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DIVA DESCENT: GIRLS ONLY DOWNHILL MOUNTAIN BIKE RACE SERIES

Sarah Muir from Diva Descent has announced the exciting news about the launch of the first ever women’s downhill race series.

Sarah says: “The idea of Diva Descent is to introduce the ever-growing number of women riders to downhill racing and provide them with the opportunity to compete under authentic race conditions. The events are aimed at any women interested in giving downhill a go, either for the first time or those with more experience looking to develop their skills or earn BC points.”

Read on for the full story:

Diva Descent is back for 2013 with not 1 but 4 events!!

The aim is once again to provide the unique opportunity to give downhill mountain bike racing a go. The difference is… this is just for girls.

This year the season kicks off in May with the 2 day coaching event held for the first time at Innerleithen. Taking place on the 25th and 26th of May, day 1 will start with a track walk followed by a day of coaching by professional coaches and riders, such as Helen Gaskell. Day 2 will be race day, giving women the chance to put their newly acquired skills to the test and experience what it’s like to race Downhill.

June will see Diva taking a break to show support to Jayfest, a 3 day Mountain Bike Festival to honour the life and career of Jaymie Mart. The exciting event is set to take place on the 14th, 15th and 16th of June at Innerleithen. Diva Descent will be working in association with the organisers to deliver a women’s day, with coaching provided by Tracy Moseley, Emma Guy and Tracy Brunger.

Following that, Diva Descent is proud to launch the first ever Women’s Downhill race series! The 3 races will take place across the UK, giving women everywhere the chance to get involved. Now affiliated with British Cycling, the series will also provide the opportunity to accumulate BC points and the Diva season will finish with the crowning of the overall Diva Descent Champion.

The race rounds will be small and relaxed, following a standard format of track walk and practice on the Saturday, followed by racing on the Sunday. As an added bonus, there will be a coach or professional rider on hand at each round to provide tips or confidence boosts where needed.

The idea of Diva Descent is to introduce the ever-growing number of women riders to downhill racing and provide them with the opportunity to compete under authentic race conditions. The events are aimed at any women interested in giving downhill a go, either for the first time or those with more experience looking to develop their skills or earn BC points.

With the national and international races attracting on average between 10 to 15 women per race, Diva Descent has proven that creating a race for girls helps to entice them into the sport. Entries to the 2012 race increased 100% on the previous year, with 46 women signing up to race in a matter of weeks. Women once again travelled from all parts of the UK, with the average age of competitors being 32.

When asked about 2013 and the launch of the race series, event organiser Sarah Muir said, “Each year I receive emails from women saying that they would love to enter Diva Descent but that it’s just too far away from where they live. The simple solution in my mind was to take the event to them! Or at least try to accommodate for as many women in the UK as possible. It will be a steep learning curve, but an exciting time for the UK female race scene and shows that Diva Descent continues to grow every year!”

The aim of Diva Descent is to encourage a greater number of girls to enter into mountain bike events and to see more women on the UK and indeed international race circuit. The following testimonials are from girls who have taken part in Diva Descent:

“Thanks to Diva Descent and Sarah for holding the event because that’s what got me into racing and made me so much more confident to enter other races dominated by males. I competed in Northern Downhill and won the female category so thanks for the massive confidence boost Diva gave me.”

“The whole experience at the Diva gave me so much more confidence in myself on my bike. So much so that I then went on to enter the Scottish Champs at Killin.”

“Diva Descent was my first race. The fact that it was an all girls race made me confident enough to enter. I really enjoyed Diva Descent as everyone there was really friendly and the whole thing was well organised. It was great for meeting more girl bikers. Can’t wait for the next one!”

Since the first race, Diva Descent has expanded to provide uplift days and also women’s mountain bike holidays in association with Riders Refuge, Morzine. 2013 saw Diva Descent expanding further with the launch of Diva ENDURO. The first event took place at Hamsterley Forest in February, with coaching from Tracy Moseley and Helen Gaskell. The event was a great success and sold out within an hour. This ensured that Diva ENDURO would definitely be back with more events later in the year. Diva Descent is proud to once again have the support of Loeka clothing and the Forestry Commission with further sponsorship to be announced.

The price of the Diva Descent coaching weekend is £120, which includes coaching on the Saturday, uplift and entry to the race on the Sunday. The races are £60 per round with the added incentive of a £30 gift voucher for the Diva Descent shop if all rounds are entered. Entries are made online via the British Cycling website.

For more information about the event www.divadescent.com

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