When we think of European cyclocross 50 years ago or more, most people think of the sport’s popularity in Switzerland, and to some degree Belgium and even Great Britain. Spain isn’t seen by most as a cyclocross country past or present, although 50 years ago it had quite a scene, featuring healthy crowds and courses that could endanger your health.
Watch the best Spanish cyclocrossers compete for their National Championship, held in Mondragón in the cycling-crazy Basque region in the video below. The event from 55 years ago was the country’s 25th running of its cyclocross (CicloCross) national championships that first started in 1929, and the course certainly looked like it rewarded the strongest and most skilled. Racers rode down stairs and steep drops, scaled monstrous run-ups and hurdled barricades that make modern UCI regulation barriers look like kiddy planks.
The 1961 win was Barrutia’s second National Championship (he was disqualified the previous year), and he would go on to finish an impressive fourth at Worlds the same year.