South Wales ready to host Cross Country opener

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Cross country race season opens!

April 2nd and 3rd will host the first round of the BMBS – British Mountain Bike Series of cross country races.

bms, xc racing,
Classic XC racing seems to be on the up

A top class field of racers, including Olympians, future hopefuls and national champions are getting ready to race in Pembrey Country Park as Carmarthenshire welcomes the highest level of mountain bike event to ever be hosted in Wales.

Round 1 of the British Cycling MTB Cross Country series kicks off on April 2nd with racing for all ages and abilities, including Youth races and Open category events. On Sunday April 3rd the focus switches to the Age group and Elite races, which has been upgraded to Category 1 by the international governing body, the UCI. The upgrade will mean more UCI points on offer, which will give British riders the best possible chance of qualification for Rio 2016 ahead of the May qualification deadline. This is great news, given the apparent lack of concentration of this by British Cycling.

Both Elite races should be exciting races to watch, with a depth of talent taking part. Top ranked British rider Grant Ferguson and Annie Last will be attending, hoping to secure their spot at the 2016 Rio Olympics, along with Liam Killeen hoping to continue his form after winning the Cyclocross National Championships. A strong international line-up with also take part with riders from Ireland, Belgium, Netherlands, Norway and Poland all present.

bmbs, xc racing, cross country

The event comes to Pembrey for the first time, the home of the popular Battle on the Beach event and promises a fast, fun course that will be physically and technically challenging.

Spectators are welcome, with park entry just £5 and excellent viewing within easy reach. Entry on the day is available for Fun and Open category races that will take place on Saturday April 2nd.


Singletrack Editor

Chipps wasn’t around for the dawn of mountain biking in the UK, but he likes to claim that he arrived in time for second breakfast (about the time he shows up for work, then…) starting in the bike trade in 1990 and becoming a full time mountain bike journalist at the start of 1994. Over the subsequent quarter century, he has seen mountain bike culture flourish and diversify and bike technology go from rigid steel frames to fully suspended carbon fibre (and sometimes back to rigid steel as well.)

His riding style is best described as ‘medium, wheels on the ground, trail riding’ though he’s been spotted doing everything from endurance downhill racing to 24 hour cross country racing. He favours mid-travel trail bikes and claims to be wheel-size, gear, brake and tyre agnostic. In fact, his garage spans most bicycle flavours, taking in steel hardtails, carbon trail bikes, even a mountain bike tandem, along with road, touring and gravel/cyclocross bikes.

While he’s happy to chat about bikes all day, his real interest is in the people and places that bikes can introduce you to and he talks as fondly about the trails he’s ridden and riders he’s met as the bikes that took him there.

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