24/12

Five riders: Cris, Paul, Phil, Tyrrell & Gilly, the latter two of whom had never raced mountain bikes let alone raced a 24hr event. One goal: To finish the first ever Bontrager 24/12 event as a mixed fun team. The result: 2nd place in class (finishing just minutes behind the 1st place team too) with 30 laps. If we’d entered in the mixed team category we’d have placed in the top three too. Everyone’s really pleased and it was a good course and event.

First lap sprint - photo by Simon Barnes

The Indy and me lovin’ the tech. First Lap photo from Simon Barnes.

It wasn’t without glitches. When there was a water pressure problem in the night and I ended up drinking beer (it was a tough call) rather than waiting in line for people to fill 100 litre containers, there were sensitive sleepers sleeping in the noisy campsite (why?) and part of the course ran over a former landfill site, as a consequence there was a lot of glass on the woodbark covered trails (fortunately we only had one puncture as a team all race).

During Gilly’s second lap the heavens opened, with a 30 minute cloud burst which turned a technical course into a sliptastic mudfest. The course spent the rest of the event drying out and it didn’t take long for those people with the right tyres on to be able to ride the whole course again. By noonon Sunday the rain plus hundreds of riders taking the same lines had probably actually improved the course in some places, ironing out the tractor treads and bumps in the sun baked clay fields, it might have been faster, but I think my legs were a bit too tired to make the most of it.

Landis won the Tour. I haven’t really followed the event this year what with being away for two weeks and being really busy before that. With the scandal and all it’s fairly amazing the race went on. I suppose there will be a lot of European people wondering how in the vacuum left by Armstrong it has fallen to another talented American to win the most prestigious bike race in the World. Meanwile Ullrich and Sevilla are a bit miffed about being booted out of T Mobile…

Update

My handful of photos from the race are up here. My photography skills seem to have gone out of the window this weekend so most of them were pretty crap. Fortunately we had a residential camerameister in the team. Ace shots courtesy of Chilly (and Imogen) are over at Giant Pygmy.

Author: Cris Bloomfield

Usually mountain biking in the North.

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