The 2017 HSBC UK | National Cross Country Series continues this weekend with the second round taking place at Wasing Park in Berkshire.
Early series leader Phillip Pearce will look to further cement his position in the standings while there could be a new name at the top of the leaderboard in the elite women’s race.
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 earlier this month at Pembrey Country Park, with Phillip Pearce (BW Cycling) and Evie Richards (100% ME) taking the elite wins.
After the second round at Wasing Park in Berkshire, the action heads to Aske Estate in Richmond, North Yorkshire in May before round four in Dalby Forest, North Yorkshire in June.
The final round of the 2017 series takes place back in Wales at the Royal Welsh Showground in Builth Wells in August.
Phillip Pearce’s perfect start in Carmarthenshire has put him at the top of the leaderboard and the BW Cycling rider will be keen to win back the series title he earned in 2015.
Pearce’s win in South Wales saw Jason Bouttell take second place after a thoroughly entertaining battle and the KTM Impsport rider will rate his chances of being on the podium once again.
David Fletcher (Sherwood Pines Cycles Felt) finished down the order in the series opener but will pose a threat in Berkshire as will Gareth McKee, who was impressive to finish fifth in round one.
Elsewhere, Tom Bell (Delv) will look to get his series off to a good start as he makes his bow in the 2017 competition while Ben Thomas (Mountain Trax RT) and Giles Drake (Leisure Lakes bikes.com) have top ten finishes from round one to build on.
Early series leader Evie Richards is on international duty, representing Great Britain Cycling Team at the Otztaler Mountain Bike Festival in Haiming, Austria, so there will be a new leader in the National Cross Country Series after round two.
With round one’s second place finisher Isla Short also absent, the favourite in Berkshire is Jane Barr (Velocity 44 RT).
Barr took third place in South Wales and could build a commanding lead with a strong performance at Wasing Park.
Her main challenge will likely come from Rock and Road’s Kerry MacPhee who finished fourth in last year’s series and will make her first series appearance this weekend.
Expect Marlena Drozdziok (Scott Eurocycles), who finished fifth in round one, and Sophie Halhead (BW Cycling) who finished sixth to also provide a threat in Berkshire.
The second round of the HSBC UK | National Cross Country Series takes place on 22-23 April at Wasing Park, Berkshire.
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.
There is also age and ability-based racing across both days – for full details or to enter a future round of the series, see the event homepage.