What is cyclo-cross? 

Cyclo-cross is a bike race that involves cycling, running, and jumping over obstacles. Each course is about 2 miles in length and you race lap after lap for a set period of time. But what sets cyclo-cross apart from other bike races is the presence of challenges that make a rider get off the bike and run carrying the bike.

There are steep hills, tricky descents, and off camber turns. The terrain includes pavement, gravel, mud, grass, dirt, sand, and even snow in colder weather. Bikes can get really muddy or break. You may need a fix in the middle of the race. Mechanical problems are such a huge part of the drama that the race even has a pit like a car race with mechanics and pit crew for each pro racer. It's a bike race, steeple chase, and NASCAR all rolled into one!

What is the UCI?

The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) is the governing body of all pro cycling events in the world including the Tour de France, cycling in the Olympic games, and the Jingle Cross in Iowa. They are based in Aigle, Switzerland. (http://www.uci.ch

What is the Jingle Cross?

The Jingle Cross is our 3 day festival September 15th-17th, 2017 which includes the men's and women's UCI World Cup professional cyclocross races, 4 additional professional cyclo-cross races, over 60 amateur races, a gravel grinder, fondo, kids races, pro rider free tips and clinic, food and beverages, the Beers and Gears Oktoberfest, bands, DJ,s and much more.

How are the World Cup athletes chosen?

The athletes are the best bike racers in the entire world. Only a select few are allowed to race in the World Cup. Each national cycling federation selects its best racers for the World Cup similar to how they select their Olympic athletes. In fact, many of these athletes raced in the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics. 

Where does the Jingle Cross and World Cup start and where does it finish?

The Jingle Cross and the UCI World Cup are entirely on the property of the Johnson County Fairgrounds off Highway 218 (exit 89). This is not like a road race where riders race from city to city. All races start and finish on the fairgrounds and stay on the fairgrounds the whole time. The UCI World Cup Jingle Cross race course is a circuit course which, by UCI rule, must be 2.5 - 3.5 km in length (about 2 miles). The race goes around the circuit lap after lap after lap. The course is a well marked trail and winds its way around the terrain. No two cyclo-courses are the same. There are barricades the rider must hurdle over while riding their bike or they must hop off the bike and carry their bike over. The action is in front of you, behind you, up over the next hill, and around the next turn. It's incredibly exciting to watch! But it's all on the Johnson County Fairgrounds and you can see 80-90% of the race at OUR venue by standing on top of Mt. Krumpit.

What is Mt. Krumpit?

Mt. Krumpit is a really really big hill. It is hard to ride and the pro riders have to ride or run up it 3 times per lap. 

Jingle Cross sounds like a Christmas thing. Where did it get it's name?

Yes, we are a Christmas themed race. The Jingle Cross was first held in December of 2004 with a Christmas theme and continued in either November or December every year up until 2015. We became world renown by providing a great race for athletes while still making a fun event for the whole family using a Holiday theme. But in order to become a UCI World Cup, we had to move to September in 2016 to align with the UCI World Cup calendar. Since our Christmas theme distnguished us from all the other US races, we thought we should keep it! Our new tagline: "Christmas Comes Early!"

How big is the Jingle Cross compared to other cyclo-cross events in the U.S?

The Jingle Cross is unquestionably the biggest cyclo-cross event in North America.

When are the Jingle Cross - Iowa City Telenet UCI World Cup races?

The men’s and women’s Telenet UCI Cyclo-Cross World Cup in Iowa City will take place on the weekend of September 15th-17th. Exact time TBD and may depend on television schedules

Is there an Iowa Hawkeye football game on the same weekend as the UCI World Cup in Iowa City?

Yes, all fans from the September 16th, 2017 Iowa Hawkeye game vs. North Texas can use their Iowa ticket stub for free entry into the World Cup!

What is the Jingle Cross VIP Experience?

The Jingle Cross VIP experience is an exclusive opportunity to enjoy fine food and beverages at the UCI World Cup for one all inclusive price. The VIP Experience will include exclusive access to the best viewing locations for the start, finish, and the view atop Mt. Krumpit. We also serve a fully catered delicious gourmet spread with all beer and wine included in beautifully decorated international decor with sheltered accommodations to view all the drama as the race develops.

Can I get tickets as part of a package deal if I ride in the fondo or try a cyclo-cross race? 

Yes! World Cup General Admission is free for Jingle Cross gravel grinder, gran fondo, and cyclo-cross participants. Additional admission tickets for non-racers can be purchased when you register.

I want to try Cyclo-Cross. Can I race at the Jingle Cross? 

YES!!! We want you to try it, that's what we are all about. Racing categories start at Category 5 (beginner) and then count down all the way to the top amateur level of Category 1. The next level up from that is a Pro. Beginners are all automatically a category 5 athlete. We have races that are for EVERY level and the category 5 women's race is only beginner women. Category 5 races are very short, only 30 minutes and you just ride around until the clock is done. It's a ton of fun. If you can ride a bike for 30 minutes, you can do this event!

Tell us more about how a cyclo-cross race works?

Cyclo-cross goes by time, not distance and they race around the circuit lap after lap after lap. Length of a race in time is predetermined and published weeks before the race starts. For example, races are typically 30 minutes for beginners, 40-45 minutes for more advanced riders, 50 for pro women, and 60 for pro men. These are target times but do not have to be exact. Once the race starts, the officials will time the first lap with a stop watch and determine how many laps the race will need to be in order to get as close to the target time as possible. For example, let's say we have a pro men with a goal time of 60 minutes and the first lap takes 7 minutes for the first lap. Now let's try to be the official and determine how long the race should be....Seven laps at 7 minutes per lap is 49 minutes; hmmmm...too short. Eight laps at 7 minutes per lap is 56 minutes.... closer, but still too short. Nine laps at 7 minutes per lap is 63 minutes. Perfect! Although that's slightly over the goal time of 60 minutes, the officials would rather have a slighly long race than a really short race. In this example, the officials would determine this is a 9 lap race. The officials then place a lap counter near the finish line which is visible to every rider as they pass by on every lap. The lap counter then becomes a countdown, 5 to go, 4 to go, 3 to go...etc.  Once the official determines the number of laps, it cannot be adjusted no matter what happens. The race ends when the lead rider completes the proclaimed number of laps. 

Can I ride on the Jingle Cross and World Cup courses before the events?

Yes, but only at specified times. We will have ample time for you to pre-ride the course on Thursday, September 14th and at set times in between races. But please do not ride on the course before then. The Johnson County Fairgrounds is private property and you would be trespassing.

Can I race on the World Cup course?

Yes, you WILL race on the exact World Cup course. Imagine going to Yankee Stadium for Game 1 of the World Series, having a free ticket to watch the game, and then play a pickup game of softball with your buddies the next day. "If you build it, they will come." THAT is wha we have created here!

Where can I park during the event?

Some parking will be available at the venue for a small fee, a whole lot less than an Iowa Football game.  If you live in Iowa City, we invite you to ride your bike instead and utilize our covered complimentary bike valet on site!

Will the World Cup races be televised?

Yes, Telenet is the Sponsor of the UCI World Cup series and is a cable and communications company from Belgium. Telenet is in charge of the television production and will transmit a video feed around the world. We have been informed by the UCI that NBC Sports Network has indicated they intend a full digital broadcast plus a 2 hour linear broadcast of the world cup. The UCI will also stream the event on their youtube chnnel and Telenet will provide a global feed for interested networls world wide.

I’m a cyclist and I want to race in the non-World Cup events. When can I register?

Cyclo-Cross race registration opens at 8 a.m. June 20th at www.jinglecross.com.

What is a Fondo? What is a Gravel Grinder?

A Fondo is an Italian term that loosely translates to “big ride.”  A Gran Fondo tends to be a long ride and a Piccilo Fondo is a short ride. Our Jingle Cross Fondo will be entirely on paved srfaces and will be about 40-50 miles. We also have the Jingle Cross Gravel Grinder which is similar to a fondo except it includes lots of gravel and dirt roads. This is also about 40-50 miles. Both our gravel grinder and our gran fondo are recreational with rest stops, food, and beverages included PLUS admission to the World Cup and additional swag.

Will there be showers on site?

Yes, they are in building C.

What other events are part of the Jingle Cross Cyclo-Cross Festival?

Cyclo-Cross racing for amateurs begins on Friday’ and will continue all day and into the night under the lights with a huge party including DJ and tons of fun with our all new Bears and Gears Oktoberfest. The action will keep building all night until we have the UCI pro men's and women's race. Saturday begins with the road and gravel fondo rides starting from the fairgrounds. Live entertainment plus we have special cycling events like the Cyclo-cross relay races, World Cup Time Trial, Krumpit Klimb, Grinch's Kids Race and the Single Speedo Speedo Spectacular. The day peaks with the globally televised men's and women's Telenet UCI Cyclo-Cross World Cup.  Two of the three days of our 3 day weekend will include a full slate of Jingle Cross cyclo-cross racing, where all amateur athletes will race on the World Cup course.

Where are the other Telenet UCI Cyclo-Cross World Cup events for 2017-18?

Iowa City is first followed by Waterloo, Wisconsin the following week. Then the show heads back to Europe for Koksijde (Belguim), Bogenese (Denmark), Zeven (Germany), Namur (Belgium), Huesden-Zolder (Belgium), Nommay (France), Heusden-Zolder (Belgium), and Hoogerheide (Netherlands).

We hear this is a charity event?

The Jingle Cross and UCI Cyclo-Cross World Cup in iowa City is owned by Jingle Cross Inc and operates as a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization. All proceeds from this event are donated to the University of Iowa Children's Hospital and have been every year since the Jingle Cross was founded in 2004.

This sounds great! How do I get involved?

We have a wonderful list of partnership opportunities that can fit any budget. Please contact Race Director John Meehan at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 206 947-7793 for details. We also need volunteers; for that, contact the same guy!!!

Will the Grinch make an appearance?

Ummm...We're kinda worried about that. Supposedly, he lives on Mt. Krumpit and hates everything to do with 2 things; cyclo-cross (CX) and Christmas (Xmas), so he REALLY hates anything that combines the two (we are CXMas!)!