Race Prep

Below are some good tips before you embark on your first race.

The Week Before

  1. Read through the Donderdag! Skills Training Book! (get your copy at our Thursday night Skills Clinics)

  2. Purchase a USA Cycling (USAC) Racing License – annual racing licenses are FREE for juniors this season (2021-2022)! Register at usacycling.com.

  3. Check the race flyer for event details.  Go to http://kscycling.org/events-calendar/

  4. Know your race age.  My child is 8, why is he racing as a 10 year old?

Your child’s race age is the age they’ll be at the end of the year in which the cyclocross season concludes.  What? Read it again. Example – A racer born on September 23, 2008 is 9 years old in October 2017. The season officially ends in January 2018.  The racer will be 10 at the end of calendar year 2018; therefore, the racer’s race age is 10 for that entire season. But my racer’s annual license says race age 9!  While true for other racing disciplines, it’s not true for cyclocross!

  1. Go to Donderdag! Skills Clinic on Thursday night.

  2. Invite friends and family to the race.


Race Day

  1. Arrive early!  Plan to arrive 1.5 to 2 hours prior to the start of your race.  Get signed in and receive your race number. Registration closes 30 minutes prior to the start of the race.

  2. Pin the number on the jersey.  Ask at registration if it is “right” or “left”.  This determines the side of the body on which the number is placed to be visible by officials as the rider passes.

  3. Put on your helmet and warm up on your bike.  If the course is closed due to racing, find a safe place to ride (not the parking lot).  If the course is open for warm-ups, ride a few sections, but not the whole course. Save your energy for the race.

  4. While racers are warming up, spectators should find a place to watch the race.

  5. Report to the staging area and listen to the officials!  Get there no less than 15 minutes before your race starts.

  6. Riders ready?  ***Whistle*** Off they go!  Ring your cowbell! Remind them to shift!  Cheer on the other racers!

  7. After your racer exits the course at the finish, give them a hug, some water, and a healthy snack.  They just completed their first cyclocross race – a huge accomplishment!

  8. Head to the Donderdag! tent for some popcorn and a fist bump from Jonas, cheer on the other racers, watch the podium presentations, and go home knowing that your racer is stronger now than when they woke up in the morning.

  9. Invite your friends to Donderdag! the following Thursday night.

  10. Sign up for the next cyclocross race!


Frequent Inquiries

  • Q: What if my racer crashes out of the race?

  • A: Help them safely exit the course and notify the officials.

  • Q: What if my racer gets a flat tire or a has mechanical problem?

  • A: If the problem cannot be fixed on the course by the racer, the racer must move forward through the course to the pit area to receive assistance and to remain in the race.

  • Q: What if I think the race results are incorrect?

  • A: If your racer thinks the race results are incorrect, help them find a race official.  There is a challenge process and the race officials will help you with it.

  • Q: What if the hill is really steep or the barriers look super tall?

  • A: Stay off the course! Watch in amazement as your eight year old lifts her bike over the barrier or pushes her bike up that hill.  They can do it if you give them space to show their strength.

  • Q: How long is the course?

  • A: Courses are usually between 2.5 and 3.5 kilometers.  In comparison, the Donderdag! courses are 0.5 – 0.75 kilometers.

  • Q: How long is the race?

  • A: Check the event flyer.

    • 6-8 year olds usually do one modified lap and the race takes 10-20 minutes

    • 9-18 year olds usually do a 20 minute race

  • Q: My racer only went around the course one time, why did he get stopped?

  • A: In addition to making sure the races are safe and fair, race officials and promoters need to make sure the event stays on schedule.  There’s a specific set of rules the officials use to determine if a rider is “pulled”. The race officials will explain the process in the staging area.