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CX Etiquette: A fans’ guide to the Cross

If this is to be your first time visiting the Cross, best go prepared. Here are some tips to help you out and identify you as a true connoisseur of the Cross!

1.

Cyclocross is a very intense and tough sport, sometimes most so for those in the back of the field, who know they stand little chance of a good result but still give it their all for the length of the race. So voice your support for all riders! Chanting, singing, yelling, swinging that old cowbell…it’ll surely be appreciated and as a bonus you’ll stay warm.

2.

Arrive early to have a look at the team vehicles where the riders will be warming up on the rollers. Here you can stroll past the different teams and experience the material gap between the deluxe campervans of the great champions (their photos printed larger than life on the outside) and the shabby vans of the smaller équipes (complete with torn flower curtains and crammed to the brim with spare tubes to add to the dilapidated image).

3.

Learn the riders’ first names. You’ll blend in quickly and smoothly between throngs of fans who earnestly support every rider like a close relative; from the Mathieu’s and the Sanne’s to the Corne’s, Laurens’s, Kaitlin’s and Sophie’s. 

4.

Wear waterproof boots/waders. Don’t be concerned if they are 3 sizes too big and obliterate your fashionable image, you’ll be thanking us later. Just make sure they have some profile underneath, you don’t want to bowl over just as you’re slithering around carrying two carton trays of Jupiler and a couple of portions frites-mayo for your mates.

5.

Walk the course, it’s meant to be explored and there’s a lot of different aspects which can make or break a race. From the technical corners and obstacles to be jumped (or bunnyhopped) to the potential chaos a steep muddy descent or painful slog up the stairs can cause… taking it all in from different angles adds to a better understanding – and respect – for the sport.

6.

Complain to strangers around you about the supporters in the VIP tent, because as everybody knows, the true fans are in out in the cold, smeared with mud and mayo and yelling and drinking to keep warm!

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