The British National Cyclocross Championships returned last weekend from a pandemic-related absence in 2021 at a spectacularly muddy South of England Showground in Crawley.
More than 100 elite riders completed a tricky, slow course that called for cyclocross skills with Harriet Harnden of Trek Factory Racing CX and Thomas Mein of Tormans Cyclo Cross Team crowned women’s and men’s champions respectively. Our dedicated British National Cyclocross Championships winners’ bikes gallery shows their bikes in detail.
With grip at a premium, mud-specific cyclocross tyres, such as the UCI-compliant 33mm-wide Challenge Limus, were used across the board in authentic cyclocross racing conditions. But other bike and equipment choices diverged.
There was a mix of single and double chainrings, electronic and mechanical groupsets, and carbon and alloy components. Bikes included models from Ridley, Ribble and Scott, not to mention the eye-wateringly expensive Specialized S-Works Crux ridden by Cameron Mason, who placed second in the men’s event.
We’ve picked out the most interesting builds from the women’s and men’s events.
Cameron Mason’s Specialized S-Works Crux
Specialized’s top-of-the-range gravel bike propelled Cameron Mason (Trinity Racing) to second place behind Mein.
Check out our full standalone gallery for further details on this seriously tasty bike.
Anna Kay’s Ridley SL
Anna Kay’s (Starcasino) Ridley is a team-issued bike kitted out with components from team sponsors Miche, Challenge, Easton and CeramicSpeed.
Kay’s bike is built with an electronic groupset in the form of Shimano Ultegra Di2 shifters and matching rear derailleur paired with a 38t single chain, 11-34 cassette and Easton cranks set up in a 1x arrangement.
Miche SWR Cross DX wheels were shod with 30mm Challenge Limus tyres – slightly narrower rubber than Kay’s competitors.
The bottom-bracket bearings are CeramicSpeed, along with the Oversized Pulley Wheel System in very fetching red to match the frame’s paintjob. The Danish company claims the oversized pulleys increase drivetrain efficiency.
Annie Last’s Scott Addict RC
Women’s runner-up Annie Last rode Scott’s top-of-the-range Addict RC CX bike, built around a Shimano GRX groupset in a 1x setup.
Like Kay, she ran a 38t chainring paired with an 11-34 cassette. A long cage rear derailleur provides capacity for the size of cassette, while the direct-mount hanger should help improve shift accuracy.
Showing that weight is not everything, the build includes alloy saddle rails, bars and stem. This is for durability on a demanding course, where riders were frequently hopping on and off their bikes.
Finally, 33mm Dugast Rhino tubeless tyres are fitted to DT Swiss CRC1100 wheels.
Jenson Young’s Ribble CXSL
The 21-year-old Young came a respectable 10th in the elite men’s race, and did so in style on this gloriously green Ribble CX SL – the brand’s carbon ‘cross racer.
Young ran a full mechanical Ultegra groupset with a 46-36 double chainring and an 11-28 cassette. This may sound small for off-road riding, but it’s a popular pick for pro racing.
Ribble’s own fully integrated handlebars create a clean, aero-looking front end. On harder-packed, fast stretches of the course, Young could have benefited from modest reduced frontal drag.
Millie Couzens’ Stevens Super Prestige
Millie Couzens did not finish Sunday’s race, but the A-Level student did win December’s National Trophy Series Gravesend event in IKO-Crelan colours.
The Belgian development team, run by the Roodhooft brothers behind Mathieu Van der Poel’s Alpecin-Fenix, provide her with this custom Stevens Super Prestige.
Couzens swapped the stock bike’s Oxygen Scorpo Aero handlebars and FSA SMR stem for an all-Deda front end: a Super Box stem and 44cm Zero bars. But her build does retain smart integrated cable routing.
In addition, Couzens replaced DT Swiss C 1800 Spline wheels with Cole T38 Lite hoops fitted to 33mm FMB Reno tyres. The French company is a tubular specialist.
Daniel Barnes’ Vitus Energie Evo
The Spectra Wiggle p/b Vitus rider finished three places behind his older brother Toby, who races for Germany-based Team Schamel p/b Kloster Kitchen.
Barnes junior’s team-edition Vitus Energie shares the spec of the retail version of the carbon bike. The French brand, which supplied Sean Kelly in his 1980s heyday, claims a similarly built Energie Evo weighs 8.1kg.
Most of the components are from Prime, including Baroudeur carbon rims – which are fitted with Vee XCX tubeless tyres – and Doyenne bars and stem.
The bike has a SRAM Force 1×11 groupset with a 40t chainring. Barnes has swapped Vitus’ saddle for a Selle Italia SLR Boost Superflow. He’s among several racers who chose a more sturdy alloy seatpost instead of carbon.
Corran Carrick-Anderson’s Trek Boone
The young Scot, who tops the National Trophy Series in the U23 and elite categories, finished fifth on Sunday on this stealthy Trek Boone.
The groupset is Shimano GRX with a 40t chainring and 11-34 cassette. Sector CT30 wheels are shod with 33mm Challenge Limus tyres inflated to just 15psi.
Carrick-Anderson switched the rear rotor from 160mm to a lighter 140mm, which he believed offered enough stopping power.