British Cycling has announced the dates and venues for the British Mountain Bike race series for 2010.
It runs from March through September and comprises five cross country rounds as well as a number of associated events.
Organiser Martyn Salt told BikeRadar that the series is aimed at making the sport of mountain biking more accessible.
"There's been a national cross country series in various forms over the years," he said. "The idea behind the BMBS is doing what we can to make the sport more presentable and available to a wider audience. We've got great venues in great places and some good riding for everyone."
Salt said that at each round there will not only be national series racing, but also an enduro, team relay, free U12 kids race, practice evening and a demo day with Giant, Specialized and Trek on board. He also expects a 20 percent increase in numbers, from 4000 to 5000 next year thanks to the inclusion of several new events.
As it did in 2009, the BMBS kicks off in Sherwood Pines, Nottinghamshire over the weekend of March 27-28. The 7.5km course is described as "a mixture of super fast flowing singletrack, some tighter, twistier sections, a few short powerclimbs for people to attack on, and lots and lots of roots."
The main national series races are on Sunday, but there's also a 6 hour enduro race on Saturday night.
Round 2 will be held at Porridge Pot Hill in Surrey on May 8-9. This is a new venue for the series but it's well known to mountain bikers as the venue for the "Are You Tough Enough" Army enduro each year. Combining the enduro and the national series round is expected to give a big boost to the numbers over the weekend.
Action from Margram Park in 2009
The third round is on May 29-30 at Margam Park in Wales. This will coincide with the Big Welsh Weekend enduro. Then there's a five week break before round four in Dalby Forest in Yorkshire on July 3-4. Dalby was trialled in 2009 and proved to be a success, so much so that it will also host the opening round of the UCI mountain bike world cup on April 24-25, 2010.
There's another long break until the final round of the BMBS on Sep 25-26 in Newnham Park, Devon. This is another well established venue and should prove a fitting end to the series, with the Newnham 60 enduro and post-race party to finish things off.
- Mar 6/7 Glentress (demo only)
- Mar 27/28 Sherwood Pines, British XC1 + Nightrider 6 + night demo
- May 8/9 Porridge Pot Hill, British XC2 + Are You Tough Enough enduro
- May 29/30 Margam Park, British XC3 + Big Welsh Weekend enduro
- July 3/4 Dalby Forest, British XC4 + Great Yorkshire enduro
- Sep 25/26 Newnham Park, British XC5 + Newnham 60 enduro
More information: www.britishxc.co.uk