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Rule Changes for Youth Cyclocross Races

08/09/2017

As of 1st September 2017, cyclocross race durations for Youth riders will be updated as per new rules recently approved by Cycling Ireland. It was felt that the previous rules were out dated, where race durations were based on distances as opposed to time. This now brings Ireland’s rules into line with the majority of leading cyclocross nations globally.


Both the Cycling Ireland Off Road Commission’s Youth Co-ordinator Beth McCluskey and new Cyclocross Co-ordinator Andy Layhe were behind the changes after they were initially trialled at the inaugural Youth Cyclocross Championships in Dublin last February. The Off Road Commission approved the changes prior to being passed at Cycling Ireland Board level last week.


Over recent months, Layhe had been in touch with many national federations, Youth Cyclesport UK, leading professional cyclocross riders and world class coaches about the issue to gauge feedback and see how youth cyclocross could be developed to maintain interest for younger riders and ensure they improved.


“Research and experience has shown that shorter races provide better quality racing, where emphasis is on speed, tactics and technical ability as opposed to attrition and endurance.” Layhe said. “Feedback from both riders and parents at the Youth CX championships was very positive and the racing was second to none. It’s important we align ourselves with leading cyclocross nations at youth level where riders progress through a system that places more emphasis on speed and technical ability yet continues to be fun and exciting.”


“We have some very talented young riders coming through the cyclocross system here and it’s important they learn all aspects of cyclocross racing. With the world junior cyclocross championships and world cups lasting only 35-40 minutes, it’s imperative younger riders race at realistic durations to reach this level of race time.”


The rule changes, effective from 1st September 2017 are as follows:


U8 - 10mins max (winners time)


U10 - 10mins max (winners time)


U12 - 15mins max (winners time)


U14 - 30mins max (winners time)


U16 - 30mins max (winners time)


Race organisers and commissaire’s are expected to implement the new rules starting with the first cyclocross event, the Fixx Series Round 1 on Saturday 2
nd September 2017.

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