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Cathkin Braes Race Preview

With just over a week to go until Round 1 of the 2017 SXC series opener the new committee is looking forward to welcoming you all to Cathkin Braes on the 26th March.

Since Cathkin hosted the 2014 Commonwealth Games in 2014 it’s become a stalwart of not just the Scottish racing scene, but also a regular on the British XC series and also multiple British National Championships. It's also going to be the venue for the European MTB Championships in 2018.


The course is a mixture of technical and free flowing singletrack, with short sharp climbs to test the legs and lungs and some steep drops and rocky challenges to wake up those handling skills that might be a bit rusty after the winter months.

Oh and it’s fast, even in the wet the man-made trails drain the water off well so there’s little chance your bike will get clogged up with mud. Because of the extra speed expect to ride an additional lap to the usual number you would ride at the majority of our other race venues throughout the year.


We’ve kept the majority of the track the same over the years, but Jason Barnes and the team have introduced a new flowing switchback section in the second half of the lap which rides really nicely.


Over the past few years the riding ability of our U12 riders has grown and grown. Unfortunately, the challenge of their course hasn’t risen at the same rate and many find the step up from the U12 course to the full adult course a big shock; in terms of distance, technical difficulty and lack of marshal/adult support.

In order to make this transition easier for our 11-12 year old riders and to make their race more exciting and interesting we plan to radically change their race course. Where possible it will start and finish in the same place as the adults course and involve sections of it but will miss out some of the more technical features and difficult climbs and be shorter in length.

The riders will also use the timing chips the same as the other senior riders. In order to accommodate this the 11-12 year race will set off at 10.30am and will be completely finish in time for the morning races at 11.30am. This change will mean that morning practice will run from 9.00-10.00am with the course closed for racing at 10.15am.

The U10 and U8 races will run as normal on a completely separate course from 1.00-1.45pm. These riders will be able to practice during the morning as normal. The afternoon races will start as normal at 2.00pm with practice being available as soon as the morning races are finished. As there will be less races at lunch it is hoped that parents riding in the afternoon will be able to watch their kids without having to dash off for their own race starts.

We hope that these changes will prove popular with all riders and improve the retention of riders moving up from the U12 to the Juvenile category.


9:00am - Sign on opens for U8, U10, 11-12 year race and all morning races

9:30 - 10:15am - Morning course practise

10:30 - 11:15am - 11-12 year race

11:15am - Gridding for morning races

11:30am - Morning races start - (Youth, Juvenile, Grand Vet Men, Super Grand Vet Men, Taster and all Women's categories)

11:30 - 12:30pm race sign-on opens for afternoon races

1pm – U8 & U10 races start

1:15-1:45pm - Afternoon course practise

1:45pm - Gridding for Afternoon races

2pm - Afternoon races start - (Junior, Sports, Veteran, Expert/Elite Men’s races)

2:30pm - Prize giving for all morning and all kids races

4:15 Prize giving for afternoon races


The committee, we’re going to be wearing lovely new tee-shirts so we’re easy to spot, come and say hi and ask us anything you need throughout the day.

Good luck to everyone racing in 2017, It’s going to be a great season!

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