New Zealand secured the first UCI-sanctioned Cyclocross event in the Southern Hemisphere.

The first-ever New Zealand National Cyclocross Championships were held on July 8th2012 in Napier.

Cyclocross is hugely popular in Europe and North America. Created as a combination of mountain-biking, cross country cycling, and criterium racing, the sport has gained cult popularity in recent years.

The fast-paced, technical races combine the best of off-road action on road-style bikes, providing spectacular winter racing for both riders and spectators alike.

The multi-lap circuit courses are perfect for spectators. While the majority of the course is made up of pavement, grass, or trails, riders are also forced to shoulder their bikes to jump over hurdles, clamber up stairs and steep, muddy climbs, and manoeuvre hair-raising descents. Races for senior and elite categories are generally one hour long (40 minutes for elite women), ensuring fast-paced racing. There are also categories for non-elite age group riders, including children's races.

The 2013 Cyclocross National Championships were held in Wanaka on the 24th August. Read the wrap here .