Cyclocross Race Etiquette

Last weeks podcast about race tactics brought up something that happened to me.

A couple of weeks ago in a X race a team mate was coming up to lap me. We were in the gassy maze like section of the course and so I could see him and another racer gaining on me. We were very close to the where the lap ended. As he came up on me I completely pulled over to let him pass. After he passed I went back to riding my race and did not clear for his pursuer. I didn’t block him. But I did not get out of the way either.

I had someone one tell me later that was bad form. I didn’t see it that way. The critique bothered me as I didn’t think I did anything unsportsman.


Once lapped, it’s appropriate to make way for lead lap riders, IMHO. Potentially impeding a rider a lap ahead of you is generally bad and looks worse in the situation of potentially assisting a teammate.

At the point you fall behind the leader, your race is secondary to the leaders, especially if you don’t have immediate competition on the same lap as yourself, right on your tail.


I see your point. Something to think on.

My stance on this has always been just make yourself “small” on the course if leaders are bearing down on you. You’re racing too…I dont think completely clearing the course is necessary. But taking say an outside line in a corner to allow the leaders to blow by in a minimally obstructed way is good form.

I would agree though that clearing for a teammate but not for someone chasing is sort of bad form. I’m no etiquette expert though.

Agreed with the others here. You knowingly took an action to influence the race in a lapped situation to assist a teammate at the hindrance of an opponent. There are rules prohibiting this in other disciplines (like Crit racing).

I’m not sure if explicitly against rules in CX, but I’d consider it bad etiquette.


Heres an example that sounds just like what you described, down to teammate vs not.

Here’s video of it… Imagine how frustrating that is, he knew the leaders we’re coming

Stuff like this is what gets you an enforced 80% rule. The respectful move is to make it easy to be passed. That doesn’t have to mean stop, but it depends on the specific upcoming terrain.

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