On behalf of Harrogate Nova Cycling Club, we would like to welcome competitors and spectators to ‘NovaCross’ – a day of superb cyclocross racing held on New Year’s Day.

Following on from our successful first running in 2014 and 2015 at Ripley Castle, we were approached 2016 fully expecting to take another step forward in our development of the event. Alas due to the terrible flooding that struck Yorkshire between Boxing Day and early 2016, we were forced to abandon the event. Planning is now well underway for New Year’s Day 2017 and we are thrilled to announce that our two headline races will be UCI C2 status.

Working closely with our kind sponsors at the Ripley Castle venue, the organising team has delivered high quality, accessible cyclocross racing. In 2014, we catered for 360 competitors. In 2015 we welcomed some 523 and in 2016 we were on track for over 700 riders through the day.

2017 sees us move to a stunning new venue at Conyngham Hall, Knaresborough. A venue last used for cyclocross racing in the 1980’s. Whilst the course is distinctive, it’s layout should give a well rounded race experience for all and may well form a key pre National Championship test for potential medalists. All competitors will enjoy racing on a course close to a market town centre that will undoubtedly see local people spectating on our major road closure.

For 2017 we seek to further broaden the appeal of the adult Go-Cross race early in the day that typically enjoys easier course conditions over a shorter duration. For those who perhaps had one too many the night before, maybe building fitness, perhaps fancy having a lower key ‘go’ or maybe run a mountain bike, it’s probably just the job.

We are tremendously proud to have Henshaws Charity for the blind and visually impaired as our partners for this event and are thrilled to raise awareness around this long established northern charity.

Whilst the day is very much about cyclocross racing, we are presently working on a project to deliver a day that the whole family can enjoy irrespective of them riding or not.

Our biggest ambition is to develop our women’s race into the an exciting stand alone race. From day one we have offered equal prizes to both genders. Now is the time to make a stand alone race happen in front of our estimated 1000 spectators with zero compromise between competition standards for mens and women’s races.  

New Years Day is a challenging day to run a major event on. Our event is organised on a ‘not for profit basis’ with the Organising Team running this event for the love of the sport.

Whilst the weather cannot be controlled, what is beyond doubt is that our race is held at a beautiful and spectator friendly venue that can be easily reached from anywhere in the North of England. We really look forward to seeing you on New Year’s Day, be it to blow away that hangover, fine tune your race form, or simply have a go on whatever bike you bring.

Steve Smales


Race Director