Round eleven of the Eastern Cyclocross 2019 season, hosted by Iceni Velo at the World Horse Welfare Centre near Snetterton.
This event has been established for a number of years and forms part of a series of Cyclo-Cross races which are registered with the Eastern Cyclo-Cross League throughout autumn and winter. It is also sanctioned by British Cycling who govern the running of such events and provide commissaires to oversee its safe running.
Races typically consist of many laps of a short (1.5 mile) course featuring pavement, trails, grass, steep hills and obstacles requiring the rider to quickly dismount, carry the bike while navigating the obstruction and remount. Races for senior categories are generally between 30 minutes and an hour long, with the distance varying depending on the ground conditions. This event will feature races from pre-youth level (under-10s up to under-16s) to youths (under-16s), juniors (under-18s), seniors and veterans - so the participants and spectators will form a mixed family crowd.
The event is marshalled by clearly identified and briefed personnel who are in radio contact with each other and the organiser who maintains control. All wear high visibility jackets so there are clearly identifiable. The route of the course (shown below) is on private land, which forms part of Hall Farm and is clearly marked with posts and tape.
It is anticipated that there will be around 300 participants with up to 150 spectators in attendance. First race (under-10s) at 9:30, and last race (senior, junior men) at 14:45. There are six races through the day, and each race has a maximum entry number of 80 - to minimize crowding on the course and reduce accidents. There will be no alcohol at the event.
Although the risk of cyclists falling or colliding is high, the injury potential is low-medium on the basis that most of the track is grassed providing a soft landing area and speed is low due to this terrain. All participants are briefed on course rules and must wear an approved cycle helmet. Bar end plugs (in the ends of handlebars) are also mandatory.
Hall Farm at Snetterton (NR16 2LP) is situated less than one mile from the main A11 which joins Norwich with Thetford and forms one of the main arterial routes into Norfolk. This route is well served by the emergency services and the nearest hospital offering Accident and Emergency treatment is the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, situated 16 miles away (around 20 minutes travelling on dual carriageway). Entry is from the east (Ada Cole Avenue) and this road joins the intersection with the A11.
The venue is set up as a working farm and owned by the World Horse Welfare Charity who re-home and rehabilitate horses. The main building provides a visitor's centre, offices, stabling and an arena for indoor horse work. Outside there is a large parking area, most of which is on gravel, and a number of grassed paddocks which surround the main buildings. The site is accessed by a tarmac service road, using the Chalk Lane entrance to the east. There is a canteen on site from which hot drinks and food can be purchased.
The Cyclo-Cross racing takes part in the paddocks, a small bomb hole to the west of the main building, inside the main arena and along a western section of Ada Cole Avenue. All crossings are marshalled and controlled to prevent pedestrian or vehicular entry during racing. At its furthest point the course is no more than 200 metres from the main building and is accessible on foot.
Here are overviews of the venue and the course layouts. Please note the car park locations and the designated spectator paths. Also note that the course runs anti-clockwise this year, and the start/finish straight runs uphill, heading due south from the north end of the main field.
The youth, junior & senior course is around 2.3km long. It features full-height double hurdles in the main field (similar to 2019), a clamber out of the bomb hole, and double pits in the arena.
The under-12s use a much shorter course (around 900m). Riders head twice through the arena and have to contend with a tricky banked section.
The under-10s use a shorter course again (around 750m), still going through the arena but without anything too technical.
Please note that under-18s not holding a current, valid British Cycling race licence will need to submit a parental consent form (download it here) when signing in on race day.