The forecast the week leading up to the event was looking very tricky indeed. When gusts reach mid 40mph the park will often close and this wouldn't be the first time it has happened to us. However all was good and we had a window of opportunity with positively mild temperatures of +3 degrees, no wind and a little bit of drizzle. The later looking a bit like snow in the headlights and it was quiet Christmassy.
Over a 100 riders took part in the first race of the three race series split into 2 main categories, long being 4 laps and short 2 laps, 23 and 11.5km respectively. The feedback from the riders was it was a great course, physical, with a long climb at the end of each lap but a good mix of Haldon trails, a bit off piste and plenty of fast wide passing options.
The Ridge Café meeting room was great as an event center and people could register and have a hot drink and mince pie whilst having a post race analysis.
The headline results and stand out performances were plenty although two that stand out are Alfie Beaty overall fastest time on the long course with lap times consistently around 19 mins giving an overall time of 1:17:37. Fastest overall female was Fiona Barron in 1:35:00, at 16 years of age a star of the future.
On the short Corey Bale was fastest overall with a time of 47:47:1, Julia Browne was fastest female with 1:10:55, 11th overall on the short course and first in the female vet.
All the results are online on our website with overall and class results with lap splits as well so you can compare times. There were a good handful of retirements from mechanical failures, lights dying and the odd crash, no major incidents though.
A first for us was to have some Ebikes taking part and although none competitive in this event we will if the demand is there create a class for them in future events.
Thank you to Gemma Ingall from the Forestry Commission for help in the course design and general support for the event, Ridge Café for the meeting room, the marshals who stood out in the cold and cheering you on and then collecting in over 500 signs. Also to Elite Ambulance Services for medical cover and our sponsor Clif Bars.
Round 2 is at Cann Woods, Plympton and although very different to Haldon promises to be a great venue and one we haven’t used before for a bike race. Entries are still open for this so sign up at www.mudandsweat.com.
So all that remains is to wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from all of us at Mud and Sweat and we hope Santa brings you lots of new spangley bits to put on your bikes!