Almost 1700 riders made it to the 10th anniversary of the infamous Ritchey Bristol Bikefest powered by Mercedes-Benz Vito Sport.
After last year’s super hot and dry conditions riders as well as the organising team was hoping for another Bikefest typical sun spoiled weekend – and once again event organiser Pauls’ rather reliable good weather flip-flops made for an (almost) perfect weather weekend.
The week leading up the event was hot and sunny making the singletrack loaded course once more into one of the most loved relay courses in the country. With the promising weather forecast and the relaxed event atmosphere waiting lots of riders took the opportunity to arrive on Friday to sample the newly prepared sections of the course, enjoy the DJ and bar as well as prepare themselves for the 12-hour lying ahead.
9am the next morning more than 350 teams, pairs and solo riders set of to fight out the fastest riders in the various categories on offer.
In the open male category local team Psyclewerx played on their home advantage and stayed in the lead pretty much throughout the 12-hours. They even managed to put a lap between the chasing teams Bad Ass Bikes and Cycle Coaching Wales. It all looked clear early on but CCW fought back and almost closed the gap to 8min. However the strong team spirit of Psyclewerx pulled through and they securely brought home the bacon in the end. Bad Ass Bikes in 2nd and Cycle Coaching Wales in 3rd.
In the Mixed team category – the Torq team stayed comfortably in the lead up to lap 21 when technical problems opened the race up again. However experience and lots of juice in the tank made them push hard after that grabbing the lead back and holding onto it till the end. The Bikeluyx-Progression came in 2nd place followed by Southfork Racing in 3rd.
The Old Gits teams were won very comfortably by Dream Zero G while the Single Speed teams were dominated by the local LVIS team who won the category almost two laps clear of the rest. Worth mentioning is also that the LVIS lot was probably one of the most prominent teams out there with lots or riders in the solo, pairs and teams category. A further prove of the above statement are the LVIS Wonder Woman who blitzed the Female Team category even more than their single speed team mates and won the 12-hour with a four lap gap.
The 12-hour Pairs teams started out a close battle between Torq, SFR and Singular with Torq pulling away half way through and never to be caught again by the other two. The mixed pairs was one of the clearest affairs of the weekend with Certinin winning by a astonishing five lap gap. The Certinin team was also successful in the old gits / single speed category where they came over the line ahead of Banjo Cycles.com Old Boys and Mint Source Racing.
Dan Treby from Singular dominated the 12-hour single speed category with a fairly close battle for the podium happening behind him. Dan would have managed to come 2nd in the open solo category. The solo open was won by Ian Longville with the old gits going to Richard Samuel. The ladies category was won with more than a lap ahead by Amanda Brooks.
Feedback on the new sections of the course were fantastic and riders are now eager to see the completion of the new trails in Ashton Court – guess they have to wait for the official opening of the trails at the Oktoberfest. The racing action was followed in typical Bristol Bikefest style with a massive party, live music and DJ tunes early into the morning – ideal preparation for Sundays’ 6 hour event.
The morning greeted the riders with slightly damper conditions given the course a different feel. Corners that turned slippery on Saturday due to the dust now turned slippery cause of theHowever the trails were still in great conditions even with thousands of laps being ridden the previous day.
Sunday featured the 6-hour team, pairs and solo events as well as the 3-hour novice race. At 10am the almost 200 teams started in the usual Les Mans fashion on the far side of the course before hitting the first single track in a more stretched out manner. After a short stint of rain in the early parts of the race the weather improved and with that the cleanliness of the bikes coming over the line also got better throughout the day.
Due to the more compact nature of the shorter Sunday races we saw some close racing in pretty much all the categories. There was a rather close battle in the 6-hours solo category with Charles Newton-Mason grabbing the early lead and holding onto it for a few laps before the more ‘experienced’ Werner Van Der Merwe and Al Fairbain came through before Al grabbing the win in the end. The first four riders were all on the same lap which made for some close racing throughout.
Some more close racing took place in the Mixed / Female Pairs category. In particular between the mixed Bath Uni team and the all girls Cotic AQR team. After a neck on neck racing day with the order constantly changing the Retrobike.co.uk team did come through with Bath Uni in second, only a minute behind the Cotic AQR team.
The other results from the 6-hour and 3-hour event can be found on the TimeLaps website.