The Maverick Series is here

The author at Capital Punishment 2013

The author at Capital Punishment 2013

Australia now has an embarrassment of riches in terms of XCM racing, and yesterday that lineup was further strengthened by the announcement of the Maverick XCM Series.

The name is something of a thumbed nose towards the Real Insurance XCM Series, which formerly included two of these races but was dropped for 2013 and revamped for 2014 without its former flagship events, but with the backing of Cycling Australia, who have ambitions to integrate it into the national XCO and DH series, thus making it a far more national-scale event. From this it will gain a far wider reach but possibly alienate some of the XCM-faithful who could formerly ride each and every Real Insurance XCM event, but will now be hit with huge logistical hurdles if they want to do the same in 2014.

Obviously more than a few people were annoyed by the whole thing. Hence, I assume, the name of the new series.

In 2013 I raced two of the events which will grace the Maverick Series , Capital Punishment and The Highland Fling. The Fling is one of the longest-established XCM events in the country, traditionally the season closer and a coveted cup in the palmares of the Elite riders. It will close out the Maverick Series, as is fitting. Capital Punishment, an event which bridges between two of the ACT’s premiere singletrack locations, will open the series in March. Both of these are fantastic races, and I’ll be racing them again in 2014.

In between, we’ll get the Giant Odyssey in Forrest, VIC – a town which is rapidly establishing itself as Mecca for Australian MTBers, and the Kowalski Classic, a singletrack-heavy prestige event around Kowen Forest and Sparrow Hill.

Make no mistake, this series has some fine races on its calendar, and will certainly fill the gap left behind by the ‘upgrading’ Real XCM Series.

The series trophy will be decided on a best-three placings basis, so participation in all events is not required. This should make it easy for Victorian invaders to ride the two Canberra rounds and The Odyssey, and for Sydney riders (like myself) to do The Fling and the two Canberra rounds without having to cross the border into Mexico Victoria. But still we’re likely to see a lot of riders doing all four – which is the best insurance policy against one poor result, to be sure.

It remains to be seen if the other former Real XCMs will be in the new Subaru/Real series or left out on their own – the full official calendar doesn’t appear to have been released, though the Wombat 100 is in, and rumours have been going around. In 2012 the Real Series was

  • Wombat 100
  • Capital Punishment
  • Convict 100
  • Husky 100
  • Wollombi Wild Ride
  • Highland Fling

We can see that three of these have an announced home already, but with only two of the Subaru/Real National events remaining completely unannounced, at least one – if not more – will certainly be left out in the cold. The question is: which?

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