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1  - 29 March 2017 08:05

I’m not sure how active this forum is nowadays, as it seems our minority sport (XC racing, not MTBing as a whole) doesn’t attract too many followers, so will anyone read this?
Anyway, I’m going to air my opinion and voice disappointment in the new race day schedule for the Southern XC series; I enjoy the competitive challenge of riding ‘against’ other racers of a similar fitness to myself, but as I also enjoy other individual and team sports, there is no time to train as I once did when the entire Spring, Summer and Autumn was about MTB racing (ah for those extended uni holidays!). This means that the Open category is just about perfect for me. In my experience (20 years, NPS, SAMS, NEMBA….) the age group and the more competitive categories will travel any distance to a race and start at any given time because racing is ‘the thing they do’. They are committed to their racing and it’s a priority for them.
The social/occasional racer will only travel if it’s convenient. Living in Somerset, the Midlands Series (believe it or not!) has now become more convenient since the Southern start time for Open & Sport has been changed to 0945. The closest rounds to me are Crow Hill and Matterley, and even then I’m not going to get up at 0600 to travel 2 hours and arrive at the venue with just enough time to sign on and put the bike together; and I’m certainly not going to add to the expense by paying for overnight accommodation, meals etc. The early starts are the territory of all those younger riders I see nowadays at venues with full family tech team and support vehicle (i.e. mobile home). It is their raison d’etre. Unfortunately this is just another change that is likely to put off those riders who just enjoy the odd race now and again.

Last edited by macforrest (30 March 2017 12:56)

2  - 29 March 2017 12:51

Alas someone/category has to start the days racing and as much as early starts do not suit you they do suit others, which allows them to get the race done and be back at home with their families or allow them the rest of the day to do other things. There is always the opportunity to race in the age categories races later in the day depending on what age you are. Yes there are some fit riders in the age categories but at least you can still race.IMO if you look at the times of the winners in the various categories it would be better to have categories based on speed not age and then the races would be more competitive with the best riders riding the most laps and all the categories racing against each other,

3  - 29 March 2017 16:39

XC racing in the South of England is our life blood here at Gorrick and, to facilitate racing for all sorts of riders we offer lots of different categories and start times.  Our events have the young and Expert/Sport ability categories plus the Fun (for those who need to get home early) starting from 9am.  This leaves the older categories mid morning and then finally the Open category at 12.30 for those who have to travel or like a lie in.  Full details are at

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