Last weekend the third round of the Chain Reaction Cycles MTB Marathon Series powered by Mercedes-Benz Vito Sport took to the second new location in 2011 – 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 Llandovery, the Marshbrook round was another road and MTB affaire with the CycleOps Power 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, great weather and the MTB-Marathon Series typical setup but also with the extra addition of a super cosy pub with great food, mountain biker beer and some great live music…all just on the edge of the event venue!
A fresh new route and challenge
There has been lost of talk over the last few weeks about the upcoming Marshbrook round and some riders were worried about having just three courses on offer. But to assure everybody who shied away from the event ‘cause it is not tough enough’ – you missed out one of the best marathons in our history and probably also one of the toughest.
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.
Over 1000 riders took up the challenge and with the feedback we had so far the Marshbrook round has secured its place in next years line-up. There are a few things we need to look at but in essence the Shropshire round was a great success and could catapult itself to the top of the marathon tree.
Despite the rather challenging terrain and some of the riders out there really pushed on resulting in an impressively fast time for the 1st short course rider of just 1hour 15min. 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 7hours and 41mins.
Next up – Selkirk on the 23-24th July 2011
The next round of Chain Reaction Cycles MTB Marathon Series 2011 powered by Mercedes-Benz Vito Sport will take us even further north to Selkirk in the Scottish borders. The Selkirk round is another double event. With 2 fantastic sportive routes to choose from at the CycleOps Power Road Sportive on the 23rd July followed by the 4 classic and much loved Selkirk MTB marathon courses run on Sunday the 24th. Selkirk has been in the series for many years and has enjoyed the crown of best courses for many years.
Find out more about the Selkirk round please go to www.mtb-marathon.co.uk