International K-Capital MTB XCO Series

Tomorrow (Sunday), round two of the International K-Capital MTB XCO Series will be held in Moneyscalp Forest near Newcastle in County Down. The event will be promoted by Banbridge Cycling Club.

Round one of the series in Bray at Kilruddery Estate attracted a record 263 entries.

Better known as a Downhill venue, Moneyscalp’s MTB trails where born in 1994 with the Forest Service providing a venue for the growing sport of MTB.

Round 2 is looking good but, due to other commitments the BCF Squad, who enjoyed the trip to Bray are unable to make the trip because of other committments.

However their place has been taken by top Belgian MTB Squad, Team Barracuda. Leading the team is Patrick Gaudy, 8th ranked Elite rider in Belgium. He is joined by Cedric Gaudy, winner of the prestigious Wallonia Cup in 2007. The youngest member of the team is Jorgen Flion, 6th ranked U-23 Belgian MTB rider. The presence of the Belgian squad will certainly bring a truly international flavour to the event.

The entry also includes Welsh rider Lee Williams who produced a superb ride in round one to pace himself to third place. Adrian Lansley (Pedalon) is a great supporter of Irish MTB and he makes the trip to Moneyscalp after securing 5th place in round one. Another exciting entry is that of Paul Beale of Team Orange Monkey, Paul will be making his Irish debut.

For the Irish Elite riders this will be another chance to pit their talents against strong visiting opposition. Robin Seymour (Team WORC), Niall Davis (IMBRC) and Conor McConvey (McConvey Cycles) are bracing themselves for the ‘race to Beijing’, the trio are chasing the Irish MTB ride at the 2008 Olympics. In round one Robin finished second to British Champion Oli Beckingsale while Niall finished sixth. Conor was forced to miss the first round after sustaining a broken shoulder in an accident, though he finished a brilliant second in a road race last Saturday. The rider who scores the most points over the first three K-Cap races gets the Irish ride at the Olympics.

The Moneyscalp course measures roughly 5km in length and will approximately take 22 minutes per lap. The competitors will have six laps to negoiate.

The start line will be situated at the bottom of the main Moneyscalp fire road climb. From the start the course goes uphill, passed the finish line and feed/tech zones, after 500m the course turns right into a descent that provides the riders with their first section of single track. On the exit from this loop the course rejoins the fire road for a gentle climb to a smaller single track loop which veers off to the left then crosses the fire road to the right for another fast single track loop. Exiting this loop the course rejoins the fire road climb with the riders reaching the top of the climb and the open expanses of the harvested section of Moneyscalp Wood.

Sign on will be located at the main gate with toilets also provided. Car Parking is not permitted on the road for safety reasons however the organisers gave hired a field for parking. This is located just up the road from the main entrance to the Forest and just across the road from the main entry to Tory Bush Holiday Cottages. Please be aware that the Circuit of Ireland Rally will be based in the Newcastle area over the weekend so it is advisable to plan your route to Moneyscalp avoiding both Newcastle and Castlewellan.

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