Cyclo-Cross riders still have time to get their entries in for the UK National Trophy series.
Abergavenny will once again host the opening round, on Sunday 14 October, attracting some of Britain’s premier riders to the town.
Entry is via the British Cycling online calendar and close on Tuesday, 2 October.
It’s the sixth successive year Wales has played host to the inaugural round of the series, a highlight of the premier cycle calendar which is set to attract around 300 of Britain’s best riders.
The 2011 series featured a raft of international riders including Belgian visitor Kenneth van Compernolle, and with some of Britain’s most talented elite riders gearing up to showcase their talent alongside them this year, the opening event promises plenty of excitement.
It includes UK National Cyclo-Cross champion, Ian Field, who will be keen to continue his string of success ahead of January’s UK National Championships in Bradford.
The world’s elite will not be the only riders taking part. A series of races will also take place for younger riders, with beginner racing and categories for female and veteran athletes all showcased.
Ian Jenkins, race organiser, describes the opening round as one of the most action-packed races of the series:
“It’s going to be the feather in the cap of the Wales calendar. We have such an incredibly strong domestic cyclo-cross league in Wales, and it’s fantastic to see another national level competition come to Wales this year.
“Some of the most technically adept riders in the world are going to be at this event.
“The highlight of the day will of course be the elite competition, but we’re particularly looking forward to seeing the next generation of young riders travel here to compete at the highest level.”
Dozens of spectators are again expected to line the course, which was previously home to the National Cyclo-Cross Championships in 2005 and has been designed by Graham Edwards to challenge riders.
The 2km circuit makes full use of the banks and slopes of nearby Abergavenny Leisure Centre, and with several exciting hurdles along the route, athletes will need to remain nimble on their feet and prepare to sprint to remain in contention.
Highlights this year include an exciting change to the start and finish straight at the suggestion of both riders and the UCI.
The re-designed section will revert to the format used at the 2005 National Cyclo-Cross Championships, with a fast tarmac sprint for the final 150 metres, guaranteed to have riders racing for the line.
Abergavenny is the first of six events which form the UK National Trophy Series. Riders must compete at further rounds in Ipswich, Southampton, South Shields, Shrewsbury and Derby, to be crowned victor of the overall series.
Entry for all six rounds of the Trophy Series, at a discounted price equivalent to one race free is also available. All entrants must be full BC licence holders; a provisional licence is not valid for these races.