The Shimano British Cycling Downhill Series kicks off in style this weekend with round one at Antur Stiniog, Wales on Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 March.
All eyes will be on this brand new venue as the Shimano British Cycling Downhill Series circus rolls into town. A totally open course up top with zero coverage from trees means the riders will not only have to battle the unforgiving track in front of them but also whatever nature can conjure up.
Man-made obstacles are in abundance along the whole length of the course with several large jumps, berms and a huge almost vertical rock roll near the bottom of the course will be a magnet for the spectators which are expected to be in their thousands.
Entry for the whole series sold out in January, with a full house of 320 riders booked-in across all categories. Expect to see a close battle with the Schwalbe elite women’s field comprising the cream of the British crop with Rachel Atherton, Manon Carpenter, Ffion Griffiths, Jess Stone, Katy Curd and Tahnee Seagrave all racing.
The Schwalbe elite men’s category is stacked with over 50 world cup racers; take your pick from Gee Atherton, Steve Peat, Josh Bryceland, Danny Hart, Marc Beaumont, Matt Simmonds, Sam Dale, Ruaridh Cunningham and many more, all chasing a share of the £10,000 series prize money.
Expect to see the pros rolling out their latest bikes and kit in preparation for the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup series opener in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.
How many will be rolling 650b big rigs? That big question will be answered next Friday as the pro pits begin to set up, as everyone is still tight lipped and keeping their cards close to their chest regards bike choice.
Spectating is free for everyone. Parking is available on both Saturday and Sunday over the road from the venue in the quarry car park with a charge of £2.00 per vehicle which will go to the Welsh Air Ambulance.