Starting in the next 500,000 seconds….

We are just one week away from the start of the Notts and Derby League! We have 11 rounds scheduled at a familiar set of venues.

After starting with the traditional opener at Hardwick Hall, we move on to Alfreton and Shipley for classic early-season high speed head-to-head racing. We visit Markeaton twice, a course which changes its character entirely between the start of October and end of November. As we approach the end of the year, we are offered the entertaining Bingham banks and Holme Pierrepont cambers which can be tricky if it is wet. The Regional Champs are a full NDCXL round this year, hosted at Darley Moor, a course which some love… and some don’t… but it has its own micro-climate so be prepared (think ‘Arctic’). Just after Christmas we visit the traditional turkey-burner of Bakewell and finish up with Broxtowe and Chilwell in January.

There are a few changes to look out for this year. Firstly the organisation has changed and so there are many new volunteers in roles – I am sure that everyone will be just as patient and encouraging with new volunteers as we are to new riders (!) and remember that there are always opportunities if you want to help out too! Importantly, don’t forget that all rounds are pre-entry ONLY apart from U12/U9.

Let me just repeat that, it’s a big change to the the way the league is running this year: all rounds are pre-entry ONLY apart from U12/U9

What else is changing? I know of a few riders who have changed teams and so familiar faces might well be in new kit. Expect growth from Empella; expect Zepnat to be strong again. There will be at least one new team in the Youth – The MI Racing Academy – which is a new development team from Jewson whose riders have already had wins in the West Mids.

You might have seen some of our regular and former riders out and about over the summer. Several current riders took on the pros at the Cicle ‘classic’ including the elite, women and junior editions. Nikki Harris has been road racing, including at the Rio Olympics. James Shaw is riding the Tour of Britain as team mate of Andre Griepel for Lotto Soudal. Diane Lee has had some excellent results in the XTerra European triathlon series. On the MTB Tim Gould has just returned from racing the World Championships, and Will Gascoyne has been representing GB. Maddi Smith had a clean sweep of wins in the National MTB Series. Many NDCXL youth riders took the trip to race at the European Youth Tour at Assen in Holland, including Josh Giddings who won his category. Apologies if I’ve missed you!

It’s going to be another fantastic year I’m sure! See you at Hardwick!