Following the success of the Hope XC Race Series in 2010, the organisers are putting on four events through this year with the racing kicking off on the 5 June, followed with 24 July, 21 August and 2nd October.
Following the same format as last year aimed at welcoming people of all fitness and ability levels, the unique two course layout running in parallel makes the event accessible to beginners and experienced riders alike.
The organisers, who describe themselves “nine blokes and one girl in a pub” are keen to attract riders of all abilities to the events create a welcoming atmosphere for the first-timers through to keeping the racing whippet straight from the BMBS on their toes.
Says Series Director Paul McKeoen: “We offer something for everyone, we know the elite will go out and race fast and hard, the Weekend Warriors will be more of a spread with some loving the technical downhill sections more than the up’s. It’s the Have-a-goes and the kids we really try and look after, we want everyone to think they can try racing. Watch out for a very special coaching offer to get you set up for 2011.”
“What we are also working hard on,” he continues, “is getting women’s racing off the ground, in 2010 we had prize parity with the men’s categories which is unique for the quality of prize list we have. We know that they have got the legs and there is plenty of talent out there we now want to build on that and get sustainable numbers to build for the future supported by the generous sponsorship from Hope and others and get to parity in numbers if at all possible.”
Lee Quarry will once again be the venue for the event, and currently Course Directors Chris Smith and Neil White are spending every spare minute fine tuning the courses. No strangers to competing in and organising mountain bike races, Chris and Neil former NPS downhillers– who are key members of the team are excited about the prospects for the series.
“I can’t wait.” states Neil. “The new 2011 investment by Lancashire County Council within the quarry opens lots of new course options and enables us to keep varyng the challenge.”
“We look for a mixture of trails but can promise very little mud, only the odd tree and next to no grass! We vary the balance each race; some are fast, some are more technical, and different areas within the quarry are focused on at each race. We’ve done our best to gather the best of the quarry trails official and “off piste” to mould into each course.”
Lee Quarry is a compact site where spectators can see the racing at many places during the event. They don’t have to stand with a bottle, an energy bar and a spare set of wheels as the organisers operate a “back to basic’s” policy.
All events in the series follow a common timetable:
- 08:00: Registration and Sign-on opens
- 09:15: Course opens for practice
- 10:00: Racer, Racing Diva, and Weekend Warrior start
- 10:20: Have-a-go start
- 10:40: Lads and Lasses start
- 11:30: (ish) last lap given, racing complete by 12:00
- 12:30: Prize giving starts with the spot prizes followed by the main categories
More info and enter now at www.brownbacksracing.co.uk