The Three Peaks is the classic cyclo-cross race. The 60km course around the Yorkshire Dales takes in three mountains – Ingleborough (723 metres), Whernside (736 metres) and Pen-y-Ghent (674 metres) – and is a tough old cookie whichever way you look at it. And looking at it from a skinny-tyred, drop-barred ‘cross bike only makes it look tougher…
This video of the 2002 race (foot and mouth meant that the 2001 race didn’t happen) does a fine job of capturing the spirit of the event. The Fridge Productions guys have covered the race a number of times in the past and this time had cameras all over the place – up on the hills, on motorbikes and one of them even raced with a camera on his head. That means there’re plenty of different angles and shots to keep things interesting, and the editing shifts between keeping track of the race and segments looking at different aspects of the event.
Coverage is a healthy mix of the top guys battling it out at the front and the “real people” who make up the bulk of the field and make the race what it is. The commentary, from director David Jinks, initially comes across as a little flat but soon you realise that it’s just a bit Northern and dry and actually suits the subject matter down to the ground…
The soundtrack, from the likes of Bentley Rhythm Ace and Faithless, seems perhaps a little incongruous but it makes a pleasant change from the acres of skatepunk and industrial metal that grace your average MTB vid. At an hour long and with shots of people carrying bikes up foggy Yorkshire hillsides, this isn’t a film that’ll have universal appeal but it’s just the ticket for the keen ‘crosser.
Fridge Productions have some clips from the video on their website.
A must-have for anyone who was there and a worthwhile buy for all ‘cross fans.