Race guide: 2017 HSBC UK | National Cross Country Series enters its penultimate round in Dalby Forest

Race guide: 2017 HSBC UK | National Cross Country Series enters its penultimate round in Dalby Forest

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Dalby Forest in North Yorkshire plays host to round four of the 2017 HSBC UK | National Cross Country Series this weekend.

Some of the top riders in the country will descend upon the forest, looking for those all important points and podium positions.

With 8,000 acres of sprawling beautiful woodland, Dalby Forest is one of England’s largest trail centres. The Great Yorkshire Forest is home to miles upon miles of carefully crafted singletrack and forest trails; a popular for mountain bike riders of all abilities.

About the series

The National Cross Country Series is a five-round competition which takes place between April and August, with a rider’s best four scores from the series counting towards their overall total.

The series opened at Pembrey Country Park, with the second round taking place at Wasing Park in Berkshire.

2017 HSBC UK | National Cross Country Series map

The action next headed to Aske Estate before round four in Dalby Forest, North Yorkshire this weekend.

The final round of the 2017 series takes place back in Wales at the Royal Welsh Showground in Builth Wells in August.

Elite men

Phillip Pearce (BW Cycling) has a commanding lead in the elite men’s standings, sitting 42 points above second placed Gareth McKee.

Third and fourth placed riders Giles Drake (Leisure Lakes bikes.com) and Grant Ferguson (CST Sandd American Eagle) will be on hand to try and spoil Pearce’s party.

Grant Ferguson won round three of the HSBC UK | National Cross Country Series

Ferguson sits just out of the podium positions despite having only contested two of the three rounds and will pose a real threat in Dalby, following his round three win at Aske Estate.

Elite women

Series leader, Marlena Drozdziok (Scott Eurocycles) will not race in round four, and neither will Evie Richards (100% ME) after winning her first under-23 world cup race in Albstadt last week.

Currently in second place overall, Jane Barr (Velocity 44 RT) will start in Dalby Forest, and will hope to increase her points margins over the rest of the field and take the series lead with one round to go.

Annie Last will race in Dalby Forest

However new competition will be on hand in the form of London Olympian Annie Last - a top performer on the international cross-country scene - in her first National Cross Country Series race of 2017.

Last will be joined by her OMX Pro Team teammate Isla Short, who finished second behind Richards in her only outing in the series so far this year, and will all look to trouble the podium positions.

Schedule

Elite races take place on Sunday, with the women’s competition at 1pm and the men’s race at 3.15pm.

Races last approximately 90 minutes, with riders taking a mass start before negotiating a series of 15-minute laps. Courses are designed to be spectator friendly and events are free to watch.

How to follow

  • Report and gallery will appear on the British Cycling website