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No XCM Series for 2013

Brian's picture

By Brian - Posted on 20 February 2013

NB: Originally posted elsewhere on the Global Riders Network and appears via syndication.

Just in case you haven't heard. There will be no XCM series for 2013 which is really disappointing. There has been nothing posted on the cyclenation website but they did tweet it was on ice for 2013.

ps's picture

You need to get on Facebook. See

What better way to announce something than with a photo of the undefeated women's champion (well I think its Jenny's backside).

Lach's picture

Sounds like they had the sponsor lined up, but the enduro promoters walked en masse. I would have thought that would have been unlikely to happen unless the Cyclenation guys were asking too much (money and / or control?) of the event organisers to be part of the series?

Lach's picture

More PR than actual news, but at least it seems that something is happening....

"Real Insurance XCM Series Rebooted
March 1, 2013
CycleNation Admin

After much conjecture over summer about the future nature of the mighty Real Insurance XCM Series, CycleNation and Cycling Australia are pleased to announce a partnership that will bring the sport of mountain biking into a new era.
Reflecting the unifying forces afoot in the administration of cycling in Australia, the Real Insurance XCM Series will be rebooted in mid-2013 to include a spring, summer and autumn event program run in partnership with the 2014 Subaru Australian Mountain Bike Season. CycleNation ranking points will be on offer for all XCM Series events and the Cycling Australia Commercial and Events unit will be the engine room behind the series.
Cycling Australia CEO, Graham Fredericks, reflected the mountain bike community’s vocal desire that the much loved series would not only continue, but be reinvented. “The momentum behind the 2011 and 2012 Real Insurance XCM Series was a fantastic development for mountain biking and now is a good time for Cycling Australia to be aligning with CycleNation and our road, track and MTB disciplines. With the support of our affiliate Mountain Bike Australia we have developed the new XCM series in partnership with CycleNation and importantly Real Insurance. This will prove to be an exciting development for all Australian mountain bikers.” With a whole new calendar of races on the drawing board, riders can look forward to a new landscape of marathon racing in this country.
No one knows the passion for the series better than the man who put it together, CycleNation Director, Theo Grobler. “We’d like to thank the legion of riders that participated in the Real Insurance XCM Series in 2011 and 2012 – from the elites to the weekend warriors doing one race a year. It was through your excitement and passion that we saw the sport changing for the better. Our new relationship with Cycling Australia combined with the commitment of Real Insurance is a very exciting development for the XCM series. This will include a host of new venues and experiences for participants.”
CycleNation and Cycling Australia will announce the 2013/2014 XCM event season this coming May which will include as the pinnacle event in the series the Australian XCM Championships."

Brian's picture
Lach's picture

... anybody heard any news about what is happening?

Dicko's picture

I was asked to complete a Cycling Australia / MTBA survey recently.

It definitely had lots of questions about combining XCM with the National XCO series. Format like XCO saturday XCM sunday at common locations.

Nothing official yet, but something looks like it is in the pipeline.


Lach's picture

Be interesting to see what the XCM courses are like if they have to be held in conjunction with XCO courses - a potentially limited range of venues can cover both???

GAZZA's picture

10 laps of the XC course!!!!

Lach's picture

Multiple laps of a shorter course makes for a very different type of event compared to the "traditional" overland epic sort of XCM race.

It'd be interesting to know what has been / is being discussed with the promoters of the events like the Fling, CP, Convict, Husky etc about their role in the future. If the CA/MTBA initiative for XCM racing makes it as attractive / popular as the national XC series with the "average"rider (i.e. NOT!), there will no doubt still be a role for these promoters and their events, but maybe not in a series??

Brian's picture

Based on the survey and being the same weekend etc, I can't see any of the existing marathons being incorporated.

Lach's picture

... if there was a will, there'd be a way to do say a CP in conjunction with a XC round at Stromlo, a Husky in conjunction with a XC round on the Nowra tracks and maybe a Fling in conjunction with a XC round at Wingello. Probably too many NSW events for a National series however. You'd also have to think that St Albans and Wollombi would be well out of the running....

Let's hope that whatever emerges looks like progress of some sort and that the promoters don't pack it in because it's all too hard....

Lach's picture

...unless you want details of where the XCM events are actually likely to be. Any informed guesses for Rounds 1-3? Unlikely to be more than 2 in NSW I'd say.
Cycling Australia announce 2014 Subaru Australian Mountain Bike calendar
Tuesday, 27 August 2013
On the heels of their announcement that Australia will play host to a suite of UCI World Cup events and the 2017 World Championship over the next four years, Cycling Australia (CA) today announced the new look Subaru Australian Mountain Bike Season for 2014.
The season kicks off in Adelaide as a prologue to the Santos Tour Down Under, giving mountain bikers the opportunity to race their bikes amongst Australia’s biggest cycling crowd and only World Tour event. The roadshow then visits a host of Australia’s premier mountain bike venues, established and new. The focus is all about rider experience with friends and families all catered for. CA’s newly appointed Technical Director of Mountain Biking, Tim Sheedy, is vocal about the future of the sport.
“The process CA implemented to select venues reflects the three pillars of CA’s mountain bike program: community engagement, support of local mountain bike organisations and races that serve as destinations for riders and their families.” he says.
The season now includes the much anticipated return of the mighty Real Insurance XCM Series with riders able to choose between the full range of World Championship formats: Cross Country Eliminator, Cross Country Olympic, Downhill and Marathon. This consolidates the strengths of Australian mountain biking at its best: televised races, Olympic prestige, prize money, incredible locations, adventure and the hustle and bustle of downhill and eliminator all culminating with the UCI MTB World Cup in Cairns. “It’s a potent combination when you throw into that mix some of Australia’s most desirable holiday destinations.” Sheedy says.
At its best, mountain biking reflects a sense of adventure and as the peak body of the sport in this country, CA are excited to be bringing new destinations, new experiences and an opportunity for organisational development to mountain biking. There’s been a rigorous planning and consultation process with key stakeholders, venues and course managers to ensure the nucleus is in place. It’s been exciting but the hard work hasn’t come without challenges and some unforseen delay.
“This leaves a legacy for the whole mountain biking community that exists year round.” Sheedy says. “As a peak body, Cycling Australia’s remit is to run great events but also to grow each discipline that it administers. The best way to do this is to introduce Australian riders to new and exciting courses in their own backyards.”
All this within the context of a suite of World Cups and a World Championships that has energised the discipline of mountain biking and brought new focus on all the riders…from the weekend warrior in a flannelette shirt all the way through to the top flight of the sport.
“It feels good to announce the new era in the week of the MTB World Championships, on the eve of what we hope to be one of the most successful Australian campaigns for many years.” Sheedy says, a sentiment echoed by Steve Peterson, the GM of Events at Cycling Australia. “Big things are planned over the next four years with a continuing unification of the sport, more national level events, utilising more partnerships within the mountain biking community and stretching Australia wide. We have worked hard not only to build a bumper 2014 season but to also look beyond, ensuring that we are developing a lasting, sustainable model that sees mountain bike thrive.” Peterson says.

Real Insurance XCM Series Race 1 - Individual release of venues coming soon - 21st-23rd February 2014
Real Insurance XCM Series Race 2 - Individual release of venues coming soon - 6th-9th March 2014
Real Insurance XCM Series Race 3 - Individual release of venues coming soon - 30th March 2014
Real Insurance XCM Series Race 4 - Mt Joyce (QLD) - 6th April 2014
Real Insurance XCM Series Race 5 - Wombat 100 (Castlemaine VIC) - 13th April 2014
Real Insurance XCM Series Race 6 - Cairns (QLD) 25th - 27th April 2014

hawkeye's picture

Sounds fantastic... some real promotion of the sport at last. I wonder where MTBA fits in... or have CA just sidestepped them?

Dicko's picture

I think the organizers are missing the point. Participation is key.

The prior XCM series ensure great participation by a set of well managed events and a calendar where all participants - elite and age categories could realistically attend.

The emphasis on trying to cram all MTB disciplines into common events is difficult, especially if you cram 6 marathon races into 9 weeks.

I understand that they are trying to encourage a bigger atmosphere for the XCO series. But to cram the XCM series into the same schedule window as the XCO series just doesn't make sense. Who can attend 6 races, in a busy schedule of fmaily, work, social and training commitments, let alone the cost of entering and attending 6 events. Something is not just right, they are isolating he major particapation group.

Maybe pick a couple of the big ones early in the season, and co locate the XCO / XCM round - but not the whole series.

The success of the prior XCM series generated participation and coverage throughout the year. From a marketing point of view and visibility, a well attended series spread across the yearly calendar, would surely have more sustainable exposure then a short sharp season from Feb / Mar / APr where it is competing with road cycling, triathlon and other summer activities.

Maybe its just me, but imagine an XCM series that ran through the year and culminated with the Australian Championships with the largest XCM race on the calendar 2014 Highland Fling - now that would be something.

I know they are trying, but maybe getting some more input from the most important stakeholder group - the participants - would be a good place to start.

Lach's picture

... seriously, how many people can afford the time / money to compete in a national series? This development has taken a participation event series and turned it into an elite series. Great for those that want to follow that pathway, but they are very few compared to the overall numbers in the sport.

A better structure in my view would have been a XCM series in each State, with a National Championship held each year in a different State for those that want to take it to the next level.

Anyway, at least there are now enough XCM events out there to keep it interesting for everyone without being dependent on CA setting up an elite process.

ps's picture

Dicko, I did one of the National Series rounds last year. There was a crowd of around 50-100 people watching the elites race and most of those were competitors waiting for their race later in the day so I don't think they have ever been into promoting events. The MTBA people have done a deal where the CA events team will run the MTBA series, not sure what that means but agree 6 marathons in 9 weeks is not sensible for an amateur sport.

Funnily enough not even the leading XCO competitors did the national series over the past few years as it doesn't fit into their international schedule. That really leaves the juniors with enthusiastic parents who made up most of the competitors who did several rounds. I cant see that changing any time soon while it stays a national series.

Also if they stick with the XCM UCI rules it means that all the events will be multi lap of approx. 20k just like the nationals have been (with different start groups per age). Not sure how that impacts the Wombat 100 which is one big loop and a self-graded start.

While I agree with you that it was better to have the elites race in the bigger 'classic' marathons like the 2011/2012 XCM series I think there were only about 100 or so age groupers who committed to multiple rounds in the 2012 series. With everything happening in 9 weeks I cant see them getting the same numbers that committed to the 2012 xcm season.

Hopefully they do a best 3 or 4 out of 6 scoring system. The main thing is to keep it up over the next few years as that's how the participation numbers will increase.

Lach's picture

From what I can see on the CA calendar, the Real Insurance XCM series is now:

10 March - (a Monday??) Bright VIC
30 March - TBA NSW
6 April - Mt Joyce QLD
13 April - Woodend VIC
25 April - (Anzac Day Friday) Atherton QLD.

Good luck with that schedule....

Dicko's picture

I am going to stick with the Maverick series - tried and tested events with promoters that have a good track record.

jp's picture

Mavericks series includes great events nicely spaced out. And culminating in the Fling will make a great end to the series.

Lach's picture

... or thereabouts. Serious travel budget required for the CA series, assuming it actually gets finalised.

Maverick for me, and maybe the NSW CA event if it ever gets confirmed and is somewhere interesting.....

Lach's picture

... as Mogo area (Silverback 100) - start / finish at Mogo Zoo, which probably means sprucing up the sniggle on the east side of the highway. Be interesting to see how they manage the highway crossings if they intend to use the good stuff on the western side as well.

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