Got room in your diary for another MTB event? Of course you have. If 19/20 August 2006 is still vacant in your busy riding schedule, consider pencilling in the ProCup MTB Grand Prix taking place near Alton, Hampshire on that very weekend.
It's a three-stage race weekend across two days. First up is the "XC+" stage. It's essentially a conventional XC race but with a couple of tweaks. First, there'll be a pit area for mid-race fettling, should you need it. And second (and most interestingly) there'll be a bonus timed section in the course. As well as your overall race time, the final section of singletrack will be timed separately for each rider, with both times contributing to your overall position at the end of the weekend.
The second stage is a short-track XC team relay. Held on a 400m lap and with team members doing a lap each, it should be fast and furious. It'll be a multi-round knockout competition, so if you win you'll need to win again a few minutes later - best work on your recovery...
Finally, Sunday will see a four-hour (or two, for some categories) enduro over an extended version of the XC course. The idea is that you get a team of four together and race all the events for the team title, but individuals can pick and mix if they so wish. There'll be racing for all the usual categories, including a special Under 10s race on Saturday evening.
Saturday evening will also see a live band performing in the main marquee and all the usual MTB weekend shenanigans. The organisers are also planning to include a "Riders' Lounge" where anyone not currently racing can relax and watch the action.
It all sounds pretty promising - keep an eye on www.pro-cup.com for entry forms and updates.