Cyclocross in the Netherlands and Belgium is almost like a religion, and to race in the Amsterdam Cyclocross Series (ACC) is to experience a unique aspect of the local culture.
Cyclocross is also great fun and we regularly hear people say it is the most fun they’ve had on a bike! You do not need to be good, fast or have a cyclocross bike. What you need is a mountain or cyclocross bike, a can do attitude, and the willingness to try something new.
The ACC series is 12 races all within biking distance of Amsterdam. They run from mid October to early January, every Sunday and are hosted by different clubs around Amsterdam. The courses vary each week, depending on the location, and can include all of the usual obstacles and conditions expected in a cyclocross race.
Following in the end of the season there are also a few bonus races which are also great fun.
There are multiple categories:
Jeugd A (Junior A – Cat 1 – 4, born in 2008 – 2011*)
Jeugd B (Junior B Cat 5 – 7, born in 2005 – 2007*)
A. Heren 40- (Men – 1980 – 2002)
B. Heren 40+/50+ (Men 40+ – 1979 and older)
C. Nieuwelingen (Juniors 2003 – 2004) en Dames (Women 2004 and older. This includes all categories)
The typical start times are below:
10.00 uur Jeugd A. 20 minute race
10.01 uur Jeugd B. 25 minute race
11.00 uur 40+. 40 minute race
12.15 uur 40-. 50 minute race
12.16 Nieuwelingen en Dames. 30 minute race.
To be sure, always look in the calendar on the website. Also when the weather forecast predicts heavy snow or ice.
The ACC is organised since 2009. The first year it was mainly held on and around clubtracks, but after a few years more and more “real” crosstracks form a part of the calender. The goal of the ACC is to offer cycle-events for everyone with a bike and good humour, so we’ll all have a good time when we are allowed to play outside in the dirt.
You do not need to speak Dutch. There is an active contingent of non-Dutch speakers and most of the racers also speak English.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
DO I HAVE TO PRE-REGISTER?
Yes, you can pre-register at amscrosscomp.nl/inschrijvenacc. If you do not pre-register, you can register at the registration desk at your first race. However, doing so will cost you €5,00.
Each week you pay your entry fee before you start your race; if your details are already in our system, your entry will be fast(er).
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
Each race costs €4 per race. Besides the entry-fee, at your first race you must buy a number for €5. Keep the number and don’t lose it. You MUST bring it to every race and it can be used for many more years to come.
DO I NEED A CYCLOCROSS BIKE?
All you need is a mountain bike or cyclocross bike. People race either one, and we all race together.
DO I NEED A LICENSE?
You must have a KNWU basic license, which costs €10 per year and (new 2018 rule) be member of a KNWU or foreign country official union club (e.g. Britisch Cycling, Federation Francaise de Cyclisme, etc) or be a member of one of the race organizing clubs. If you already have a UCI license from the Netherlands or another country you can use this.
You can either join one of the local clubs, or get a basic KNWU license at knwu.nl/lid-worden/basislidmaatschap
WHAT IS THE CHIP?
To be included in the official results you must have a MyLaps chip (Jouth A & B excluded). The chip has a unique number and is used to record your laps and be included in the race results. To get a chip go to: speedhiveshop.mylaps.com/active-sports/prochip-flex.html. There are several different options. Once you have the chip, you either attach it to your front fork (recommended) or wear it on your ankle. We recommend noting the number on the back of your membership card, as the organizer will need the chip number to record in their database.
WHERE ARE THE RACES?
The races are all within a 45 min bike ride of Amsterdam at different clubs or locations. The furthest south is in Nieuwveen, and the furthest west is in Spaarnwoude/Haarlem. The calendar has the address of each race.
I DON’T SPEAK DUTCH
The organizers speak English, as do most of the racers. There is also a contingent of non Dutch speakers.
WHERE CAN I BUY A BIKE?
Marktplaats.nl is best place to buy a second hand bike. There are also numerous bike shops around Amsterdam that can help you out. Of course, we recommend our sponsor Giant Store Beekhoven 😉
FAMILY & SPECTATOR FRIENDLY?
Cyclocross is the most family friendly bike racing available. The riders race on a circuit that typically takes 6-8 minutes per lap, and they are not moving very fast. There is plenty of action with sharp muddy turns, and regular falls. It is good fun. Several of the courses are also attached to clubhouses or other facilities that serve coffee, tea and basic food.
I WILL BE TOO SLOW
No. Even if you think you are last, by the time the race is ⅔ way through, the front riders start to lap people. And no one will know; you can keep riding even if you are lapped.
WHAT SHOULD I BRING TO THE RACE?
First of all you need a bike and helmet. Also bring a towel and change of clothes as most of the races have access to showers and a changing room. You may be cold, wet and very likely be muddy, so a shower after the race is a great way to warm up.
Most important: don’t forget to bring your good humor. We’re a lot of fun! 🙂