This Saturday sees Round 4 of the Midlands XC Series at highly lauded venue Eckington Woods which many have described as their favorite course of the series. The event also doubles as the Regional Champs with Midland based riders vying for championship medals and a decent haul of National ranking points. Its a hilly course located between Chesterfield and Sheffield with hardly any flat sections which will reward good all rounders with plenty of climbing power and decent handling skills.

In a change from previous rounds and after consultation with regular female racers all Elite, Expert, Sport and Open Female riders will now race in the afternoon. Also to note is that contrary to information on the British Cycling; camping is not available at this venue! A couple of special additions for the Championship event are the inclusion of singlespeed categories and a team race to conclude the day's action.

Mids start

Here is the crucial information on race day timings:-
09:00    Registration opens / Course open for practice
10:15    Gridding for Race 1
10:15    Course closed for practice
10:30    Race 1: Super Vet / Grand Vet / Veteran / Youth / Juvenile / Fun Male / Super Vet / Grand Vet / Veteran / Junior / Youth / Juvenile / Fun / Singlespeed Female
12:00    Course re-opens for practice
12:30    Presentation for Race 1 - All categories
12:45    Gridding for Race 2
13:00   Race 2 (Part 1): Under 12's
13:20   Race 2 (Part 2): Under 10's & Under 8's
14:00   Presentation for Race 2 - All categories
14:15    Registration closes / Course closed for practice
14:15    Gridding for Race 3
14:30    Race 3: Elite / Expert / Junior / Sport / Singlespeed / Open Male / Elite / Expert / Sport / Open Female
16:30    Team Relay
16:45    Presentation for Race 3

Torq are providing prizes for the Fun category while Mt Zoom are sponsors of the fastest female lap competition and the Junior category. Cash prizes will reward success for the Experts and Elites!

Entry on the day is available for all categories with event parking and toilets located in Eckington School, Dronfield Road, Eckington, Derbyshire S21 4GN.

Mids eckington
In the Elite Men's race defending Champion Giles Drake will have his hands full fending off challenges from in form David Fletcher and Alex Welburn while fellow returning champ Jules Toone is favourite in the Women's event. Other picks include top ranked Expert Ben Wadey, multiple National XC podiumist Cameron Orr in the Juniors, Liz Clayton in the Grand Vets and Matt Barrett in the Vets.