Zoe Backstedt, Cameron Mason and Thomas Mein headline a fantastic weekend of racing at the 2023 National Cyclo-cross Championships on Milnthorpe’s Westmorland County Showground, which takes place from 14-15 January.
Live coverage of Sunday’s races can be viewed through the British Cycling YouTube channel, GCN+ and Eurosport Player, meaning you can enjoy all the fun and mud from the comfort of your sofa.
Ones to watch
With champions to be crowned across the weekend from the under-14 category to 60+, in total 680 riders will do battle in the Westmorland mud.
Zoe Backstedt will be hoping to be crowned the 2023 elite women’s champion in her first elite national championships, having recently finished fourth in the Boxing Day world cup round, in Gavere, and seventh at the Telenet Superprestige Diegem.
Backstedt will be the hot favourite going into the race but will be strongly challenged by National Trophy Series winner Alderney Baker, and national mountain bike champion Annie Last.
Millie Couzens is another rider that has ridden extremely well throughout the National Trophy Series, winning the final round last weekend, as has Ella Maclean-Howell. Christina Wiejak claimed second in the overall National Trophy standings and is known for being a real powerhouse, while Xan Crees has been racing well at world cups rounds over the winter.
The 2022 under-23 national champion Cameron Mason will be a firm favourite in the elite men’s race, after a National Trophy victory in Falkirk and two top tens in World Cup races this season. He will be challenged by 2022 national champion Thomas Mein, who prevailed over Mason in a thrilling race in Crawley 12 months ago. Mein has had a successful season with two National Trophy victories to his name. National Trophy Series winner Toby Barnes will also have his eyes on the national champion’s jersey, along with Joseph Blackmore and Bjoern Koerdt.
It looks set to be one of the toughest courses to date, with the weather set to ensure wet and muddy conditions for the riders. An uphill start will set the best riders from the rest early on, and the undulating course will provide plenty of opportunities to shine – perfect for the likes of Backstedt and Mason. A technical downhill section will also provide an obstacle for riders to test their skills in the mud.
Where to watch
The National Cyclo-cross Championships is always a great day out for all the family to come and watch, with a number of outlets offering a range of food and refreshments. The event takes place at Westmorland County Showground, Crooklands, Milnthorpe, LA7 7NH, with parking passes available to be purchased in advance here and camping here. More information can be found in the event manual here.
If you’d rather watch all the action from the comfort of your own home, Sunday’s races from the National Cyclo-cross Championships will be streamed live on British Cycling’s YouTube channel, GCN+ and Discovery, with the programme starting at 09:55, ahead of the junior men’s race at 10:00.
- Veteran men 50-59 race start: 09:45
- Veteran men 60+ race start: 09:47
- Veteran men 40-49 race start: 11:00
- Veteran women 40-49 race start: 12:00
- Veteran women 50-59 race start: 12:02
- Veteran women 60+ race start: 12:02
- Youth girls under-16 race start: 13:45
- Youth girls under-14 race start: 13:47
- Youth boys under-14 race start: 14:30
- Youth boys under-16 race start: 15:15
- Junior men’s race start: 10:00
- Junior women’s race start: 11:15
- Elite and under-23 women’s race start: 13:00
- Elite and under-23 men’s race start: 14:30