The Cheddar Challenge is probably the longest standing post-season festival on the mountain bike calendar. The recent boom in alternative racing events may have pushed this classic event somewhat into the shadows, but for 2002, the organisers are relaunching it as a cross-country festival in the hope that the crowds will respond.
The focus on cross-country is underlined by the decision to remove the downhill and dual from the schedule and replace them with a number of new races and support events.
The Cheddar Crunch – 5th October
This new event is a two-stage team race following an enduro format. Starting out on the Saturday morning, riders will set out on a short course version of the ‘Hell of the West’ enduro, attempting to complete the most laps possible in the five-hour time frame.
Stage two offers nocturnal fun, in the form of a night time-trial. Starting outside the bar (where else?) the race heads off onto the Cheddar cross-country course where the whole team tries to find a nice quiet spot to chunder, uh, I mean negotiate the tricky terrain.
There are categories for twin and solo teams for the unloved/hardcore.
Triple Ten Enduro – 5th/6th October
Devised to appeal to those of you who are a few cogs short of a drivetrain (singlespeeders?). Competitors will compete solo, racing the five-hour enduro on Saturday, the night time-trial on Saturday night and finally another five-hour enduro on Sunday to complete the challenge.
Cross-Country – 6th October
All categories of cross-country racing will take place on the Sunday, together with specialist competitions, such as the now infamous Singlespeed Championships, which is being moved up the schedule to reduce recovery time from the Saturday night’s drink qualifiers.
Obviously, Cheddar’s party potency is one of its major draw, and for 2002 the organizers are bringing back fancy dress, with themes to follow. Security will ensure that the entertainment is reserved exclusively for competitors and their families.
For information or entry details for any of the above events, contact Broadway House on 01934 742610 or visit the website: Cheddarchallenge.co.uk