Cyclecross in the Netherlands and Belgium is almost like a religion and to race in the Amsterdam Cyclecross Competition (ACC) is to experience a unique aspect of the local culture.
Cyclecross 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 cyclecross bike. What you need is a cyclecross- or mountainbike, a ‘can do’ attitude and the willingness to try something new.
The Amsterdam Cyclecross Competition is a series of 12 races, all within biking distance of Amsterdam. The races are organized every Sunday, from mid October until late December / early January and are hosted by different cycling clubs in and around Amsterdam. As such the courses vary each week and can include all of the usual obstacles and conditions expected in a cyclecross race.
Near and at the end of the season there usually are a few bonus races, which are also great fun.
There are multiple categories:
- Youth A (KNWU Cat 1, 2, 3) = U11
- Youth B (KNWU Cat 4 & 5) = U13
- Youth C (KNWU Cat 6 & 7) = U15
- U17 boys
- Women 19+ & U17 girls
- Men 45+
- Men 45-
For typical start times see amscrosscomp.nl/reglement
The ACC is organized 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 calendar. The goal of the ACC is to offer cycle-events for everyone with a bike and good humor, 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, for the ACC you need to pre-register at amscrosscomp.nl/registratie. If you do not pre-register, you can not participate in any ACC-race.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
Participating fee is €5 per race. Besides this, while subscribing for your first race [through this website | entry form] you have to buy a permanent race number [€6 once only]. Keep your number and don’t lose it. You HAVE TO wear it every race and it can be used for many years to come.
DO I NEED A CYCLECROSS BIKE?
Not necessarily. You can use a mountainbike or a cyclecross bike. People race either one and we all race together.
DO I NEED A LICENSE?
You must have a KNWU START-license, which costs approximately €25 per year and you must be member of a KNWU or a foreign club that is associated with a country official cycling union (e.g. British Cycling, Federation Française de Cyclisme, etc). If you’re not any of the above, you can become 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.
WHAT IS THE CHIP?
To be included in the official results you must have a MyLaps chip (Youth 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 minute bike ride of Amsterdam at different clubs or locations. The farthest south is in Nieuwveen and the farthest 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?
FAMILY & SPECTATOR FRIENDLY?
Cyclecross 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! 🙂