Chain Reaction Cycles MTB Marathon Series 2012 powered by the Mercedes-Benz Vito Sport 2nd event – report
The Chain Reaction Cycles MTB Marathon Series powered by Mercedes-Benz Vito Sport 2012 header to its most northern location – Selkirk – to not just have the 1st round of the VITUS Sportives powered by CycleOps Power and the 2nd round of the CRC Marathons but also (for the 1st time) the UK MTB Marathon Championships.
The weather leading up to the event was dominated by long spells of rain (as everywhere else in the country) but the two event days stayed dry and on Sunday the sun came out to frame the UK Championship day perfectly.
Luckily the fairly weather resistant courses put together once more by Pete Laing and John Lloyd were not as badly affected by the weather as one would have imagined giving the riders the chance to really enjoy the challenging sections the designers had added to the already much loved Selkirk courses.
VITUS Road Sportive powered by CycleOps Power
On Saturday almost 300 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 were 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 41 minutes the first 47 mile rider came into the event village while the last 95 mile rider made the most of the day and took 8 hour and 28 minutes to complete the course.
The Selkirk round was the 1st round of the VITUS Road Sportive in 2012. The next sportive will take place at the upcoming Marshbrook round on the 14th July. For details please go to the Marshbrook event page.
Chain Reaction Cycles MTB Marathon Series powered by Mercedes-Benz Vito Sport & UK MTB Marathon Championships
After the road event came to an end on Saturday afternoon the mountain bikers started to descend onto the event village in Selkirk. This year things would be different at the Selkirk round as we had not only the 4 marathon courses to choose from but also the UK MTB Marathon Champs. After weeks of rain we were lucky that the weather forecast was true and after a cold clear night the blue skies and May sun woke the riders up and set the tone of the rest of the day.
After the ride got off at ten o’clock with the Championship riders leading the field out it only took a little more than three and a quarter hours till the leading championship riders came back into the event village.
Lee Williams of Team Wiggle managed to secure the 2012 British national marathon championships. He was one of a number of XCO specialists in the field, who kept the marathon specialists out of the top spots.
The podium was completed by Scott rider and UK MTB legend, the long-lasting Nick Craig, and ex road pro Dan Fleeman, now riding for Cycleshack / Forme Coaching.
It was from that group that the podium places came, with Lee Williams pulling back into Selkirk a few seconds before Nick Craig, after Craig had crashed a little earlier in the race.
Winner of the women’s race was Jane Nuessli, with an emphatic margin over second placed Rachel Fenton. Third place went to Verity Appleyard.
Highlights of the race were the scenery in general and the sections of trail centre singletrack at Innerleithen, part of the renowned 7Stanes network. This part of the Scottish Borders is stunning, with rolling hills as far as the eye can see, gorse in full golden flower, and a superbly remote feeling.
Mixed in with the Championship riders the CRC Marathon riders rolled into the finish arena all day to greet the T-shirt crew with a sheer endless line of big smiles and grins. 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 under an hour and twenty minutes while the last rider on the 88km long full marathon took 8hours and 27min to complete the challenging course.
Photos and finishing times
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 – to find your photos there to view or buy. The finishing times have been uploaded to the results page.
Next event of the CHAIN REACTION CYCLES MTB Marathon Series 2012 powered by Mercedes-Benz Vito Sport
Marshbrook - England (Shropshire)
14th July 2012 - Vitus Road Sportive
15th July 2012 – Chain Reaction Cycles MTB Marathon