Mountain Bike Australia (MTBA) is assuming full management responsibilities for the Australian National Series for the upcoming 2009-2010 series. MTBA was previously only involved at a race level; it will now look after all details that turn a race into an event.
"The National Series is the premier race circuit for Australia's aspiring international riders to come and test themselves against Australia's best. While the racing in the previous series was widely acclaimed as the best yet, the glitz that surrounds the series needs to reflect the importance of National-level racing with a consistent 'look and feel'," said Tony Scott, MTBA's Executive Director.
"Our aim in this shift in delivery for the National Series is to bring all the shiny things that add to everyone's experience at the race - the things that turn a race into an event - to each and every round in a consistent fashion. MTBA is in the best position to do this while still offering a financial incentive to the hosting venue."
MTBA is also adding an enduro series to the program while re-focusing on the Olympic cross country for the elite, under 23 and under 19 riders and fostering participation in the under 17s.
"Downhill, which has been the jewel of Australian mountain bike racing, will largely remain the same with some small changes being planned - but nothing too radical," said Scott.
"While there will still be a focus on venues that can provide for both cross country and downhill (and four cross), the new look series will allow for single cross country or downhill."
The MTBA Management Committee approved the change at a meeting last weekend. It will soon issue documents for potential event hosts to indicate their interest in participating in the series. It will also be looking to fill the role of Event Manager to ensure the delivery of the new look and feel of the series.