Mountain Biking Cross Country (MTB XC) is a summer sport with a typical season running from March through to late august, although some smaller regional leagues run through the winter to keep those that like mud happy.
The formation of the club was built around mountain biking and several of our earliest members came to the club with a background in both MTB racing & MTB promotion.
There are two significant regional series that attract a core of about 30-40 of our members who race regularly.
These include the Midlands XC series and Nutcracker XC series, and both promote 5 or 6 races each year.
Additionally there are standalone events promoted occasionally at Cannock Chase, and other trail centres. All of which attract a decent field of B&DCC riders across all categories, ages and genders.
The British Cycling National Series is well attended by our riders, and these events are usually held over a weekend, with the less competitive categories racing on the Saturday, leaving the Sunday for the faster riders while normal people can enjoy an afternoon’s spectating.
Most MTB races have a spread of categories ranging from the “Fun” category, suitable for even first timers through to Open, Sport, Expert and Elite categories in order of competitiveness.
B&DCC has a spread of riders across these categories and across all the age group categories too.
Many races also include Fat bike and Singlespeed categories within the main races, and several nutters from the club feel inclined to punish themselves with this additional level of attrition.
Lastly, the pinnacle of challenges includes the 12 hour and 24 hour races, such as Torq24 or its superdaddy Mountain Mayhem. The object of these races is to complete as many laps as possible in the timescale. It is entirely your choice if you decide to sleep or not. These challenges can be taken on as part of a team, or if you’re really unhinged as a solo rider!
B&DCC’s first MTB promotion dates back to 2010, with a round of the Local Friday night series at Hardwick Hall and with the club assisting the promotion of the Midlands XC race at the epic course at Birch Hall, Dronfield.
As the years progressed the scale of events at Birch Hall grew, but with the ever looming prospect that the venue would be temporarily lost as development of the long promised Peak Resort kicked off.
In 2015 the clubs Midlands XC promotion shifted to Eckington Woods, a spiritual home for many local riders and a key venue where Steve Peat cut his MTB teeth with the BATS MTB club in the 90’s.
Like many of our host venues, Eckington suffers badly in wet weather, and sections of the course that we spent hours and hours grooming became unrideable on race day. We continue our search for the ideal local MTB venue (including discussions with various Local Authorities on developing our own).
You can see some videos online from some of our past Midlands XC promotions:
B&DCC’s MTB race performance covers all abilities and ages. There are some exceptionally talented riders in the club, many of which will happily share their experiences with people looking to try the sport.
B&DCC tries its best to nurture young riders , through our Go-Ride programme for those just trying out the sport through the first time, and through our ongoing ambition to formalise an “academy” where the coaches will help young riders develop the skills to compete at a higher level.
We have several MTB specific coaches available to work with riders (usually for a small monthly fee) and this is often the secret in turning your performances from “dabbling” to “dangerous”. Some coaches have an insight weighted towards fitness, while others are more orientated towards skills coaching.
Jim Sutherland – MTB Secretary
Jim is an experienced MTB and CX rider and racer, he’s organised countless club rides and is an invaluable contributor to the MTB and CX scene at B&DCC.
Pete Steed – MTB Captain
Pete is a veteran of the 24 hour MTB scene, with many podiums as both a team members and as a solo rider.
He is constantly pushed to improve by his younger brother Dave, and his entire family are some of the most vocal supporters of the B&DCC MTB crew to be found at any races
Mick Fairest – Level 2 MTB coach & BC Club Coach
Mick has been racing Mountain bikes since the boom in the sport arrived in the 1990’s, with a National Championship jersey on his wall and has coached many rising stars of the local MTB scene including Annie and Tom Last.
Graham Whiting – Level 2 MTB Coach
Graham is an ex semi-pro road racer, ex British National squad rider and an ex regional BAR Time Trial champion. Despite being 65 years old, he still races regularly in the Super Veteran category, and has taken several podiums His recent MTB Palmares includes XX in the National Series.
Graham coaches many of our current mountain bikers, most notably the current National Vet Womens Champion Maddi Smith.
Graham’s son, Alex Whiting, has progressed to Expert level in a few short years under his guidance. Graham is able to supplement his coaching with extensive yoga tutoring.
Andy Hampshire – Level 2 MTB Coach (training to Level 3)
Andy has only been riding MTBs for a few years, but has more enthusiasm than most for both riding and coaching.
He has competed in the Midlands and National XC series as well as the Dusk till Dawn 12hr & MTB Marathon events series.
In keeping up to date with the fast pace and variety of MTB disciplines Andy is also a very keen and capable ‘Enduro’ rider too.
He is currently in the final stages of his Level 3 Coaching Qualification which will enable him to help all B&DCC members develop their riding/race skills and performance.