After a fantastic first event in Builth Wells earlier in the year were around 200 riders took up either of the two demanding sportive courses on offer the second event of the season would take us to Selkirk for a weekend of road sportive riding followed by the CRC MTB Marathon.
Being faced with rather wet conditions in 2008 the superb Selkirk courses enjoyed almost perfect conditions giving the Selkirk event a real feeling of summer riding. The weather leading up to the event was mixed but luckily for the majority of the road sportives the weather gods were on the rider’s side only occasionally throwing in some strong winds and showers.
CycleOps Power Road Sportive
As at the May event in Builth Wells (Wales) – Saturday was all about riding on skinny tires. More than 350 road enthusiasts turned up to enjoy the fantastic roads around the greater Selkirk area. The route took the riders through the Yarrow and Ettrick valleys starting with a long yet gentle climb following the Tweed River upstream. But it wasn’t all easy going. Our course designer Pete Laing had some ‘proper’ climbs up his sleeve to turn what appeared to be a gentle stroll into a real challenge. Each route made the most of the network of narrow hill roads linking the river valleys that the Scottish Borders is so famous for. The climb tot-up for each distance is… 47 mile: 4 climbs, 95 mile: 8 climbs. None of the climbs are Alpine in scale but only one is less than 100m vertical and if you check the course profiles, there isn’t a flat road in between, so the ascent total soon builds up. After 2 hour and 31minutes the first 47 mile rider came into the event village while the last 95 mile rider made the most of the day and took 7 hour and 46 minutes to complete the course. Unfortunately we had some problems with the feeding stations which we would like to apologise for and guarantee the riders that the shortcomings will be overcome for the 2011 event.
The Selkirk round was the final CycleOps Power Road Sportive in 2010. But we will return with a selection of sportives in 2011. To find out more and stay in touch about next year’s events please go to www.roadsportives.co.uk/index.php.
The rest of the weekend
After the road event came to an end on Saturday afternoon the mountain bikers started to descend onto the event village in Selkirk. More than 800 riders lined up ignoring the less promising weather forecast that a rather wet and unstable day would lie ahead. And luckily for everyone the weather prognosis was wrong with the rain holding off for almost the entire day only with the rain coming in for the last 15-20 riders. Following feedback from the last couple of years course designer Pete Laing changed a few of the key sections as well as adding some more fantastic singletrack to the menu. The T-shirt crew at the Rugby Club were greeted with a sheer endless line of big smiles and grins on people’s faces telling us that Pete had once more done a great job. One of the most impressed riders was marathon regular and multiple national XC and marathon champion Nick Craig who gave the event and the course in particular the thumbs up calling it ‘the best MTB marathon ever’. The sunshine and the perfect finish line setup encouraged lots of people to stay for a while and to enjoy a cold drink while watching the riders come over the line. The first rider on the Mini Marathon made it over the line in just over an hour while the last rider on the 88km long full marathon took 8hours and 18min to complete the challenging course.
The final round of the Chain Reaction Cycles MTB Marathon Series powered by Mercedes-Benz Vito Sport will head to Ruthin for the 18-19th September. For further details of the last marathon of the 2010 series please head to www.mtb-marathon.co.uk/events/ruthin.php” p or go directly to the entry page to secure your entry.
Photos and website updates
Our event photographer Jon Brooke and his colleagues were again on site as well as on course taking pictures of pretty much everybody. So just go onto Jon’s website – www.rightplacerighttime.co.uk to find your photos there to view or buy.