The MTBA National series has been a sinking ship for some time and was fraught with issues and logistical nightmares primarily due to the sheer size of our great nation. However, MTBA has announced a shake-up of the national racing scene with the introduction of the National Cup. This new structure will allow more riders to race more events that contribute to a national cup and allow greater access to races across the nation. So how will it work?
The question on many rider’s lips was “what’s happened to the national series and how is the new setup going to work?” For many reasons the old system was flawed and MTBA could see the writing on the wall; instead of soldiering on with a far from perfect national series, they chose to adapt and brought us the new setup. The National Cup promises many things and at first glance it looks good. Here’s our take on the new setup and how it will work….
What is the National Cup?
The National cup spans across all disciplines and utilises existing events that are already being ran at a club, regional, state and national level. The new structure is multi-tiered, with allocated points for each event, all contributing to a national ranking. The highest ranked racer from each discipline at the end of the year will be crowned the National Cup champion.
How do the points work?
Whilst the maths can be complicated, the basic premise is relatively simple. The lower the tier of an event the lower the points for the event, The higher the tier of the event, the higher the points. There will be 6 tiers available for points in the following manner:
• Highest Tier – National Championships
• Second Highest Tier – State Championships
• Marquee Event – Such as Cannonball Festival type event
• Tier 1 Events – State wide event
• Tier 2 Events – Regional Event such as the SEQ Gravity Enduro Series
• Tier 3 Events – Club Level Event
Whilst this may appear confusing, the reality is that the events at the top will be worth more for National Cup points and the events at club level will be worth the least. The best 12 results you have for the year will contribute towards your National ranking.
Why the Change?
Many riders will be wondering why the change but when you look through the nuts and bolts, it is easy to see the benefits of the new system. The sheer size of Australia makes it difficult for riders and sponsors to get to the national rounds in its current format, sometimes the events will be spread across the nation, but not include every state. This makes it hard for riders from every corner of our great country to compete in these events. Having a National cup system allows riders from everywhere in Australia to be able to compete for a National ranking and have greater exposure for new talent.
Greater access to these events provides a greater participation level ensuring more riders can compete for the title of National Cup Champion, this means even those riders that can’t afford to travel all around the nation for the first three months of the year still have a shot at the top prize and bragging rights. Not only will they have greater access to races that count for a National ranking but those races will be spread out across the whole race calendar and year. This will allow more riders to be able to juggle their busy lives with their racing commitments and mean more race plates strapped to the steed.
What is up for grabs?
Whilst MTBA are still ironing out the final wrinkles of the plan, the National champion will likely receive a jersey, trophy, products from sponsors and maybe some prize money. MTBA are still in the process of getting sponsors on board and those details will be finalised later.
The introduction of the MTBA National Cup is a great idea and an exciting advance in our national racing scene, whilst the first year is sure to have some hiccups, on paper this looks like an excellent foot forward for riders of all levels and racing in general. Brakes Wide Open will continue to keep you up to date of any changes and news as we become aware of it, hope this clear things up and we look forward to hitting the dirt soon…..