April 21, 2011
Following on from a successful 2010 season, the Brownbacks team will be returning organise a fresh series of races for 2011 at Lee Quarry in Rossendale, Lancashire. The team have drawn on the massive rider and sponsor support and are back for 4 dates in 2011: 5th June, 24th July, 21st August, 2nd October, so pop them in your calendar.
Head to www.brownbacksracing.co.uk if you want more info or read on…
The organisers (“nine blokes and one girl in a pub”) are keen to attract riders of all abilities to the events and create a welcoming atmosphere for the first-timers while keeping the racing whippets straight from the BMBS on their toes.
“We offer something for everyone, we know the elite will go out and race fast and hard, the Weekend Warriors will be more of a spread with some loving the technical downhill sections more than the up’s. It’s the Have-a-goes and the kids we really try and look after, we want everyone to think they can try racing. Watch out for a very special coaching offer to get you set up for 2011” commented Series Director, Paul McKeown over a pint.
“What we are also working hard on is getting women’s racing off the ground, in 2010 we had prize parity with the men’s categories which is unique for the quality of prize list we have. We know that they have got the legs and there is plenty of talent out there we now want to build on that and get sustainable numbers to build for the future supported by the generous sponsorship from Hope and others and get to parity in numbers if at all possible”
With the first round of the series scheduled to be held on 5th June now only a few months away, the event organisation is now in full swing and the Brownbacks Technical and Course Directors, Chris Smith and Neil White are spending every spare minute fine tuning the courses at Lee Quarry – the venue for the Hope sponsored series. No strangers to competing in and organising mountain bike races, Chris and Neil former NPS downhillers– who are key members of the team are excited about the prospects for the series: “I can’t wait.” states Neil “The new 2011 investment by Lancashire County Council within the quarry opens lots of new course options and enables us to keep varying the challenge.”
Picking up his beer Chris adds, “With four brand new courses packed into the quarry, expect some surprises!” Neil adds, “we look for a mixture of trails but can promise very little mud, only the odd tree and next to no grass! We vary the balance each race; some are fast, some are more technical, and different areas within the quarry are focused on at each race. We’ve done our best to gather the best of the quarry trails official and “off piste” to mould into each course”. Chris’ top tip for the series? “watch out for the cheeky “off piste” sections, even race winners can end up off the bike on these sections.”.
Lee Quarry is a compact site where spectators can see the racing at many places during the event. They don’t have to stand with a bottle, an energy bar and a spare set of wheels as the organisers operate a “back to basic’s” policy. Jason Boyd Facilities Director comments from the bar ”it’s about levelling the playing field and making people think about the kit they use and the gear they carry. Outside support is for us against the spirit of cross country riding where self reliance is key”. Andy Seddon Concept Director adds “don’t assume your standard trail centre setup will last here, thin wall tyres don’t last and tubed or tubeless, you need to test your kit at race speed or end up walking!”
Each event is a single race with a staggered start, and a common finish “this makes sure everyone gets to feel they are part of a big event” comments Dave Hashdi Communications Director “you don’t want to be part of a warm up event if you have paid up like the elite guys, you want to be part of the main event and we make sure you are!”
All events in the series follow a common timetable:
08:00: Registration and Sign-on opens
09:15: Course opens for practice
10:00: Racer, Racing Diva, and Weekend Warrior start
10:20: Have-a-go start
10:40: Lads and Lasses start
11:30: (ish) last lap given, racing complete by 12:00
12:30: Prize giving starts with the spot prizes followed by the main categories
Nik and Adrian the latest recruits to the team are enthusiastic about 2011, “Brownbacks is all about people who care about mountain biking making things happen, it’s great for the area, it’s great for mountain biking and we get to raise cash for local charities and have the odd beer” comments Adrian. “I started volunteering to help with these events and I saw the effort and spirit of the team and just had to be part of it to make sure 2011 happened” adds Nik “ everyone is a volunteer and time and effort that goes into these events no only means great local races but also cash going to local charities. We also need lots of volunteers on race day for everything from timekeeping to marshalling, just get involved to support these events and the team”.
A big thanks must go to the 2010 sponsors with some familiar names and some new supporters: Hope, Leisure Lakes, Polaris Bikewear, Crud and Charlie the Bikemonger, are back and we’ll be announcing the other sponsors as they confirm. Full details of the generous prize list soon at www.brownbacksracing.co.uk