Checkendon now has a bridge, allowing a figure-of-eight course (Pic: Paul Sheppard)
It’s time for the Southern XC Series to get going, with the first round this weekend (23 April) at Checkendon in Oxfordshire. There’s another four rounds after that, spread across a healthy part of the south of England.
Checkendon is run by local club Reading All Terrain, and the guys there have been working hard on the trails. New for 2006 is a bridge allowing one stretch of trail to cross over another – this lets races run on a figure-of-eight circuit. First Gear Cycles will be on hand for last-minute spares, there’ll be pre- or post-race massages available from AW Cycles’s team masseur Jason Smith, a race photographer and of course the essential food trailer.
There looks like being plenty of variety in the rest of the series. The second round is at East Grinstead, on an improved longer course with some great new singletrack. Round 3 will be a trip down memory lane – it’s at Crow Hill in the New Forest, which we have fond memories of from, er, too many years ago to mention. Round 4 is at Bordon, with lots of swoopy singletrack and tough little climbs, a fast exciting course. And then it’s the final at Yateley Heath Wood, well-used for Gorrick races and a popular venue.
Those dates in full:
- Round 1 Sunday 23 April Checkendon (RAT MBC)
- Round 2 Sunday 14 May East Grinstead (Team Darenth)
- Round 3 Sunday 18 June Crow Hill (Team Southern XC)
- Round 4 Sunday 30 July Bordon (West Drayton MBC)
- Round 5 Sunday 3 September Yateley Heath Wood (Gorrick MBC)
More details, entry forms and stuff at www.southernxc.com.