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Much like competitive cyclists today use cyclocross to stay in shape in the offseason, so, too, did the professionals in the first half of the 20th century. What began as a nice way to pass the time turned into a full-scale discipline with the first UCI world championship race in 1950.
In that first race in Paris, France's Roger Rondeaux was outsprinted by countryman Jean Robic for the championship. Rondeaux struck back, though, and won each of the next three years. An image from the 1952 championship in Geneva graces the Ciclo-Cross World Championship T-Shirt from Retro Image Apparel.
Anybody can get excited about 'cross in 2011. Show them you know your history with a blast from the past.