The Southland Mountainbike Club's Cycle Surgery Winter Series at Sandy Point begins on Sunday and promises to be as popular as ever.
Club president Brett McIntyre said there had been an average of 125 riders at each of last year's six rounds and everyone, from novices to experts, was welcome again this year.
"It's for everyone. It can be as serious or as fun as you like, from the recreational one-lap class through to the expert three-lap class," he said.
The sport class completes two laps of the course and single speed options are once again available, as is the kids' guided loop for those new to the sport.
Competition was expected to be fierce in the expert class. Ryan Cull will be looking to dominate again this year but McIntyre said Logan Havenaar would be "hot on his heel".
Brendon Ackroyd is still performing very strongly and will be looking to put up a good fight to retain the veteran title.
Reon Carroll is likely to be back to defend the single speed title.
Meanwhile, promising young Brayden Holland was expected to do well in the under-19 section, having made the move up from the two-lap sport class.
It is a long series with double points up for grabs in the last round, so all the titles could belong to anyone.
Sponsor Cycle Surgery will be supplying spot prizes at each of the series' six rounds, held on the first Sunday of each month from May to October, with a brand new mountainbike up for grabs at the final round.
McIntyre said the club was hoping for a drier season this year. "The track's in really good shape and it will be good riding on Sunday."
Mountainbikers can register online at southlandmtbclub.co.nz and pay on the day, or enter on the day at Sandy Point Rd from 9.30am. Racing will start 10.30am.
- The Southland Times