British Cycling have announced that they are looking for new organisers for the UK’s National Downhill Series for 2018.
Announced on their website today, British Cycling have saluted Si Paton and his team for their efforts over the last 10 years and announced that they will accept suggestions for 2018 HSBC UK National Downhill Series organisers “soon”.
The news comes following the cancellation of the Moelfre round of the British Downhill Series and the follow up that entries are low for the following two events. There have been rumours since the cancellation that change was coming and – confirmed by today’s announcement – it looks like there’s going to be a new series and new organisation for 2018.
British Cycling will accept tenders for organisers, with more information available soon on the British Cycling website.
“Simon Paton has played a big role in the development of the National Downhill Series, and he will be a hard act to follow. That said we are determined to see the series continue to grow, starting in 2018.”
British Cycling’s director of cycling, Jonny Clay.
There’s a couple of significant things to take from BC’s short announcement:
First, they will invite organisers “to apply to host one of the six rounds”. Up to this point, Si Paton and team have organised all six rounds of the British Downhill Series. It appears BC are now pushing for individual events to be run by individual organisers. That also suggests that they’re hoping to stick with 6 events, not reduce the series down to 5 as had been suggested by some riders.
Second, you’d guess from the tribute and change of organisation that Si Paton is stepping down from organising the British Downhill Series? Yep, you’d be right. Si has confirmed to us that he won’t run the series in 2018 and is now focussing on the one-off Malverns event.
We asked Si about the announcement and he told us:
“I formally handed my notice in to British Cycling last month.
My personal circumstances have changed. That, combined with a decrease in numbers has put a financial strain on the series and meant I’ve had to personally fund it out of my own pocket. That’s not financially viable and for that reason, I’m out.
It’s been a great honour to work with all the riders, the marshals, the spectators and everyone that has made it the best series in the World. I wish the new organisers every success – I look forward to racing some of their events in the vets category.”