Entries for the 2015 British Cycling MTB Cross-Country Series open on 1 January 2015, with an early bird “get one free” offer open to those who book for the full series in the first 10 days of the New Year.
A 10% discount remains up to the end of January, and entrants may continue to book for the full season as a single transaction until the end of February.
The series starts at the end of March when Sherwood Pines reverts to its traditional position as series opener, while round two in April returns to the south-west, but will be staged at the established venue of Newnham Park near Plymouth, where organisers Fully Sussed are planning some new features for 2015.
Round three teams up with John Lloyd Events in May to visit the Fforest Fields venue near Builth Wells for the first time in many years while the penultimate round in June is at the Cathkin Braes Commonwealth Games venue in Glasgow, run by Scottish XC and Scottish Cycling.
The series finale returns to the Cannock Chase course which proved popular in 2014, under the auspices of Run and Ride.
There are one or two changes to the series in 2015, principally the absence of a separate category for masters. This is a change which the BC Endurance Commission has been advocating for some time, recognising the need to reduce the number of different classifications and focus at national level upon ability categories.
“The Commission has felt for some time that riders of masters age (30-39 years) are still competitive in the ability based categories”, a British Cycling spokesman said. “Three years ago we amended the status of masters’ licences from the default for that age band to an elective category, recognising that 40 was the widely accepted threshold for the move from ability to age-related racing. This is a continuation of that process.
“Last season the top 20 male masters were recording times competitive with the top 20 male experts, and four of the top 10 experts in 2014 are of masters age next year. We’ve effectively been running two races over the same number of laps for riders of the same ability level.
“However we’re not abolishing the category. Regional organisers may continue to offer masters races, and there will be masters races at the National Championships if there are sufficient entries to justify them. We’re looking at a revision of the licence categories, and riders holding an existing masters licence who wish to compete in expert or sport races will be contacted directly in the near future with further details.”
Another change is the amalgamation of the sport female category into the expert series. This was a logical move after only a couple of single entries were received for last season’s women’s sport races and none for the whole season.
Female sport riders can still enter the open or fun races, but now have the opportunity to test the water against the experts while competing in a race which is restricted to female categories.