The storms the week leading up to the second round in the Night Rider MTB XC race were immense and relentless. Cann Woods the venue for this event was wet enough without the addition of more water! The area is already well used by many riders not least the Cann Woods Riders who are active in the area and on Facebook.
Creating a course that would provide a good race took a bit of planning, trying to get a balance of technical sections with plenty of overtaking sections as well as being physically challenging. The start had to be near the Forestry Commission hut for power and registration as well as parking. Having the start on a slight uphill is good for splitting everyone up before the single-track as well as slowing riders down at the end of the lap to record times.
The wind was not as strong as forecast on the night but was still pretty strong and the race arch was held down by 6 people and 4 ropes for the start. Without recreating the movie ‘Up’ we took it down straight after the start.
The results are online and things are pretty exciting in the series and all to play for in the final race in a few weeks time. Some of the battles around the course were great to see and some of the close racing is captured in a short video of the race: https://vimeo.com/250945024
All riders deserve a mention but a few headline results were Luke Kendall who was overall fastest rider with 4 laps in a time of 1:31:44, lap times consistently in the low 20 minutes. Fiona Barron led the ladies around the long course with a time just over 2 hours. On the short course Duncan Baldie was fastest overall with a cracking time of 55:29:00. Becky Evans was fastest lady in 1:21:18.
Riders and bikes were finishing covered in mud like I have never seen before. Some bikes were unrecognizable and looked much like they were baked in mud, a sort of Bike En Croute! Probably easily doubling the weight.
Thanks go to Evans Cycles who did set up a bike check service but themselves had power problems. To all the marshals who have been loyal to our events and not only cheered you all on and pointed you in the right direction but took in all the arrows and tape afterwards. Elite Ambulance Services provided medical cover and I am pleased to say they weren’t needed. Tim Powles from the Forestry Commission was totally supportive of the event and helped on the night with parking.
The third and final round in the series is at The River Dart Country Park near Ashburton on the 3rd February. This is a great new area and one that you wouldn’t normally be able to ride, as it is on private land. We will have the bar open and food will be available up until 9pm. We will do the 'on the night' results and prizes but more importantly, subject to some swift calculating and number crunching
of times, the series trophies will also be handed out.
You can still enter online now at www.mudandsweat.com See you there!
The Mud and Sweat Team