On December 28th the last race of the Catalan Cyclocross Cup took place. Unlike any of the other races we have attended, this time we experienced a totally unusual and unique event, at least for Spanish standards.
The whole show emerged from an idea that Albert Sanz (@destroymechanical) and Santi Segú (Bicicletas Segú) had after traveling to Copenhagen. On that trip, they had the chance to attend a cyclocross World Cup, as well as, a ‘must’ in the track cycling calendar: the Six Day Copenhagen. From that moment on, they decided to organize a somehow different cross race, with the intention to approach the spectators to the competitors in order to create a social and festive get-together.
Dark Cross, or how to create the fiercest cyclocross race
As its name indicates, the main concept regarding this event was to race at night, a complete novelty at the national level. Besides riding in the dark under the regard of some spotlights, the organizers spread some bonfires along the course to keep the spectators warm, a smoke machine and a flamethrower at the finish line, music was booming and, of course, some drinks and a BBQ were available.
From a competitive perspective, all the categories were included, from under-13 to elite, both women and men. Moreover, an ‘Open’ category allowed all those people who had never tried CX before to participate. Aside from these races, Albert and Santi thought about a Bunny-Hop contest and, believe me, it was a clear exhibition of bike-handling skills and technique in which the cyclists demonstrated the attendees that they are real athletes.
From the beginning, the race was foreseen as a non-competitive satellite event. However, the Catalan Cycling Federation saw its potential and decided to include it as the closing race of the Catalan Cyclocross Cup. A great decision, indeed.
The generated hype around the event was so high, that renown cyclists like Tomi Misser and Sandra Jordà from the Orbea Factory Team, or even Marc Soler from the Movistar Team, could not miss this rendezvous.
From our side, we have not been able to find a negative point on what happened that magical night. We can only acknowledge the effort and dedication that Bicicletes Segú, the Unió Ciclista Les Franqueses and, especially, Albert (@destroymechanical) put together to carry out this project. We would also like to appeal to all those cycling event organizers to break out from the ordinary and adventure themselves in creating races with different concepts, with the aim to involve the spectators and gathering a larger audience.
Following, you can see a video from Tomi Misser that he has published on his channel so that you can get an idea of what we lived.
Photos by: Brazo de Hierro