Bike news round-up: Danny Hart in Hamsterley charity downhill festival

Plus IMIC MTB instructor training, Tour of Britain & Santini

From the latest product news to details of routes and events, our news round-up is a collection of short snippets of information in one handy article.

Today we bring you news of a downhill charity pro-am racing festival featuring world champion Danny Hart, the IMIC MTB instructor training comes to the Forest of Dean, free entry to Knowsley Safari Park for stage two of the Tour of Britain and a new Santini sportive in the Cotswolds.

Danny Hart to star in Hamsterley charity downhill pro-am event

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Video: Danny Hart at Hamsterley Forest

Reigning downhill world champion Danny Hart is among the stars set to turn out for a downhill and 4X festival designed to raise thousands for armed forces charity Help for Heroes. It’s being organised by serving British soldier Jack Bennett of 1st Battalion, the Yorkshire Regiment and members of the British Army Downhill Team, and will take place at Descent Bike Park, Hamsterley Forest between 29-30 September.

Over 250 amateur and professional riders are expected to compete in downhill and 4X races of all abilities and will follow the pro format of practice sessions on Saturday with racing on the Sunday. Races range from under-12s mini downhill, through the age groups to veterans (40-49).

Money raised on the day, which is hoped to be around £5,000, will go directly into the coffers of Catterick Personnel Recovery Centre, which helps put service men and women on the road to recovery. If it’s a success, Bennett hopes to make it an annual event.

To find out the full low down on the event and to secure your place in the racing, visit the event website

International Mountain Bike Instructor Certification course coming to Forest of Dean this month

'Master instructor' shaums march will be leading the course:
'Master instructor' shaums march will be leading the course:

'Master coach' Shaums March at work

The International Mountain Biking Association UK are bringing the International Mountain Bike Instructor Certification to the Forest of Dean on 20, 21 and 22 August. The famed course was originally started in British Columbia in 2003 and has since spread worldwide under the name IMIC.

Leading the three-day course is 'master coach' Shaums March, who was one of the original Red Bull MTB athletes with a CV including two Downhill Masters World Championships. When he isn't racing, he runs the Mad March mountain bike skills company, which he set-up 15 years ago. 

The course is designed to train, prepare and certify mountain bike coaches to guide mountain bike groups and conduct beginner level coaching. Instructor candidates will learn to appropriately explain, demonstrate and instruct fundamental mountain biking skills such as body position, braking, cornering and bike handling skills.

To qualify for the course, you need to be at least 18 years of age, have five years mountain biking experience, a basic first aid certificate and strong written and verbal skills. Space is limited and costs £500. Registration can be made at IMBA UK's website.

Knowsley Safari Park to open its doors free of charge for Tour of Britain


Spectators of stage two of this year’s Tour of Britain will be rewarded with free entry to the venue of the race’s climax, Knowsley Safari Park. To get the unique chance to watch the UK’s biggest pro bike race finish among the elephants, giraffes and monkeys of the park, you must arrive on site before 1pm on Monday 10 September. Should you want to arrive earlier and take in a tour, the final safari drive takes place at 12.30pm.

The eight-stage race begins in Ipswich on Sunday 9 September, ending in Guildford on the 16th.  The race has steadily grown in popularity since its re-launch in 2004 and 2012’s edition, with British cycling reaching new heights this summer, is set to be the biggest yet.

Santini announce new end-of-season Cotswold sportive

Santini cotswold autumn classic: santini cotswold autumn classic
Santini cotswold autumn classic: santini cotswold autumn classic

A new end-of-season sportive sponsored by Santini has been announced – the Cotswold Autumn Classic. It follows on from the successful, sold-out Cotswold Spring Classic over Easter and takes place on Sunday 7 October from Cirencester. It starts from the same venue as the spring event, Cirencester College, but takes in a different route.

Distances are either 105km or 105 miles (both £24.50) with National Escort Group and MediBike motorbike outriders, neutral service, feed stations and hot food at the finish included. Santini will also be on hand to show off their new winter range at special knockdown prices. You can enter now by visiting the event website.

Fancy doing this or another challenge? Then head over to our fitness site BikeRadar Training. It's a free online resource for you to record and analyse all aspects of your training, log your training routes, get yourself tailored training plans, take part in challenges, see how you're doing on our leaderboards, set goals and plan your season with a comprehensive events guide.

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