The 2024 National Downhill Series and championships can today be revealed, with the national championships to return to Rhyd y Felin, while Fort William will return as the crown jewel in the series calendar after resounding success as host of the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships.
The National Downhill Series will continue to be supported by Gravity Events, the Scottish Downhill Association and Borderline event organisers, who have worked alongside British Cycling to deliver another fantastic calendar of racing.
A staple on the calendar with its infamous ‘Star Wars’ section, Rheola in Wales kicks off the series once again over the weekend of 13-14 April. The round will double up as a UCI C2 event, so spectators can expect a stellar line up.
Riders will then travel to the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships venue in Fort William, Scotland, which saw Charlie Hatton rock the slopes to win the rainbow stripes in August, three months after taking a podium with Laurie Greenland in the British event. Nestled at the foot of Ben Nevis, this will also be a UCI C1 event and will take place on 25-26 May. Prior to hosting the national downhill event, Fort William has also been selected as the venue for the opening downhill round in the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup Series on 3-5 May.
The third round of the National Downhill Series will see riders tackle the course at Antur Stiniog bike park over 22-23 June. The round will also be a UCI C2 class, with riders ready to do battle in the mountains of North Wales. Glencoe Mountain Resort in Scotland will host round four across 3-4 August, with many riders having experienced the new sections of the track added in 2023, thanks to the Scottish Downhill Association.
The final round of the series will head back to Wales at Rhyd y Felin on 14-15 September, on one of the longest and fastest tracks in the country. The venue will also host the National Downhill Championships on 20-21 July, using a different course to offer variety to the riders. Having also hosted the 2023 nationals, the track is a rider and fan favourite and saw Matt Walker retain his title at this year’s event, whilst Hattie Harnden showed her skill to take the coveted red, white and blue jersey.
Having also been crowned the overall series winner, Harnden said:
“It was a surprise to take the National Downhill Series overall! It was great to see so many people at them, all enjoying bikes. My favourite course was Fort William, a venue I have wanted to race for years. I’m looking forward to racing more of the series next year, between some world cups.”
The men’s overall winner, Taylor Vernon, added:
“The national series has always been a staple ingredient of my pre-season preparation and I’m really happy to finally add this title to my list of achievements. It’s encouraging to see so many talented young racers and the ever-growing number of juvenile, youth and juniors is impressive. Thank you to all the race organisers, officials and every volunteer that makes it happen.”
British Cycling’s Sports and Participation Director, Jonathan Day, said:
“Once again, our national downhill calendar is packed with popular courses for both riders and the spectators alike, in some of the most picturesque parts of Wales and Scotland.
"We're particularly pleased to be hosting another national series round in Fort William after the thrilling success of the British squad at this year's UCI Cycling World Championships, in addition to the UCI World Cup Series event taking place at the same venue earlier in the month."
National Downhill Series
Round 1: Rheola, Wales – 13-14 April
Round 2: Fort William, Scotland – 25-26 May
Round 3: Antur Stiniog, Wales – 22-23 June
Round 4: Glencoe, Scotland – 3-4 August
Round 5: Rhyd y Felin, Wales – 14-15 September
National Downhill Championships
Rhyd y Felin, Wales – 20-21 July
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup Series
Fort William, Scotland – 3-5 May