All eyes were on Dalby Forest as a couple of hundred international riders arrived for the opening round of the UCI World Cup.
The first round of the XC World Cup was won by Nino Schurter (SUI), with Julien Absalon (FRA) and Burry Stander (RSA) filling out the remaining podium spots. Best-placed Brit was Oli Beckingsale in 37th and returning to competition Liam Killeen placed 50th.
In the women’s race Irina Kalentieva (RUS) took the win ahead of Willow Koerber (US) and Katerina Nash (CZE). Representing Britain and finishing a respectable 19th was Annie Last.
While British riders failed to finish high up the field in the elite races, in the Junior World Cup there was considerable success. Steven James put in a cracking ride to finish third behind winner Michiel Van Der Heijden (NED) and Jens Schuermans (BEL), with less than two minutes covering the top four.
There was more to celebrate as Kenta Gallagher, Luke Gray and Grant Ferguson finished 13th, 19th and 23rd respectively. The future of British World Cup XC racing looks bright then.
And finally, in the women Juniors race won by Lisa Mitterbauer (AUT), Katy Winton was the highest placed Brit in 5th.
Full report and photos soon…