Interview of Adam Jones about CX
– Australia isn’t known for CX, please tell us something about your way to CX?
Up until a few years ago CX in Australia was almost unheard of. It was only a small group of people doing it and races were only run by local groups of people not even affiliated with a club. Most cyclists raced either Road, Track or MTB however when CX was discovered, many people opted for a new challenge and a way to enhance their skills on the bike. It was simply a fun form of racing for the riders and spectators alike.
– How are you involved in CX?
Last year I raced the first Fields of Joy CX Series run by the Sunbury Cycling Club. It was a new opportunity for the club to develop the sport. They were given a piece of land to have permanently dedicated to CX. Living nearby I was often down at the course helping out and testing the different sections as they were being developed. Unfortunately this year I haven’t raced any CX as I missed most of the season holidaying in Europe.
– Please tell us something about CX in Australia? How many races, race-series and racers are there?
As Australia is so large, each state will have their own series plus other club like events. The Victorian Cyclocross Series has 6 rounds followed by the Victorian Championship which has 198 entrants this year across all categories. The National Series has 8 rounds followed by the National Championships.
– Are there only official races or are there also some just for fun races like in the US?
Each state has their own organisations putting on CX events. In Melbourne, Victoria we have the Fields of Joy CX (FOJCX) and Dirty Deeds Cyclocross (DDCX) series being run to cover all abilities attracting up to 175 riders plus kids each round.
– How is the interest in CX in Australia? Is it growing?
The CX scene in Australia is rapidly growing as the sport brings together all the exciting aspects of cycling in a confined space allowing great opportunities for spectators. Some of the organisations like FOJCX are doing fantastic work to encourage participation through clinics for kids and women looking to improve their confidence on the bike.
– What are the most famous names in CX?
Chris Jongewaard and Lisa Jacobs are the current Australian Champions but one rider who can really animate a race and get the crowd cheering is Paul Van Der Ploeg (2013 MTB Elimination World Champion) with his impressive bike skills.
– Now that you have seen the track, what do you think about it?
The venue chosen for the Worlds in 2017 is amazing. There is a lot of flat land with a few slight hills, however after having the technical sections explained to me I cant wait to see how the course is laid out come race day. The open spaces around the venue will allow fantastic opportunities for spectators to see all the action and the use of the schools facilities with close proximity to public transport will make it easy for anyone keen to be a part of it.
– What do you think about Luxembourg as organizer of the world championships after all the years that the big countries in CX organized the worlds?
For such a small country I have been impressed with what Luxumburg has to offer. There is so much history, incredible architecture and hospitable people which I think makes it the perfect location to host the Worlds. The close proximity to Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany and France not only means massive crowds are expected but also makes Lux a great starting point for a holiday for anyone intending on making the trip from Australia.
– Now that the world cup will go for the first time overseas, can you imagine that one day also in Australia a world cup race can be held, like for example at the Fields of Joy in Melbourne?
With the progress of the sport in the last few years at a state and national level, I can definitely see Australia hosting a World Cup round. As a nation we are considered new to cyclocross but with a growing network of experienced people dedicated to the sport and the amazing volunteers that make each race possible, I feel it won’t be long before people will be making their way Down Under to race!
Adam Jones, cyclo-cross enthusiast from Melbourne, Australia