Last weekend the 3rd round of the CRC MTB Marathon Series powered by Mercedes-Benz Vito Sport took us to Marshbrook in Shropshire. A few miles south of Shrewsbury and with ample of hills around it, things were looking promising for the summer round of the series. Similar to the last round in Selkirk, the Marshbrook round was another road and MTB affaire with the VITUS Road Sportive starting things off on Saturday and the MTB Marathon following on Sunday morning. But the Marshbrook round did not just impress with fantastic riding, almost great weather and the MTB-Marathon Series typical setup but also with the extra addition of a super cosy pub with great food, lovely beer and some great live music…all just on the edge of the event venue!
VITUS Sportive powered by CycleOps Power – the English round
The Saturday of the event weekend featured the 2nd round of the CycleOps Power road sportive which had two demanding courses on offer which not just showed off the most scenic corners of the area but also sent the riders up 20% inclines taking them to the very top of the famous Long Mynd. Riders who judged the courses purely on the distance and amount of climbing were surprised by the toughness of the terrain due to having hardly any flat sections in the two courses. An experience they would share with the mountain bikers who would hit the trails on Sunday.
The first rider conquering the approx. 1,700m of climbing of the short course was back in the event village after 2h 52min while the last rider finishing the 85mile long 2,800m of climbing long course came over the finish line in a time of 6hours and 48mins. The riders were welcomed back with coffee, tea and cake as well as with their finish T-shirt and gold/silver/bronze certificate.
The next round will take us the Brecon Beacons and Black Mountains – to Abergavenny – which is the new location addition for 2013. For all the event details of the 3rd road sportive please go to the Abergavenny (Please note the Sportive will be run on SUNDAY the 5th August) event page on the VITUS Sportive website.
An almost perfect day for a mountain bike ride!
Last year’s introduction to the series went down a storm with lots of riders rating the Marshbrook course as one of the best of the series. This year set out to impress the riders once more with the challenging and varied course around the Long Mynd.
Course designer John Lloyd created three demanding courses which had everything a marathon should have thrown into the mix – long climbs, fantastic single track, breathtaking views and some proper technical challenges. In particular the Minton Batch, the trails around Eastridge and the fantastic views from the top of the Long Mynd will stay in people’s minds for a long time.
Spoiled by sunshine and nearly perfect riding temperatures almost 1000 riders took up the challenge and with the feedback we had so far the Long Mynd course has secured its place in next years line-up once again.
Due the rather harsh weather conditions leading up to the event and the challenging terrain the recorded times were slightly slower than in 2011 with the 1st rider of the short course coming over the line after 1hour 43min in the saddle. From there onwards there was a constant flow down the finish shoot. After conquering the last few meters of trail the riders received their event T-shirt and a warm welcome of the crowd. The flow of riders would carry on till the last rider crossed the line to complete the long course in a time of 8hours and 34mins.
Next sportive and marathon – Abergavenny on the 4-5th August 2012
The next round of Chain Reaction Cycles MTB Marathon Series 2012 powered by Mercedes-Benz Vito Sport will take us to the new event in 2012 – Abergavenny. The Abergavenny round is another double event. With 2 fantastic sportive routes to choose from at the VITUS Sportive run on the Sunday of the event weekend (5th August 2012) as well as 3 classic MTB marathon courses run on Saturday the 4th August. Please note that the order of events is the ‘other way round’ in Abergavenny.
To find out more about the Abergavenny round please go to the event page. For further details on the 3rd VITUS Road Sportive please click here. We have also put the profiles of the Abergavenny courses up in the news section of the marathon website.
Photos and website updates
At this event we had once more 2 photographers out on the course; our regular photographer, Jon Brooke and his colleague. Check out Jon’s website www.rightplacerighttime.co.uk where you can find your photos to view and to buy. We have also have put the finishing times on the sportive and marathon websites.
If you are up for some fantastic riding (road or MTB) over and around the Brecon Beacons and Black Mountains then make sure you get your entry in quickly. To enter sijmply go to the MTB Marathon entry page here (you can enter the weekend ticket which covers the mtb marathon & the sportive only here) and the Road Sportives here.
Ritchey TrailMasters powered by Mercedes-Benz Vito Sport
It is only 4 weeks before the Ritchey TrailMasters (17-19th of August 2012) will be opening its doors. If you are starting to find your riding legs and enjoy our marathon events why not join the TrailMasters where you can experience some of the best trails Wales has to offer.
The entry is open for the three day event as well as the Saturday (18th) only event.
To find out more about this new 3 day mountain bike stage race and its unique concept please go to www.trailmasters.cc.