A major national cycling championship is heading to South Lakeland for its next annual extravaganza

British Cycling announced that the 2023 National Cyclo-cross Championships will be held at the Westmorland County Showground at Crooklands over the weekend of 14-15 January 2023.

Cyclo-cross is the traditional 'winter arm' of cycling, with laps of a short course featuring pavement, wooded trails, grass, steep hills and obstacles that the rider has to overcome, and the sport has enjoyed a huge recent growth in popularity.

Dave Haygarth of the North West Cyclo-Cross Association, national championships organiser, and a rider himself for the Staveley-based Wheelbase squad, said: "We're both excited and proud to be stepping up to the 2023 National Cyclo-cross Championships, after three years of hosting some thrilling rounds in the National Trophy series.

"I grew up less than 2 miles from there, in Heversham, and although I’ve settled near Manchester now, it still feels like my home race. The venue itself is perfect for any conditions and we can adapt to make the most challenging course for some brilliant racing.

The Westmorland Gazette: DAY-OUT: Cyclo-cross is a great family day outDAY-OUT: Cyclo-cross is a great family day out

We can’t wait and are planning already."

Toby Dalton, director of Wheelbase Cycles, said: "We’ve seen cyclo-cross grow from a niche sport to a really big deal - both in terms of bike sales and racing participants.

"It’s family-friendly too, with parents able to cheer on the young kids from close quarters, and at some venues can see the whole course lap easily from the course side.

"Our own race team are avid cyclo-cross lovers".

British Cycling’s Cycling Delivery Director, Dani Every, said: "It’s been incredible to watch cyclo-cross really flourish in Britain over recent years, with fans able to celebrate an unprecedented 13 podium finishes across the past six world championships.

It also makes us incredibly proud that the likes of Tom Pidcock, Zoe Backstedt and Nathan Smith have all honed their craft at our National Series, raising the level of racing and inspiring new and young riders to take up the sport.

"For next season I’m pleased sure that Dave Haygarth and the team in the North West will deliver another championships to remember.

"We know that cyclo-cross events are a great day out for all the family and I’m sure that we’ll see some fantastic support once again – regardless of the weather!"