There are several different stories that describe the origins of cyclocross. One of the most subscribed-to theories tells the story of the early pioneers of road cycling looking to stay fit throughout the winter, which, In the climes of Northern Europe, meant contending conditions that included sleet, snow, mud and just about everything else that you would find in the middle of a field. Races are generally run on a twisty course about 3 kilometers in length on mixed surfaces with a few obstacles, such as barriers and stairs, thrown in for good measure.
The sport is hugely popular in Belgium, where the races attract crowds of thousands no matter the weather. One of the main annual series are the World Cups, organized by the sporting body Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) and have traditionally been held in continental Europe. For the past few season, the UCI has held events outside of its traditional venues and have expended to raced in the UK, as well as the first race on North American soil in Las Vegas. This year, a brand new World Cup event came to Iowa City, home to a long-running professional cyclocross event known as the Jingle Cup.
For the past couple of seasons I have travelled extensively around the country to document all level of bike racing in the US in collaboration with the cycling clothing brand Rapha. These are a few photographs from when the cyclocross elite found themselves in the middle of the Midwest.