Put down your Bula hat, the 2018 Malverns Classic is bang up to date

Taking place over the weekend of the 15th – 17th of June, the Malverns Classic will be returning to its spiritual home of Easton Deer Park near Ledbury.

>>> “They’re rubbish, but they’re iconic!” – explaining the retro bike obsession

2018 Malverns Classic need to know

  • Live Bands and DJs.
  • On site catering and licenced bar
  • Large marquees on site, we will ensure good times whatever the weather
  • Spawn Cycles Kids Zone with qualified coaches and skills area
  • For the little ones: Fun races, Cycling ability courses, face painting, bouncy castles and a pump track
  • Muc-Off Pump Track: Racing and open sessions for all
  • The WD40 Retro Show and Shine: £1,000 in cash for the ‘Best in Show’ retro bike
  • Expo Village: Over 50 stands both retailing and displaying all the latest kit
  • TRP Lake Ride: Armbands are compulsory as you will be trying to ride the skinny planks across the lake!
  • Jez Avery Stunt Show: Now it wouldn’t be the Malverns without Jez Avery! Jez will be up to his old tricks as well as new ones, showboating for you, entertaining both young and old with his stunt show
  • The Ultimate/Exposure Pub Quiz
  • Wi-Fi: Free for all to use
  • Security and Medics on site 24 hour
  • Serviced toilets and showers
  • Parking and camping on site
  • Weekend passes and race entries

Kicking off this Friday, in the stunning Eastnor Deer Park, set In the Malvern Hills. Here’s what’s going on…

Racing

The Malverns Classic features 5 different styles of racing across the weekend, kicking off with the Dual Slalom on Friday night at 6pm. On the day entries are still available for the XC, Dual Slalom and the Quad Eliminator. Watch the riders battle it out elbow to elbow for that top spot in one of the purest forms of MTB racing out there. After the racing is finished it’s over to the bar for live music followed by the resident Malverns Classic DJ.

Saturday is literally stacked and packed with so much racing. Catch the Cannondale Cross Country and Funnduro racers pedaling it out all day and tearing up the descents followed by the madness of the Fabric Quad Eliminator that evening. Straight after the Quad the TRP Lake ride kicks off. Watch the riders try and make it across the skinny floats without falling in, make it across and be in for a chance of winning a set of TRP brakes.

Of course Sunday is the day of the Schwalbe Classic DH, this is the big show. The original course as used in the 90’s has been updated with the DMR Bombhole being a key spectator point. Keep an eye out for some funky shapes being pulled on here during practice and race runs.

On the day entries are still available for the XC, Dual Slalom and the Quad Eliminator.
malverns classic

Dual Slalom is always one of the highlights of the Malverns.

What else?

Racing aside, there is so much going on all weekend. There are over 100 different bike brands on site, showcasing their newest gear and products in the expo are, so bring some cash and pick up a bargain and some Malverns Classic Exclusives.

The Malverns Classic Demo Day on the Friday sees 40 bike brands bringing their demo fleets with them, all available for you to test out on any of our courses. The demo day costs just £5 with all of the proceeds going to #RideForCharlie.

The Malverns Classic is all about family fun and getting a new generation of riders into the sport we love so much. Children aged 12 or under go completely free to the festival this year, on site we will also have free trampolines, bouncy castles, and skills areas for the youngsters. Kicking off the DH on the Sunday, be sure to see the Spawn Cycles balance bike DH.

For the full festival schedule be sure to check out the Malverns Classic website here. Day passes for each day are just £10.

Why is the Malverns Classic back after 20 years?

After a twenty year hiatus the premier MTB event of the nineties the Malverns Classic is back with a bang and with a simple message… bikes are great.

mbr caught up Si Paton, the mastermind behind the resurrection to find out just what the new Malverns Classic is all about.

What made you want to bring the Malvern’s back?

SP: “Well the blame lies firmly at the feet of Clive Gosling [Cannondale UK and CSG director of Marketing]. We were talking one day and as he knew I was looking for a new project [Si was the man behind the British Downhill Series for the past ten years] he said, bring the Malverns back. The British bike industry, race scene and the riders themselves have been clammering for an event to bring everything together to celebrate the sheer enjoyment of riding bikes and spending fun times with other like-minded people.”

Malvern Classic

mbr’s James Bracey BITD (Back In The Day) smashing it out of the bombhole at the Malvern Classic XC race circa 1996.

 

What are you most looking forward to?

SP: “I really just want to stand in the arena, look up at the hillside and see people riding the courses for as far as the eye can see. That’s what makes the Malverns Classic so special. Outside of race time ALL of the courses are open for anyone to ride. That’s everything from the cross country loop, to the downhill to the quad eliminator. So even if you aren’t racing the main events you can still race your mates whenever you want. It’s why I want everyone to bring their bike. It doesn’t matter your age or ability, I just want to see you riding!”

What are some of the highlights that the public can expect?

SP: “First up we wanted to encourage the next generation of riders so we have a full schedule of kids races. All of which are free and the other great thing for mums and dads is we will have cycling coaches on hand to guide and encourage the younger riders. I think the live bands and DJs we have booked for the evening entertainment should go down a treat and help to bring more of a festival feel to the whole occasion. And in keeping with the slight retro theme there will be plenty of 90’s tunes going round! The other non-riding highlight will hopefully be the Retro Show and Shine competition. With £1000 on offer for the winner this is the chance to show off your favourite pre-1998 classic MTB.

“But it won’t be the Malverns without the Bombhole. Okay, it probably isn’t anywhere near as extreme as it used to feel but it’s still going to be a hub for spectators to watch riders sending it to the moon.”

malvern classic

What about the lake jumping?

SP: “Sadly the depth of the lake falls below safe limits so we can’t have lake jumping as we know it. But we are hopefully going to introduce the Skinny Lake ride! Exactly as it sounds, we’ll set up a skinny plank across the lake. Come along and see how far you can get across.”

What was your favourite memory of the original festivals?

SP: “I’ve got so many! Racing dual slalom on my Klein Pinnacle. The atmosphere at the bombhole. The whole Saturday night fun element. And of course the mbr bridge (a giant wooden bridge over the road that was part of the DH, dual slalom and quad eliminator course), especially when it was painted and then it rained, carnage!. It was the biggest thing anyone ever jumped at the time.”

So you raced?

SP: “Yep, Dual Slalom was the one for me but I also raced the Quad Eliminator and Dual Eliminator. For this year all the events are entry level, after all the hill isn’t any bigger than it was back in the day. So anyone is able to get involved and compete.”

What bike did you ride?

SP: “It used to be we had one bike for all racing. I used to race Friday night dual slalom on my XC bike. Just drop your saddle and it was all good. Then for the cross country just put your saddle back up. I had a Klein Pinnacle for most of my racing and then from 1996 onwards I had a cool Foes LTS for the more ‘gravity’ based races.”

What will you be riding this year?

SP: “I’ll be mainly riding a Cannondale Moterra eBike so I can nip around wherever I need to be! And I’ll also be dusting off the Foes for old time’s sake.”

What should people bring?

SP: “Your helmet, you’ll want to ride. A charger for your phone, there’s loads to see. Your family and all your friends, they’ll want to be part of this. And finally some beers, do you need a reason?”