I just completed the annual Paris to Ancaster 60km race in Ontario, Canada and thought I'd post my cross set up.
The race is run on a variety of surfaces. About 65% is level or slightly hilly rail trail, gravel road, paved road while the other 35% is a mixture of single track and farm fields with a few long steep climbs.
I used a road compact 50/34 up front instead of my cross 44/38 with an 11/28 rear cassette. This combination gave me the speed on the road, but more importantly gave me the ablility to climb when necessary. I noticed that those that had a cross front chainring would struggle on some climbs because they were geared out whereas I could still spin.
Ritchey Speedmax Pro. Conditions were wet with some muddy rivers in the single track. I lost a bit of traction on some climbs, but nothing that would want me to change to a more aggresive tread. These paid dividends on the road sections. I had them pumped up to 55 in both the front and rear. Most of the race is on hard pack so the harder tires REALLY helped. This is where I gained most of my time, but was still able to maintain in the more technical sections.
I was really pleased with this setup and won't change anything for next year's event. I managed to finish in the top 15% of my age group, but it was an epic effort.