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Xterra Germany Cancelled, bring on the BIg Dog

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With Xterra Germany cancelled due to severe flooding, it was time to look elsewhere for an event to fill the gap. I decided on and took part in the Brighton Big Dog MTB Enduro on Saturday 14th Aug. The event was open to solo, pairs and teams of 3 who raced over an 8 mile circuit in the picturesque Stanmer Park. Each lap contained 1100ft of ascent and descent and included both technical singletrack and fire roads. The idea is to complete as many laps as possible within the six hour time limit, finish your last lap one second over the six hours and that lap was a waisted effort.

Rain had lashed the course all week but from the gun the ground seemed to have help up really well and was sticky but firm. The forecast was for heavy rain though and with the technical parts of the course strewn with roots and fallen trees it was always going to get more interesting. I had chosen Schwalbe rocket ron tyres as they have a good all round grip but also shed mud well when things get filthy. Sure enough at the start of lap two the heavens opened and it became a different race, as lap times shot up from 40-50mins to over an hour. The steep uphill sections became a cyclocross carry and the downhillls a rollercoaster on the edge of control sometimes bouncing off trees with my shoulder to keep the bike going in the right direction. This was only lap two and two hours in, what would nearly 600 sets of tyres do to the course?

Things didn’t really improve they just changed from wet and slippery to thick and claggy mud that was also slippery and made your bike weigh twice as much. I eventually crossed the line in 5:27:25 having completed 5 laps to finish 8th solo vet. This was my first long distance enduro event and a very enjoyable if tough one at that. Thanks to all my sponsors and especially to Cannondale, I was amazed by how well my Flash performed under about 20lb of mud.

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Pics from Xterra France

Some pictures from the recent Xterra race in Xonrupt France

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