With the first ever World Cup Cyclo Cross races outside of mainland Europe taking place in Milton Keynes, UK tomorrow, excitement and interest in CX is growing. Whether you’re a long-time fan, or just want to see what all the fuss is about, a new photo book – captured by the lens of British Hungarian photographer Balint Hamvas – provides a compelling guide to the highlights of the last season.
Now a full-time photographer, Balint spends all winter trekking around Europe in the mud and rain to follow the world’s best riders, and this, his third annual, is the result.
The coffee table-sized hardback book – bearing the utlilitarian title Cyclocross 2013/2014 – has 240 glossy pages documenting 26 races, including the World Cup, Superprestige and Bpost Bank Trofee series, World Championships and several other notable events across Europe. Each contains an introduction, and a selection of great racing, behind the scenes and quirky detail photographs, that convey the colour and drama present throughout the cauldron-like atmosphere of the calendar’s sternest tests.
The Bpost Bank Trofee series is among the events covered in Hamvas's book – this weekend sees World Cup cyclocross in the UK for the first time
Race coverage is interspersed with features on Amy Dombroski, Helen Wyman, Belgian-Dutch rivalry, old style 'cross, 'Should ‘Cross Go To The Olympics?', and a look back at the career of former World Champion Niels Albert. In all there are 34 chapters of distinctive cyclocross goodness delivering a full flavour of the professional scene.
The imagery is atmospheric and really captures the dynamic nature of men’s and women’s cyclocross, so grab a Leffe and while away some dark winter evenings leafing through what is a worthy addition to any cyclist’s library.
But, if you’re looking for a fantastically good-natured atmosphere for the price of a few inner tubes, get along to Milton Keynes on Saturday – and bring your wellies.