A look ahead to Morvelo City Cross, Halifax - March 3rd

PUBLISHED: 12:45 26 February 2013 | UPDATED: 12:56 27 February 2013

A look ahead to Morvelo City Cross, Halifax - March 3rd

A look ahead to Morvelo City Cross, Halifax - March 3rd

Old Shroggs Tip in Halifax on Sunday March 3rd will host the first Morvelo City Cross Cyclocross races. Organiser Emma Ostenton fills us in on the details.

Old Shroggs Tip in Halifax on Sunday March 3rd will host the first Morvelo City Cross Cyclocross races. Organiser Emma Ostenton fills us in on the details.

Hello! Let me introduce myself Im Emma, and Im part of the team organizing the Morvelo City Cross. Mark does the clever bit, Oli does the colouring in, and I've been doing the scurrying around. Let me explain what we have in store for you at Old Shroggs Tip in Halifax on Sunday March 3rd, when we present the first Morvelo City Cross Cyclocross races.

Now, in a normal UK Cyclocross race you may get a couple of barrier jumps, and some of the races at a higher level even have a sand pit. But for the Morvelo City Cross, we wanted to do more than this. In Europe, Cyclocross race courses are purpose-built to provide a challenging course for the riders and constant excitement for the spectators, and its our intention to bring a little of this to the UK.

And we believe we have - the course loops over itself, via the scaffold bridge weve created, with steps on one side and a ramp down the other. The race continues through a sand pit located within the beer tent. That's right - in true Belgian Cyclocross style we'll be racing straight through the bar!

And talking of beer there's an optional shortcut with a shot of DarkStar IPA Espresso beer. The course is fully double taped, or barriered for spectators to rest their arms on as they cheer the action. Theres barriers on the course, and a Jump of Doom (mild peril really, dont be deterred!). There's multiple racing lines though the RedBull-sponsored area, with cobbles and scrambles and a Kinesis Kowbell Alley with hundreds of Kowbells for spectators to make as much din in support of the riders as they can. Youll need your wits about you for the Vulpine V switchback, and weve thrown in a few extra features from BMX and MTB for good measure (and an escape lane if it all gets a bit much!).

As a completely new event, we have decided to mess with the traditional Cyclocross format a bit. We have decided to run the event in a series of knock-out rounds, or motos. Consisting of a maximum 50 riders per moto, each moto will be run over 20 minutes. The top 50% from each moto will then go through to their respective finals. Now, normally, the juniors get bundled in with the seniors, and the women get bundled in with the over-40 men, but this is not what we wanted for Morvelo City Cross. We wanted each category to have their own race. This means the races have to be shorter and more intense, so we have decided on chip timing in order to keep track of everything accurately. Thanks to SmartTiming, this will be live to the web on the day.

We want everyone who fancies it to get involved, so we put in a novice category for those new to the phenomenon of Cyclocross, and the action will be kicked off by a series of races for the kids U8, U10 and U12 (these will not be run in the moto format). Should you get knocked out early, there's a last chance saloon with a swoop of ten riders from each category getting to race round again. Whilst there aren't enough daylight hours to have a separate womens over-40 race, the top 50% of the women over-40s will go forward to the final, as well as the top 50% of the womens race. If you are new to Cyclocross, but you fancy your chances, the course will be suitable for MTBs, with hardtail 29ers particularly well-suited. The course will be clear from 8am for practice runs, with the kids race action kicking the day off proper at 9am.

For the riders attending on the day, make sure you bring your race face as we have photographer Joolze Dymond (www.joolzedymond.com) and WhiteNoSugarTV (www.whitenosugarproductions.com) capturing it all for us.

For the supporters and spectators, we have tried to create an event to keep you entertained all day! There will be no soggy burgers and weak lukewarm cups of tea on offer at Morvelo City Cross. It took a while, but in keeping with the European flavour of the event we managed to source FISH&, who will be providing genuine Belgian-style frites, with moules too if you fancy. Get yourself over to The Porkery if you fancy a Hog Roast. Streatza Pizza are bringing their woodfired pizza over in a Citroen H van, if thats more your thing. Coffee and a cake? Organic House are already baking away, with Beetroot and chocolate shot cakes and more, and we will have the finest fresh coffee from Exchange Coffee who are bringing their espresso bar. To top it off, I believe I already mentioned the bar? There's beer too, with unrivalled views of the race action as you enjoy your drink.

Don't worry if you don't recognise the racers, as we've hired Matt Payne to be our commentator for the day, and we have the legend that is Shedfire on the decks spinning the tunes to keep the atmosphere electric. And if you find yourself inspired by the action, why not have a go at Roller Racing with SouthCoastSprints (www.southcoastsprints.co.uk)? Go head-to-head and see whose legs fall off first!

If all that wasn't enough, we have the wonderful Vulpine coming to the event to showcase their beautiful cycling apparel. Morvelo will be represented there on the day with their City Cross merchandise range. AnaNichoola are coming along too, with beautiful and stylish cycling garments and accessories for the ladies, and Stag will be bringing their latest range of jerseys too. It's not all clothes though, as we have the cycle trade in attendance too with Saddleback bringing the Felt, Bont, Castelli and Chris King cycling-bling. Kinesis will be coming with their new range - so you can prod the prototypes! Charge and Madison will be there too with ranges of cycling lovliness for your perusal. There will be Singletrack and GreatRock there bringing their wonderful charm, and Anthony Oram with some beautiful and stylish cycling inspired prints. That's not all either...there's cycle musical chairs for the kids too! Well we wouldn't want them to get bored would we?

Not to be too blunt about it, we have a fantastic prize pot for the event, with over 8,500 worth of prizes - including equal cash prizes for men and women. Stuff you can win includes 4 pairs of Bont CX/XC carbon shoes, courtesy of Saddleback, Arrundel Carbon cages, Tyres, and clothing from Morvelo. Blimey I've not even mentioned the goody bag for every rider!

I would like to take this opportunity to offer sincere thanks to Calderdale Council, who have been extremely helpful and supportive of the event.

See you on March 3rd, Old Shroggs Tip, Shroggs Road, Halifax, West Yorkshire, HX2 0TB. Entry is available on www.citycross.co.uk along with full details of this fantastic event.

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