After the demise of the British Downhill Series at the end of 2017, we wondered if that really was the end of downhill racing as we knew it. But even as enduro fever gets stronger every day, the launch of the HSBC British Cycling National Downhill Series proves there is still a love for pure gravity fed, adrenaline filled DH racing on some great UK tracks.
The first round of the all-new 2018 HSBC British Cycling National Downhill Series is just around the corner, taking place at Cwmcarn, South Wales on 7-8th April 2018. The race marks the start of a brand new series which replaces the old British Downhill Series and is run by three experienced event organisers. Round 1 is being organised by the Welsh Gravity Enduro team.
It has been over a decade since national downhill visited Cwmcarn, won previously by Gee Atherton. The track has seen plenty of improvements since then including newly shaped jumps to please the crowds in the bottom section. Whatever the weather, Cwmcarn promises a great weekend of high speed and technical racing. Cwmcarn is a favourite trail centre of ours here at off.road.cc and we'll be there to do a couple of laps of the trails before settling down trackside to watch the DH action!
The race track will be approximately 1.9km long with a vertical drop of 250m. Cwmdown, the official uplift service at Cwmcarn and Pearce Cycles will provide the uplift services to guarantee plenty of riding for anyone on track.
Entries for the event are now closed but with numbers nearing full capacity, it's sure to be a great spectator event. We've had a sneaky look at the race entry list and there are big names there including the Athertons, Danny Hart, Adam Brayton, Katy Curd and Tahnee Seagrave.
Need to know info
Spectators are very welcome at the event, with a £5 charge per car to enter the venue, there is strictly no parking at the visitor centre.
The event village will guarantee a good show for racers and spectators alike. It will host the tech and team pits, bike wash and toilets and is based alongside the track’s finish line. It’s the ideal place to meet the racers, rub shoulders with some downhill legends and watch the action. Catering will be provided by Brian from “Drink Up” who will be onsite from Friday-Sunday.
There are showers and alternative cafe facilities on site at the visitor centre which are open from 9am till 5pm.
Friday 6th April.
08:00-23:00 Venue open (Pit/Camping spaces allocated via pre-booking only)
16:00-17:30 Commissaire course walk / inspection
18:00 Course open for on-foot inspection
15:00-18:00 Registration office open
23:00 Venue closed – no access. Security on site from 20:00
Saturday 7th April.
07:00 Venue open. Course open for on-foot inspection
07:30-09:30 Registration office opens
09:00 1st Uplift
09:30 Training – all categories EXCLUDING Elite / Expert
10:30 Training – all categories
15:00 Full runs only
17:00 Training – Expert / Elite and top 5 ranked Juniors
17:30 Last uplift
18:00 Course closed
18:15 Riders / Managers meeting
18:30 Course open for on-foot inspection
23:00 Venue closed. Security on site from 20:00
Sunday 8th April.
07:00 Venue open
08:15 1st uplift
08:30 Training – All categories, full runs only
10:45-11:00 Training – ELITE only
11:15 Seeding runs
14:00 Race runs
17:00 Presentation – top 5 each class
19:00 Venue closed and cleared.
Getting to Cwmcarn by Car:
From junction 28 of the M4, follow the A467 heading north. You should see a sign for Cwmcarn Forest Drive at one of the roundabouts, turn right here, then after 150 yards or so, you’ll see another sign to turn left. Go up the lane over all the speed bumps, you can either pull into the main car park on the right.
For those of you using sat-nav, use NP11 7FA, this will take you close to the visitor centre, but some Satnavs will lead you to a side street just around the corner. Cwmcarn Forest Drive is well sign posted, so once you get close, just follow the signs.
You can catch a train from Cardiff platform zero to Crosskeys, this is just around the corner from Cwmcarn, about 4-5 minutes on your bike.
You can find out more about Round 1 of the National Downhill Series at - www.welshgravityenduro.com
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