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.
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.
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:
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:
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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