Whilst some riders are getting in trail time on xc skis,  others have already started the endurance racing season at one of a number of stage races in sunnier climates. The choice of races is steadily growing. Depending on how far a field you want to go there are currently 4 options in January to kick start the legs; the well established Club La Santa 4 stage race (see Endurance Editor Scott's reports), the Costa Blanca 4 day stage race based from Benidorm, the Pioneer in NZ a new 7 stage race or the 6 day TransAndies in Patagonia. Too early? How about the  6 day Transcape in SA from Knysna to Franschloek in early February and one of our personal favourites, the 6 day Andalucia Bike Race in Spain towards the end of the month. Too late for these (next year perhaps?), but here are a couple of well priced favourites which are worth a look.

May 13-15th is the BeMC, a 3 day race in the heart of the Ardennes forest. Don't be fooled by being in Belgium, there is a heap of climbing, 7700m in total! With a mixture of forest singletrack and trails and some challenging climbing and descending, It's a great, but tough course, just what a race should be. It is inexpensive to enter (175euro), it is UCI ranked if chasing points and it is a relatively short and straight forward drive from the UK.


BeMC 2015 trailer from BeMC on Vimeo.

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Want something longer? In July the Sudety Challenge offers 6 days (Prologue + 5 days) of racing through the forests along the borders of Poland and the Czech Republic. The trails here are spectacular, from fast and open to challenging climbs and descending. As it is 6 days there are other well priced services: Bike servicing, massage and race nutrition. Entry is well priced too, with good accommodation packages (choose between the race camp or hotels) and just a short flight from the UK.


MTB CHALLENGE_TRAILER 2015 from BURG PRODUCTION on Vimeo.

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We'll feature some more good value stage races for you to check out, and some of the more exotic ones too if you are feeling a little more adventurous! Fancy Australia? The Crocodile Trophy is a unique experience in the Northern Territories.