Cross Check

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2013 was the year the Rapha Super Cross Series rolled out internationally, bringing the thrills and spills of off-season off-roading to a whole new audience. A little bit of Belgium has now found its way to Australia and Japan, while the vibrant US cross scene also has a Super Cross event all its own. In addition to some top-class racing, there was beer, frites, foam and fancy dress aplenty, with the clanging of cowbells thrown in for good measure. The UK events also saw record numbers of riders and crowds and the photos below showcase the best of the Super Cross story so far, documenting the serious, the silly and everything in between.

Nobeyama, Japan

The annual Nobeyama Cyclocross Race has quickly grown into one of the biggest cross races in Japan. Recently celebrating its 4th edition, the UCI Class 2 race attracted not only Japanese national champion Yu Takenouchi (Elite Men) and Sakiko Miyauchi (Women) but also big-name riders from overseas. Rapha-FOCUS’ Zach MacDonald turned out for the USA and the event boasted 968 participants over the two days of racing. More than 2,000 cross fans turned out to watch the action at Takizawa Farm and while Zach was forced to abandon the race through illness, Takenouchi went on to add the U23 title to his victory in the Elite Men’s race.

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Sydney, Australia

Sydney Park was the scene for the inaugural Rapha Super Cross event Down Under, where Australian National Cross Champion Allan Iacuone was much fancied in the Elite Men’s Race. Victory eventually went to Shaun Lewis, while Claire Aubrey led home the Women’s Race. The event brought a little bit of Belgium to local Sydneysiders, for whom Beer Corner, unsurprisingly, proved one of the more popular attractions. The appeal for fancy dress mentioned in the promo material also drew an impressive response. Among those to put in a guest appearance were Britney Spears and Elvis. Thank you very much…

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Redmond, USA

With food vendors – and more importantly a beer garden – set up on the infield at the Marymoor Velodrome in Redmond, WA, the 2013 edition of StarCrossed was the first to run under the Rapha Super Cross banner. With the Elite races starting after dark, it added both drama and an extra technical dimension to the racing, with Team Rapha-FOCUS’ Jeremy Powers leading home a strong field in the Men’s Elite race (one of nine wins Jeremy has scored around the United States so far this season). Gabby Durrin made it a double for Rapha-FOCUS, storming to a huge lead in the Elite Women’s Race, in which she was not to be caught.

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UK

The third season of the Rapha Super Cross Series saw the return of beer, frites and cowbells, not to mention some familiar faces when the racing action commenced. Paul Oldham and Annie Simpson, both of Hope Factory Racing, topped their respective podiums in the Men’s and Women’s Elite races in Round 1, at Broughton Hall in Yorkshire, just as they did in Round 2, at Phillips Park near Manchester. And in Round 3, at London’s Alexandra Palace. They were, however, pushed all the way by a chasing pack that included riders from Hargroves RT and Felt Colbornes. The crowds turned out in record numbers, as did the amateur riders, who ranged from gnarled veterans to fresh-faced novices.

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