What is the Kerstperiode of Cyclocross?

December 07, 2020

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. 

COVID-19 impact on Kerstperiode 

With COVID-19 affecting the ability of races to have live spectators and also creating some outright cancellations, the Kerstperiode will look a little bit different for the 2020-2021 holiday season. I've taken a moment to update this article with the refreshed schedule and new info that takes COVID-19 into account.

2020-21 Kerstperiode cyclocross races

I count a whopping 11 UCI C1/C2 level events in the two week period between Sunday, December 20, 2020 and Sunday January 3, 2021. That's a lot of cyclocross!

20 Dec 2020 2020-2021 UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup, Namur Namur, Belgium
22 Dec 2020 Robotland Cyclocross Essen Essen, Belgium
23 Dec 2020 X²0 badkamers Trofee - Azencross Herentals, Belgium
26 Dec 2020 Telenet Superprestige - Heusden-Zolder Heusden-Zolder, Belgium
27 Dec 2020 2020-2021 UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup, Dendermonde Dendermonde, Belgium
30 Dec 2020 Cyclocross Bredene Bredene, Belgium
01 Jan 2021 X²0 badkamers Trofee - GP Sven Nys Baal, Belgium
02 Jan 2021 Cyclocross Gullegem Gullegem, Belgium
02 Jan 2021 EKZ CrossTour Hittnau Hittnau, Switzerland
02 Jan 2021 Troyes Cyclocross International Troyes, France
03 Jan 2021 2020-2021 UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup, Hulst Hulst, Netherlands

 

Kerstperiode typically includes a series of the same recurring events almost every year at consistent locations and 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 (this race was cancelled this year due to COVID-19)
  • 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 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, this isn't the year to visit personally. Instead, take a look at streaming some of these races from home: 

How to stream Kerstperiode races

Kerstperiode 2020/21 includes all Superprestige, X²0 badkamers Trofee, and World Cup series races, so there's a lot at stake in all the major series rankings.

For USA viewers, GCN's Race Pass subscription has the broadcast rights for the Superprestige and X²0 badkamers events. This subscription package includes English commentary with Jeremy Powers on the broadcast team. If you aren't sure if the GCN Race Pass is right for you, check my review of the service to help you decide.

The World Cup events are streamed in the USA by FloBikes, another subscription service. Note - this is a change from prior years, in which NBC Sports Gold Cycling pass has broadcast rights. If you are an existing Gold Cycling Pass subscriber, it looks like you will not receive coverage as originally published by NBC. Learn more about FloBikes.  

Finally, the EKZ CrossTour events are streamed live on their Facebook page for free and with no geo-restrictions. 

Happy Kerstperiode to you and enjoy the upcoming holidays!



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