What is the Kerstperiode of Cyclocross?

While Americans are exchanging gifts and ringing in the New Year, Belgium has something special - the "Kerstperiode" of cyclocross. What is Kerstperiode? Literally, it means "Christ Period"; but in cyclocross terms, it's a series of elite races all clustered around the Christmas and New Year's weeks in Belgium.

Because many of the races are located so close geographically; teams, riders, and fans can realistically visit many races during the holidays without extensive travel. Combine that with many fans away from the office on vacation during this time, and that makes the Kerstperiode one of the most exciting and spectator-friendly seasons to watch cyclocross.

Recurring Kerstperiode cyclocross races

Kerstperiode typically includes a series of the same recurring events almost every year at consistent locations and often on the same dates. Here are some you don't want to miss: 

  • Diegem - this town just outside Brussels hosts a night race under the lights. Super exciting to watch as the fastest riders fly through the town center in the dark.
  • Zolder - cyclocross racing, in and around a track usually used for Formula 1 cars.
  • GP Sven Nys - kick off the New Year with this race on January 1 named for one of the finest 'crossers of all-time. A great way to ring in the new year. Because rider contracts typically end December 31 each year, this race is the place to see riders on their new teams and wearing new kits.

Because of the density of the events, elite riders typically won't do them all - instead, they'll pick and choose those most important to them; perhaps favorite races, or those events that are part of a series they are contesting. 

If you're in Europe, you have an opportunity to personally visit multiple races, in a small, easy-to-visit geographic area, all within just a few days. 

For fans in North America, take a look at streaming some of these races from home: 

How to stream Kerstperiode races

Kerstperiode contains some of th e Superprestige, X²0 badkamers Trofee, and World Cup series races, so there's a lot at stake in all the major series rankings.

Unfortunately, the GCN+ paid subscription streaming service ended at the worst possible time - right before Kerstperiode! That impacts the Superprestige, X²0 badkamers Trofee, and Exact Cross events. This leaves USA fans in the lurch looking for another solution. Warner Bros. has announced that some content will be moved to their MAX app/service, but that doesn't start until next Spring.

FloBikes has recently made updates, and it appears that the Flo service will carry at least some ofd the Superprestige, X²0 badkamers Trofee, and Exact Cross races. The World Cup events are also streamed in the USA by FloBikes.

Finally, I've updated my article, "How to stream cyclocross for the 2023/24 season" with the latest info regarding the GCN+ changes, FloBikes, and the Warner Bros. MAX updates. Give it a read. 

Happy Kerstperiode to you and enjoy the upcoming holidays!

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