The kick off for the 2005 Scottish Cross Country Mountain Bike Race Series is set for a return to the Glentress Forest on April 3, 2005. Once again this year, the SXC series will comprise seven races with the fourth race at Contin, by Inverness, doubling as the Scottish Championships.
The venues are spread all round Scotland from Dalbeattie in the South to Fort William in the North, a new venue at Kelburn Park, Ayrshire in the West and a return to Aviemore. This year, top racers hope to catch the eye for inclusion in the Scottish Commonwealth Games squad. It was a source of disappointment that the Scottish team for the last Games did not include a senior man even though the Games were in Manchester. The first three in last year's men championships, James Ochterlonie, James Fraser-Moodie and Robert Wardell are likely contenders with several other riders also capable of making a challenge.
Caroline Alexander represented Scottish women in Manchester and after starting as favourite and building a considerable lead she unfortunately punctured, forcing her to give up. She has since retired from the sport and the mantle of leading Scottish women now rests with Ruth McGavigan.
The full SXC series race programme is:
XC-1 - April 4, Glentress near Peebles
XC-2 - May 1, Fort William
XC-3 - May 29, Dalbeattie
XC-4 - June 26, Contin Championships near Inverness
XC-5 - August 7, Kelburn Country Park near Glasgow
XC-6 - August 28, Drumlanrig near Dumfries
XC-7 - September 25, Aviemore
The schedule for each race includes all the usual race categories through age groupings as well as the Senior Elite races, the Schools race programme and fun races for beginners. This year there is a discount scheme available for early entry and a special offer of entry to all seven races in advance for the cost of six races.
Full details and downloadable entry forms can be obtained at www.sxc.org.uk