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1  - 20 November 2018 14:43

Is XC racing continuing to become a MTB niche? A number of opinions have been blogged on UKXCNews, some suggesting the situation isn’t as bad as it looks, but just in the last 4 years entries for the Gorrick Autumn Classic ‘Open’ category (raced at the weekend, great course even on a 26” hardtail, big thumbs up again to Gorrick) have dropped from 65 (2014) to just 12!! For a second year the National Series will only deviate from the eastern side of the country for a dip into Wales.
Most posts on the XC Racer forum are ‘for sale’ items.
I would post my thoughts on why this is, but it doesn’t look like too many people visit the site anymore….

Last edited by macforrest (20 November 2018 14:44)

2  - 21 November 2018 22:16

Hi Mac, I've come back to XC racing after a mere 25 year break, when I raced back in 1988-1992 there were fewer events compared to today but they were amazingly well attended compared to today's, but considering how the sport has changed since then I'm not really surprised. There are probably more people riding MTB's now, but they're spread across lots of disciplines such as enduro and downhill, and easy access to trail centres mean people are just as likely to ride for fun rather than compete. My rose tinted glasses were firmly rooted when I first returned three years ago, I was dismayed by the lack of atmosphere and number of riders at races I went to, but since then I've become more realistic and realise that only the strongest race series survive and Wilfs Cafe is no more. I'll be sticking to the Nationals, Midlands and maybe try the Welsh series next year. Providing that is, I don't increase my red wine habit and fail to get some quality miles in, or Brexit makes the price of my newly sourced beauty from Europe cost more than my the limit of my credit card allows.

3  - 30 November 2018 10:47

or is it?

From Pink Bike:
"The 2018 cross-country World Cup series attracted more viewers than downhill for the first time ever. Red Bull saw a rise in viewership of 50% across all live mountain bike broadcasts in 2018, but cross-country benefited the most, gaining the most overall viewers." … Z9a0DNTrFE

4  - 6 December 2018 16:33

Yes it is a strange thing. Odd that some parts of XC seem to be thriving. Thousands take part in the Hero long distance XC race in the Dolomites each June & it seems to be growing every year. Still decent numbers for the 24 & 12 hour cross-country races like the one in Newnham Park in Devon. And a lot of the people I used to race XC with in the 90s seem to have switched to Cyclocross (me included). I think the trend towards making XC courses technically harder hasn't helped. People want to race not be worried about ending up in A&E & not getting to work on Monday.
However in the last couple of years I'm seeing a bit of a change. Quite a few hard-core roadies in my local cycling club seem to have acquired mountain bikes recently. Maybe a revival of some kind is on the way or could just be a few people I happen to know...

Last edited by bentisdall (6 December 2018 16:35)

5  - 13 December 2018 16:03

I ride with a former nat. champion and her comments are very much along the lines of the newer courses don't help. CX you can have a laugh and not worry about ending in A&E.

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