What is Cyclo-Cross?

Cyclo-Cross races typically take place in the autumn and winter (the World Cup season is September–January) and consists of many laps of a short (2.5–3.5 km) course featuring pavement, wooded trails, grass, steep hills and obstacles requiring the rider to quickly dismount, carry the bike while navigating the obstruction and remount.

This sport has grown immensely in Ontario and is very spectator friendly as riders are passing spectating areas every 6-8 minutes.

Types of Events

Regional Sanctioned Events

Who can Participate?
Regional level events have the same categories as Ontario Cup events. New for 2018, events previously classified as citizen level events now fall within the Regional level sanctioned event.  Please confirm with the organizer as some categories may change due to the number of riders participating.  Since Cyclo-Cross World Championships are in January 2019, categories are based on rider’s age as of December 31, 2019.

What Type of Membership is Required?
The minimum licence requirement to participate in a Regional level race is a Citizen Permit. Please view the chart at the bottom of this page to see which licence is required for each category type at Regional/O-Cup events.

Note upgrade points are not available at Citizen level events.

Are you or your club interested in organizing a cyclo-cross regional race? Email events@ontariocycling.org for more information!

Eastern Ontario Cyclo-Cross Series

The Eastern Ontario Cyclo-Cross Series is a club-run weekly series which offers a great introduction into the sport in a fun filled atmosphere. The series is run by the Ottawa Bicycle Club and has drawn an average of more than 175 riders the last few years. Visit www.cyclocross.org for more information.

Who can Participate?
Since Cyclo-Cross World Championships are in January 2019, categories are based on rider’s age as of December 31, 2019.

What Type of Membership is Required?
The minimum licence requirement to participate in the Eastern Ontario Cyclocross Series is a Citizen Permit. If you do not hold a Citizen Permit or UCI licence, Non-Member permits may be available. All registration for events is in advance, there is no day-of registration. Citizen Permits can be purchased at the same time as registering.

Ontario Cup and Upgrade Points

Current road ability based categories will be used throughout the Ontario Cup Cyclocross Series.


Upgrade Points will be awarded as follows:

Place and Upgrade Points
The OCA Upgrade/Downgrade Committee has approved a new upgrade points system starting with 2018 cyclo-cross events. This new system, along with some minor changes to category structure, hopes to be able to promote riders through the system at a more even pace while also assuring competitive balance across the various categories.

The point structure below will be based on races that have the ability based category system such as regional races and Ontario Cup races (IE. M3, M2, M1, Elite 1/2, Elite 3, Elite 4, etc.). Races that are run under age based categories (or other forms of ability based categories) will not have upgrade points associated with them (Citizen Sanctions, Provincial Championships and Eastern Series Cross).


The new upgrade point structure will be based on the specific category field size.

Points will be based on the following criteria:

Category Size of

30+ riders 

(Not including DNS)

Category Size of

15-29 riders 

(Not Including DNS)

Category Size of

6-14 riders 

(Not Including DNS)

Category Size of

1 -5 riders

(Not Including DNS)

1st place – 15 points 1st place – 13 points 1st place – 10 points 1st place – 6 points
2nd place – 13 points 2nd place – 11 points 2nd place – 7 points 2nd place – 3 points
3rd place – 11 points 3rd place – 9 points 3rd place – 5 points
4th place – 10 points 4th place – 7 points 4th place – 3 points
5th place – 9 points 5th place – 5 points
6th place – 8 points 6th place – 3 points
7th place – 7 points 7th place – 2 points
8th place – 6 points 8th place – 1 point
9th place – 5 points
10th place – 4 points
11th place – 3 points
12th place – 2 points
13th place – 1 points
14th place – 1 points

Mandatory Upgrades are required at 35 points
Optional Upgrades begin once a rider obtains 20 points

Other Important Upgrade Information

  • Points will be carried over for one (1) season. (NEW!!!!)
    • So any points earned in 2018 (unless the rider already is upgraded or reaching the mandatory cut-off) will be what the rider starts with for the next Cyclocross season.
  • The OCA Upgrade/Downgrade Committee also reserves the right to review the category numbers at the end of the season and should re-allocation of members be required, can implement a system prior to the CX season to achieve this.


For Master Male riders who have a racing age of 50 years or older (Master C or Master D), there will be no Mandatory Upgrade to M1. Riders in this age bracket who achieve enough upgrade points to upgrade to M1 may still choose to upgrade but it will not be mandatory.


Anyone without the points required to upgrade, or who are looking to downgrade, may submit a formal request to the OCA Upgrade/Downgrade Committee using the form below. We ask, because of the condensed cross schedule, that all requests for the following weekend are submitted prior to Noon each Tuesday of the season. This will allow the committee time to review and come up with a decision prior to the weekend race(s).

Adult Upgrade/Downgrade Request Form

Youth MTB/CX Upgrade Policy and Request Form (2018 COMING SOON)

Ontario Cup Points

Series Points
Series points will be awarded as follows:

Finishing Position in Category Series Points Finishing Position in Category Series Points
1st 25 9th 7
2nd 20 10th 6
3rd 16 11th 5
4th 13 12th 4
5th 11 13th 3
6th 10 14th 2
7th 9 15th 1
8th 8

Note: Series points only available to those who hold an OCA Citizen Permit (if category allows) or UCI Licence.

Selecting a Cyclocross Category and Licence

This chart is designed to help riders new to the sport to pick a category as well as help all riders determine which kind of membership is required to participate in their categories. Riders who still have questions about categories after reading these charts should contact the OCA office.

Age Information
UCI Licence
U13 Men / Women**Age: 9-12
Citizen Permit
UCI Licence
UCI Licence: CMU11 / CWU11 / CMU13 / CWU13
Ability Level: All
CMU11 / CWU11 / CMU13 / CWU13All
U15 Men / Women**Age: 13-14
Citizen Permit
UCI Licence
UCI Licence: CMU15 / CWU15
Ability Level: All
CMU15 / CWU15All
U17 Men / Women**Age: 15-16
Citizen Permit
UCI Licence
UCI Licence: CMU17 / CWU17
Ability Level: All
CMU17 / CWU17All
Master 3 Men**Age: 35+
Citizen Permit
UCI Licence
UCI Licence: CMMA.3 / CMMB.3 / CMMC.3 / CMMD.3
Ability Level: Novice - Intermediate
CMMA.3 / CMMB.3 / CMMC.3 / CMMD.3Novice - Intermediate
Elite 4 Men**Age: 19+
Citizen Permit
UCI Licence
UCI Licence: CME.4 / CMU23.4
Ability Level: Novice - Intermediate
CME.4 / CMU23.4Novice - Intermediate
Master 2 MenAge: 35+
UCI Licence
UCI Licence: CMMA.2 / CMMB.2 / CMMC.2 / CMMD.2
Ability Level: Intermediate - Advanced
CMMA.2 / CMMB.2 / CMMC.2 / CMMD.2Intermediate - Advanced
Elite 3 MenAge: 19+
UCI Licence
UCI Licence: CME.3 / CMU23.3
Ability Level: Intermediate - Advanced
CME.3 / CMU23.3Intermediate - Advanced
Elite and U23 Women (Including U19/U23/E1/E2/E3)**Age: 19+
UCI Licence
UCI Licence: CWE.1 / CWE.2 / CWE.3 / CWJ / CWU23
Ability Level: All
CWE.1 / CWE.2 / CWE.3 / CWJ / CWU23All
Junior Women (National Code)Age: 17-18
Citizen Permit
UCI Licence
UCI Licence: CWJ
Ability Level: All
Master Women**Age: 35+
Citizen Permit
UCI Licence
UCI Licence: CWMA / CWMB
Ability Level: All
U19 Men**Age: 17-18
UCI Licence
UCI Licence: CMJ
Ability Level: All
Elite MenAge: 19+
UCI Licence
UCI Licence: CME.1 / CME.2 / CMU23.1 / CMU23.2
Ability Level: Professional and/or Highly Skilled Elite Amateur Racers
CME.1 / CME.2 / CMU23.1 / CMU23.2Professional and/or Highly Skilled Elite Amateur Racers
Master 1 MenAge: 35+
UCI Licence
UCI Licence: CMMA.1 / CMMB.1 / CMMC.1 / CMMD.1
Ability Level: Advanced – Elite
CMMA.1 / CMMB.1 / CMMC.1 / CMMD.1Advanced – Elite
SinglespeedAge: 19+
Citizen Permit
UCI Licence
UCI Licence: No Specific Code
Ability Level: All
No Specific CodeAll

**New members MUST select an entry level/novice category unless they have a previous race licence with another cycling body (proof of this is required before a licence will be granted).

Provincial Championships have different licence requirements.
Citizen Events
Licence requirements subject to event rules. Please consult Event Technical Guide for more info. Availability of non-member permits subject to OCA approval.

Age Licence Types Required
Dependent on Event UCI
Non-Member Permit

There will be a reduced Cyclo-cross only UCI licence that will be offered. This will be made available only in August prior to the start of the first cyclo-cross race.