Margam Parks sprawling estate grounds will welcome over 1,000 racers to the beautiful surrounds of South Wales for round three of the Trek British Mountain Bike Series, June 2-3.
The stage is set for a tough race with the climbers hoping to make their mark on a series, which for the opening two rounds has seen flat courses and close racing. At Margam expect the current formbook to be re-written and a host of new names at the sharp end of the action.
Saturday is the cross country, where the lap course will be similar to the 2006 race, with granny ring climbs, river crossings and a stunning descent back down to the arena sure to be a crowd pleaser.
After tasting defeat at Sherwood Pines, National Champion Oli Beckingsale will start as the favourite on a course sure to suit him more than the previous two rounds. Expect to see him locked in battle with South African Burry Stander, Ian Bibby, and Simon Richardson who is coming back strong in 2007. Local racer Anthony O'Boyle also has his home trail earmarked for a strong result on his birthday weekend.
Rosara Joseph will be hoping to claim her first UK win after being runner-up at rounds one and two, and it will be interesting to see how Jenny Copnall fares in the hills as she continues to face her toughest domestic campaign yet. Kate Potter will have hopefully recovered from illness to return fully race fit, with Jenn O'Connor looking to open her podium account with new sponsors.
Sunday, racers will contest the Trek Marathon with the usual options of 100, 50 or 25km. Camping is free, with showers are onsite. For more info, see www.xcracer.com.