The Premier Series returns this Saturday for the start of the XC racing season proper, in the first of five fantastic weekends of mountain biking at the best venues that the UK has to offer.
The National Points Series XC rolls into Sherwood Pines on May 6, with a seven mile lap flat-out lap through tree lined singletrack, some new climbs and super fast fire roads designed by current Youth NPS champ David Fletcher.
For many of the Commonwealth Games heroes this will be their first race on home soil since that majestic one-two. A tanned Oli Beckingsale will doubtless be heading up the Elite field, followed by Si Richardson, Steve Roach, Garath Montgomerie, Rab Wardell and James Ouchterlony, with Phil Dixon, Nick Craig and Phil Spencer returning from his World Cup adventure to race on his home circuit.
In the women’s Elite race there will be the long-overdue comeback of Sue Thomas. With injury problems behind her, Sue will be hoping to mix it up with Jenny Copnall and Jenn O’Connor in what promises to be a compelling battle for the podium places.
There's plenty more to do besides watch (or compete in) the elite cross-country. Kids race for free, A Quick Release bike holidays will be holding a tyre changing competition with the chance to win goody bags, as well as product demos from Trek, Climb on Bikes, Extreme Endurance, Giant, Massi, Raleigh, Scott, XCracer.com, Voodoo and Science in Sport and Torq energy products.
Post race you can kick back and enjoy the UK premiere of award-winning film Off Road to Athens, a documentary about US riders on a quest for UCI points and a place at the 2004 Olympic XC.