Atherton and Carpenter among favorites for British Downhill Series

Former elite downhill world champion Rachel Atherton and junior downhill world champion Manon Carpenter will do battle at this weekend's opening round of the British Downhill Series in Combe Sydenham.

The elite men's field is also stacked with many top riders from the World Cup. Last year's series winner and new kid on the block Alex Bond will be trying to upset the old guard. That won't be easy against Steve Peat, Marc Beaumont, Josh Bryceland, Brendan Fairclough and Matti Lehoikenen.

In total, 330 of the fastest gravity racers from the United Kingdom, along with a sprinkling of foreign riders, will be competing.

The course has been totally re-vamped from top to bottom as the trail fairies have been super busy over the winter. The middle field section features a 32-foot long step down into a selection of man-made jumps that will please crowds and Danny Hart "whip" imitators.

Combe Sydenham country park is situated on the eastern edge of the Exmoor National Park. The venue was used from 2002 to 2004 for the National Points Series (NPS).

Both seeding and finals will happen on Sunday, April 15.

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