More than 150 riders are expected to descend on Builth Wells for Round 3 of the Welsh Mountain Bike Series at the Fforest Farm course this weekend, which incorporates Round 6 of the Project 2018 Race Series on Sunday 21 April.
Racing is set to feature lead contenders of the series, all vying to clinch the overall title. Dan Lewis, RAF CA leads the elite men’s category and Donna Morris, XCRacer.com leading the way for the women.
Final standings across most categories look set to be contested right down to the fourth and final race of the series, on 19 May at Margam Park, which also features the Welsh Mountain Bike Championships. It means this weekend’s racing will be key, with several riders looking to remain prominent.
Race organiser and Welsh Cycling mountain bike coach Scott Bugden said: “We’re anticipating some good racing. Under 12’s could be the category to watch. It’s a challenging course for them, but one they’re bound to love with some close racing. The Vet races have been very exciting so far in the series, with big fields and some great rides. We’re very excited.”
The event includes Round 6 of the Project 2018 Race Series, reaching the half way point of the multi-discipline series. Ffion James, Abergavenny RC and Nicholas Jones, TRCC lead the Youth A categories of the Welsh Mountain Bike Series. Tomos Nesham, Cardiff JIF and Megan James, Abergavenny RC sit on top of the Youth B standings, but the titles are still up for grabs on the Fforest Fields course.
Racing starts at 9.30am for U12's, with youth, juvenile, female, vets, grand vet and sport male races starting from 11am. Junior, elite, expert and masters men all make up the afternoon racing at 1.30pm.
Entry for U12's is on the day. Junior and senior entries are online until Wednesday, and entry will be available on the day ranging from £12 - £25 depending on rider category.
The course, designed by Scott Bugden, alters again from last year but does feature some similar sections, with an exciting course in place for Under 8’s and Under 12’s and an alternative, more challenging course for the senior riders.
The senior course features two big climbs and two fun descents per lap, before passing through the race arena where crowds will be gathered to spur riders on.
“It’s a course that good all-rounders will do well on but “mountain goats” will definitely take time on the climbs,” explains Scott.
“Riders will need to dose their effort well because if they go too hard early on they will pay for it towards the end of the race.”
A 200-metre hard-standing start will give riders an opportunity to make a quick assault from the line, and avoid congestion.
Riders will make their way along a tricky cambered section through the trees, with the course offering more of a traditional, classic feel all-round – fast in places, fun in places and physically challenging in others.
Prizes for Under 16’s are provided by John Lloyd Racing and local Builth-Wells based cycle shop, Cycle-Tec who will also be on hand to keep everyone in gear with a top notch mechanical service.
All riders have the opportunity to win themselves a stay at Trawsfynydd Holiday Village for all the family, which offers five-star accommodation in traditional log cabins nestled at the foot of beautiful Snowdonia. Standings are still provisional, and the prize could still go to anyone from under-14 to Grand Vet.
For any riders in need of a boost, Scrumptious Catering will be on-site all day providing refreshments. An additional double feed zone in the race arena will keep riders and volunteers well-fuelled, and full race-day refreshments are available to buy in the race arena, from pasta dishes to bacon sandwiches and an assortment of cakes.
Parking is available onsite and full toilet facilities in the race arena.
Any riders and their families looking to make a weekend of activity in the heart of the country can make use of the nearby Fforest Fields campsite, which offers a quiet site in beautiful surroundings.
Prices are not included in the entry fee.