For the first time, the Scottish Cross Country (XC) Mountain Bike (MTB) Series will take place in Dunoon. We’ll see some of the best XC MTB riders battle it out in Round 2 on the May bank holiday weekend (1st May).
The 2016 Scottish Cross Country series will welcome another new addition to the calendar, this time it’s a trip Doon the Watter to Dunoon.
New venues are always an exciting prospect for both us as organisers and the racers. There’s new trails to discover and new event arenas to build up. I headed to Dunoon on a very wet and wild day in December to meet up with some locals and check out the planned race course.
As a Highlander myself, I was under the impression that Dunoon was some far-flung town in Argyll, however I was pleasantly surprised to discover after only forty minutes’ drive from Glasgow that a 20 minute ferry ride awaited me. I was greeted by the friendly locals and we made our way up the hill to the Forestry trails.
The course can only be described as classic cross-country mountain biking. It features epic climbs, technical, twisty singletrack descents and well thought out sections of firebreak paths for over taking. For those with the composure to life their heads will be blown away by the stunning scenery from all around the course, with breathtaking views across the Clyde. The course has a real sense of wilderness about it, while still being aligned to the shorter-lap Olympic XC format.
Personally, I loved the planned course for the race, the route is guaranteed to be exciting, challenging and a new experience for most racers. For newcomers there is a two-lap Taster race which is an introduction to XC racing – and tricky sections will have B-lines which are easier than the full features.
The SXC series is looking forwards to bringing XC racing back to Dunoon, an area which was a firm favourite for racers in mountain biking’s glory years in the 80s and 90s. The course promises to retain that old-skool feel, and is an exciting fixture on the Scottish XC calendar.