Mountain Bike Australia (MTBA) have released the details for the 2018 National Series and National Championships.

Big news is a split National Championships, allowing a venue most-suited for downhill to be used for those races, and a venue most-suited to cross-country to be used for those events.

There should also be some sighs of relief for cross-country racers in the West, but there will be plenty of excitement for South-East Queenslanders as Nerang comes in as a test event for Commonwealth Games, plus Canberra (Australia's cycling capital) gets a look and the whole XCO series kicks off in Orange in December. National Championships will head to the popular courses at Armidale.

For Downhill, there are three rounds, at Coffs Harbour, Awaba and Narbethong. National Championships will take place at Bright.

This is great news for Bright, who really grew their trails and mountain bike options as they hosted the National Championships from 2014-2016. They deserve a big event and it's great to see the DH National Champs land back there.

Oceania Championships fall to New Zealand next year, from 9-11th February - they head to Dunedin.

Dates and locations for the National Series and Champs

Cross-country (XCO)

Round 1 and 2 - 9-10 December: Orange, NSW

Round 3 and 4 - 13-14 January: Nerang, QLD

Round 5 and 6 - 27-28 January: Pemberton, WA

Round 7 and 8 - 24-25 March, Canberra, ACT

NATIONAL CHAMPS: 23-25 February: Armidale, NSW 

OCEANIA CHAMPS: 9-11 February: Dunedin, New Zealand

Downhill (DHI)

20-21 January: Coffs Harbour: NSW

3-4 February: Awaba: NSW

17.18 March: Narbethong: VIC

NATIONAL CHAMPS: 2-4 March: Bright, VIC

OCEANIA CHAMPS: 9-11 February: Dunedin, New Zealand 

Photo: Tim Bardsley-Smith