required to sign anything, and are to use their race number for all events in the League. Riders will be confirmed at the event by the timing system picking up their timing chip at the start of the race. This means that you will not have to revisit sign-on at any other event you enter in advance once you have your race number pack.

If you lose or forget your number or timing chip please go to the Timing team gazebo that is situated on the finish line, they will sort you out with either a new pack or the “name of shame” I forgot my number today pack, this will be expected to be given back to this team at the end of the race nicely cleaned please.

If there are any queries at Sign on you will be directed to the Timing team gazebo.

If there are any issues with your timing chip the timing team will contact you to sort out.

 

Gridding

Gridding will be created for each event race and advertised on the league results website and facebook page before the event, any queries in gridding may be raised on Friday via email as posted on the results site. Final decision will always rest with the Chief Commissaire.

 

We grid riders at the start of each race, the commissaire will blow their whistle to indicate that gridding is about to start. A solid line denotes the start line with three rows of sprayed dots behind which the riders place their front wheel on. The remaining riders should follow that pattern. As the races go on these marks may be obscured however the Commissaire team will control riders in the grid as normal. 

Chris Clague our gridding expert explains Gridding – the ‘how it works’ thread

Prologue (you can skip this bit):

The aim of the gridding system is to place the rider where we think they will finish for reasons of safety. Theoretically this makes for a dull race, but you guys constantly prove otherwise.

The system is blind and dumb, it does not know that 5 years ago you were a national champion, you’ve still gotta prove it to earn it.

It is without bias and does not understand ‘sporting reasons’.

Commissaires sometimes understand sporting reasons and may move riders accordingly – this is why we close entries on a Friday night, so we can produce the grids and if the chief Comm decides that someone needs to be moved they can be.

How it works (read this):

Please note that all rankings are within your starting grid, not your race category – so all senior women and above are ranked together regardless of age for example.

We take your rolling results from the last season 2 years ago. That is, at each round we drop the one prior to it from last year. If you won round 2, it is now gone.

We take your best 3 results and average them out. This means that those riders who only race a few times each season are not penalised. It also means if you have the odd howler, we’re polite enough to ignore it. Likewise, mechanicals etc. Please run with your bike to the finish to receive the warm applause of your comrades safe in the knowledge that it won’t affect your grid for next week.

In the event of 2 riders having the same average score we will place them in the order they finished in the league 2 years ago. This is the only point at which your season ranking plays any part.

The complicated bit:

We’re all getting old. For some (the youth and under, predominantly) this is a good thing. For the rest of us, it sucks a little bit.

The blind and dumb gridding system has no sympathy for old father time, so we apply what is technically known as a fudge factor for those riders moving categories. The numbers were plucked from thin air and debated by committee. It goes like this:

U8 ->U10 -> U12 -20%

U12 -> Youth -20%

Youth -> Senior -20%

Senior M -> Vet 40M +20%

Vet 40M -> Vet 50M +20%

All senior women retain their unweighted ranking when moving through the vet ranks as they all start together. Junior riders are treated as seniors for gridding purposes.

This means that a youth rider who wins everything will not necessarily start their first senior race from the front as their last season’s results are weighted by -20%. In theory a senior male rider progressing to V40 would get a 20% boost. However, this does not mean they will get a head start if their weighted figure comes out at 120%. Sometimes life just doesn’t work like that.

How it’s all applied:

We rank all known riders, then when you pre-enter we compare that list with the 1168 riders we currently have results for and put you in order based on the above. This is why it’s *really* it is important that you give us correct information. Using a nickname given by your mates when you were at school is hilarious but it’s unlikely to get you gridded correctly however great the backstory. Likewise, we always try and match on licence number if possible, but if you enter the same number for all your family and friends it may (illegally) earn you a race day discount, but we can’t use it to match any of you and I don’t really want to think about the insurance angle if you have a crash. Those BC levies are for a reason.

If you got this far, well done!

Notes on gridding

If you believe that you should be brought forward, then you must talk to the commissaire BEFORE they begin gridding. But please note the commissaire decision is final.

Prizes and Presentation

For this season we will not be offering on the day prizes or presentation podiums. The reasons are that it has been a while since we put on a race and costs to run the events under covid restrictions have increased so we need to protect the race day budget. We do not want to be increasing entry fees to accommodate this. As we are a little out of practice on hosting an event and this season has added in theWomen’s only race, the race day schedule is very tight, hence why we suggest that we do not have podium presentations either to help with the flow of the schedule. 

Results

Race Results and overall league tables will be published online as soon as feasible after each race. Race queries can be made up to 6pm on the Tuesday after each race by emailing admin@londonxleagueresults.co.uk.  Once finalised the results will be sent to BC update events page and allocate national rankings points.

 

Cyclo Cross FAQS

What’s Cyclo-cross?

It’s an all-out effort held over a course with a variety of terrain to test your lungs and bike handling skills. Courses are usually 2.5/3.5km long on varied terrains of grass, tarmac, woodlands paths etc.

Seniors race for 1 hours, Women/Juniors/Vet40 and 50 race for approx. 40 minutes. Youth 30 minutes with under 12’s 15 minutes and under 10’s for 10 minutes.

What many people comment upon is the good-natured atmosphere that Cyclo cross events are held in.

What if my club is based outside the London/South East Area?

It doesn’t matter, any rider can join in. Just enter the race.

What is a Commissaire?

Commissaires are trained volunteers who ensure fair and safe competition in cycling races. Commissaires are present in all levels of racing and operate in all racing disciplines. What they do are –

  • Oversee and approve pre-event planning and documentation
  • Check risk assessments
  • Ensure clear communication with organisers, event teams, riders and parents.
  • Hold briefings and debriefings
  • Demonstrate a duty of care
  • Assume responsibility for fair and safe conduct during racing
  • Approve results, levy and complete reports post-event.

 

At each event we appoint 2 qualified Commissaires and Trainee commissaries. They are very visible in their Grey uniforms, they will blow a whistle 5 to 10 minutes before each race and arrange rider gridding and start each race. They will hold a short rider brief before each race that is very important for all riders to attend.

I would like to become a commissaire, what do I do?

We are always on the lookout for new commissaries. We would like to grow our events in the South East but at present we are limited as we have approx 10 Cyclo Cross Commissaires in our region. The area we wish to develop more is in Kent and the South Coast. It is a very rewarding role and if you would like to find out more please come and see us at an event to express your interest using the contact us email address.

Can I practice on the course?

Yes, we have allocated practice times as detailed in the race day schedule. However these timing can be subject to on the day race conditions and will be managed by the commissaires. There will be a visible part of the course where you will see one of these open or closed 4 metre high flags. Please only access the course when  you see the green course open flag please.

Riders are only allowed to ride on the course if they have entered a race at the event and are displaying their race number on the bike.

We do have allocated sign on times for each category but we will allow a family to collect all family rider numbers in the sign on allocation timing of the first race entered (Example under 8 and Vet 40 Women and Vet 40 Man, we would allow all riders number packs to be collected in the allocated time for the the under 8 rider which is 8.45am to 9.30am) this is to ensure that those younger riders could have support practicing on the course.

 

How do I find out how I’m doing overall?

The results will be available on this web site during the season along with the results of all ‘cross events.

Do I need to have a spare bike?

No, but…..

I have a spare bike and wheels. Where can I put them?

Cyclo cross rules allow riders to have spare bikes/wheels to deal with the dreaded mechanical. Also as Cyclo Cross is a winter sport, we can have very muddy courses that would be an advantage to receive a clean bike every lap. The area designated on the course for all this to happen is called the Pits. Most courses will offer what we call a double pit. What this means is that the pits are accessible at 2 points on the course so you should only travel max half a lap to receive assistance.

There will be an entry and exit point for the pits that will be signalled by yellow flags. Important rule to know is that once you pass the exit point of the pits, you have to continue in the travel of the course, you cannot simply leave the course or retrace your steps.

The Pits where you may also meet the most dedicated and friendly of supporters in cycle sport, The Pit Crew. They will be armed with an array of equipment from Petrol and Rechargeable Jet Washers, water canisters, bike stands and various equipment to service riders’ needs.

Of course many riders will self service and simply place their spare bikes or wheels in the pits. What we do say is that please be careful leaving your equipment in the pits as this is your responsibility as the pits are not managed for security and many of our events are in public places. 

We also ask riders to place bikes and equipment in an orderly fashion in the pits and leave the service pit lane free. This will be marked. We also ask that riders only place their equipment in the pits just before their race and not whilst another race is still on to avoid congestion.

Please note that for all under 12 riders there is no option of a Pit. These races are 1 bike only.

If you are planning to have a spare bike then we advise you purchase a spare bike number as this has the timing chip in it. If you use a bike without one then you go invisible to the timing system and it relies on manual scoring and a clever process in the timing software that predicts you position in the race, however this has to be manually verified and slows down confirming a result for the prize presentation.

Are mountain bikes allowed?

Yes, MTB bikes are allowed in all London and South East League events but not in National or International events.

What is British Cycling membership? 

To race our events you will either have to be a British Cycling member or purchase a “Day Licence”. The minimum membership requirement for our events is the Race Bronze membership package that includes a provisional licence that allows you to race our events. However if you wish to race the Regional champs, National Trophies or the National champs, or receive national ranking points, you will need to upgrade to a full racing licence that would also require an upgrade to the Race Silver membership.

https://www.britishcycling.org.uk/membership

https://www.britishcycling.org.uk/membership/licence

There are great benefits to being a member and certainly if you are looking to race a few events it will be cheaper than paying the Day licence charge at each event you race.

What if I’m not a British cycling member?

No problem at all, you pay an on the day £3 “Day licence” if you are not a member of British Cycling. This is applicable for each event.

Under 8/10/12/14/16 categories are exempt from this charge.

Do you have 1st Aid?

Yes. We are pleased to announce that Collingwood Services Ltd will be providing processional cover for all league events this season. They are experienced in providing cover at mountain bike events in the South East and they will be very visible in the uniforms, ambulance vehicle and first aid station shelter.

What Facilities do you have at your events?

All events will have Toilet facilities and most events will have refreshments serving Tea, Coffee, Burgers, Hot dogs and of course the cyclists favourite food, CAKE. Also look out for Belgian classics like Crepes and Waffles.

What is the point?

The top three-win trophies, get their names in the cycling press and of course printed at this web site. Oh, and it’s fun.

Do you have Womens only racing?

We are proud to announce that New for this season is we have added an extra race for Women to race.

I want to know more about all the rules for Cyclo Cross?

The following link is to the British Cycling rules handbook that we follow for our league events.

https://www.britishcycling.org.uk/zuvvi/media/bc_files/rulebook/2018/british-cycling-handbook-2019.pdf

For those riders looking to race the big events, this is the UCI rules

https://www.uci.org/docs/default-source/rules-and-regulations/part-v–cyclo-cross.pdf?sfvrsn=2eb79d46_8

Race Incident communication process

This will be communicated at the start of each race in the commissaires briefing but good to know this beforehand. This is guidance in the rules.

16.5.1 For all events measures must be made to ensure adequate communication of incidents

16.5.2 Designated course marshals and key officials shall be equipped with yellow and red flags and a whistle in order to indicate race incidents.

16.5.3 In official training and competition marshals shall wave a yellow flag and sound the whistle to indicate a potential hazard on the course. Riders observing a yellow flag must reduce speed and proceed with caution.

16.5.4 On the instructions of the Chief Commissaire or Chief Marshal, marshals shall wave a red flag and sound the whistle to indicate a serious incident on the course which warrants the stop.

So in a nutshell…

If you see a marshal or commissaire waving a Yellow Flag, this means Riders observing a yellow flag must reduce speed and proceed with caution.

If a marshal or commissaire is waving a red flag and blowing  a whistle, this indicates a serious incident on the course which warrants you to stop.

Is there an enter all series option.

No, you need to enter each event separately.

Are you hosting the Sussex League?

Unfortunately for this season there will be no Sussex League. We felt that to host a league we required 3 events, unfortunately we only have 2 events in Sussex this season. However we do expect the Sussex League to be back next season.

Can I enter on the day?

No, for this season you can only enter in advance online.

Do I need to register for the league this season?

There is no race number pack charge as in previous seasons or club/team/individual registration. Once you enter one race you will be provided at your first race and sign on with your race number pack. This will be the number pack that you would use at all events thereafter. The LCCA for this season are covering the costs for the race number packs.

Where can I return my numbers at the end of the year?

The team champs in February is a great place to do this. We will also late in the season advertise a postal address to return them too. We welcome all numbers to be returned as we are able to recycle them to keep costs down in future seasons.

However can you please ensure you clean your race numbers.

Lapping Riders

The great thing about our League is that you could line up at your race next to national or world champions. With fast racing on short circuits it is inevitable that you could be lapped by the lead riders. Now we understand that everyone has a part to play with good race etiquette. We would expect the lead rider to call ahead in plenty of time “Leaders, on the left/right” as most appropriate for the conditions. They are responsible to ensure they pass you when it is safe to do so. The rider being lapped we would expect you to give up the racing line to allow them to pass safely. 

Spectators Code of Conduct

The London and South East Cyclo Cross League sets out to be welcoming, encouraging and supportive of all riders and officials at our events. We also expect spectators and support crews to bring their “A” game to create that buzzing Cyclo Cross atmosphere we all love by ringing cowbells, blowing trumpets, singing songs, waving flags and generally being noisy in supporting all riders (All as long as you are far far away from the timing team gazebo!)

Please avoid any individualization of comments as this “Heckling” may not be warmly received or appreciated by a rider and certainly will not be tolerated by the organising team.There is an old saying that is quite apt “If you cannot say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all”