Riders ready for the start: just 8-hours to go…
Gary Fisher was helping to fix broken bikes and hand out beer and prizes at the end, as well as racing
BM’s David Arthur looks forward to a refreshing beer after riding solo
Another rider completes a lap
The start/finish arena chills out as the event draws to an end
Photos © Rebecca Charlton
The second round of the G2 Revolver headed to Stanmer Park, Brighton last Saturday and despite rain early in the morning for many riders making the trip down south, the day was to be blessed with beautiful sunshine and a completely dry course. The scene was set for a great day.
And so it was, with the 8-hour enduro event kicking of at noon and several hundred riders, split across solo, pair and team categories heading out onto one of the best courses in the UK. All that sun ensured the trails were bone dry, and after a few hours deep piles of dust gathered on the many tricky sections of singletrack, often conspiring to snatch the front wheels of unsuspecting riders.
The Ian Leitch designed course wasn’t the only highlight though, there was a small but vibrant start/finish area with DJs playing music all afternoon and it was considered by everyone to be a top atmosphere.We’ll hand over to Ian Leitch to fill us in on the days action:
Brighton has a great variety of trails from classic woodland singletrack to downland epic, and we wanted to put on a race that showed off some great singletrack to make people smile. The course had no less than 15 singletrack sections, the end of which from “The Log Run” onto “IFdeluxe”, through “Welcome to the Jungle” and into Simon Turner’s “SD Drop In” seemed to go down, down and down again.
It was important that we put on a lively event that had more than a whirring generator and timing tent. The combination of lovely weather, sweet singletrack, amusing posters, proper DJ’s and sound system and free beer at the finish really worked. If we did it again we’d have even more singletrack and more fun stuff.
What really surprised us was the after party showing. I thought we might get 20 or 30 people out for a drink at The Hope, but Rory Hitchens made up custom stem caps to act as free drinking passes and USE and Trek put a load of money behind the bar. We must have had up to 70 riders meeting each other and talking about the day plus drinking as late as 4am! This is how racing should be…
But aside from this there was a race on. The big categories in the 8 hour were the solos and the pairs, with 50 solo riders tackling the course and with money for the best placers, competition was fierce. Riders from as far afield as Newcastle, Manchester, Cornwall and Leeds made the trek to take on Mountain Mayhem Solo Champion Anthony White, South Downs Double holder Rob Lee and a smattering of local talent.
From the off it was Anthony White and Rob Lee leading things out but quickly into the mix was Matt Page looking to bounce back from a tough Mayhem. By lap three it was a three man race with dark horse Craig Bowles joining Page and White whilst smiling at all times. Then pulling through from 5th Will “WombleDog” Jones, a strong technical rider relishing this challenging course. The course provided little respite, with tough climbing and fast flat-out singletrack all demanding full gas all the time. After four hours Craig Bowles moved into the lead, his relentless pace and enthusiasm continued to the line defeating some established names for his first big win with a cracking 13 laps. Following behind were White and then Page to round out the podium.
In the women’s it was a race won by stellar bike mechanic Elouise Lindenburg, using her local trail knowledge enabling the big win against second placed US rider Steph Vogel.
Onto the pairs and it was a singlespeed versus geared showdown at the front of affairs. 69er Phillip More and local singlespeed legend Oli Pepper took away their gears and took out the whole field with a whopping 14 laps. They won the Independent Fabrication ride of the day. Rounding out the podium were Team Thule followed by a tooth and nail fight for third between John Ross and Andy Gowan of the 69ers and local Sheep artist extraordinaire Jo Burt and Will Thomas of Muesli Mountain who edged it.
Mixed pairs saw the legend that is Charlie “BlueSteel” Eustace with his partner Irene Lachner kissing in transition to inspire each other to a great win and also great exposure for the Softrock inspired Freeborn Ellsworth team.
Finally in the team category it was The Torq machine hammering it home closely followed Southfork Racing who had come all the way from Somerset. Bringing up the rear was The Brighton DJ Allstars, motley crew of course designers and event DJ’s. Nick Collins of Torq put in a fantastic 27.50 lap to take the Harvey’s fastest lap prize of a flagon of Ale – a refreshing change from all that energy drink no doubt.
A great day saw lots of smiles and we’d love to do it bigger and better next year with a few more added twists.
Edge of Darkness
The third and final round, Edge of Darkness, takes place at Fforest Fields, Builth Wells, Wales, on 20 September, and is a 12-hour event. Find out more at www.g2revolver.co.uk.