They might have come second, but the home grown Diamond Back team are still chuffed with how close they got to the World cup winners. Here’s what team manager Gary Coltman has to say;
The Diamondback UK Mountain bike team of Nick Craig, Barrie Clarke, Elliot Baxter and Dave Collins scored a very respectable runner-upposition when the 2001 Red Bull 24 hour race finally drew to a close at 2pm on Sunday 24 June 2001.
After just 4 years in existence, the Red Bull 24 hour event has grown into arguably the biggest off road event in the country and is now beginning to attract top line competitors from all parts of the globe. Heading up the international line-up was that of the Giant World Team lead by ex. World Champion Christophe Dupouey and multi world cup winner, Rune Hoydhal. A formidable team indeed.
As 2pm on Saturday 23 June approached, the Diamondback riders would not let the awe inspiring achievements of the Giant boys overpower them and decided to set off at a fast pace. Leading for the first six of what would be a 37 lap race, the Diamondback team had soon forced the pace so hard that only the Giant World team were still in contention. This is the way it stayed until the mighty Christophe Dupouey came out to play his first part in the event at around 6pm in the evening. Predictably the pace increased and a gap appeared. As Diamondback paced themselves into a clear 2nd place, pulling away from last years winners, the Helly HansonTeam, they briefly found themselves leading once again as a puncture struck the Giant team. However, it was that man Dupouey who came back out to replace the status quo and then slowly began to build a lead as darkness fell.
Switching from 1-lap efforts to 2, the Diamondback team settled into the night time shift of 2 riders alternating 2-lap turns whilst the other 2 riders tried desperately to get some sleep before clocking back onat dawn break. As sun broke and the temperatures again rose to provide a perfect sun drenched setting for the second day in succession (not bad for England!) the racing was still competitive but with the Giant Team still out in front and Diamondback holding 2nd from Helly Hanson. And as the welcome end to the race approached, slowly but surely the Giant strongmen pulled away to secure a deserved victory and Diamondback equally pulled away from Helly Hanson to secure a very credible runner up position.
Next weekend (July 1) sees the third round of the National (cross-country) Series take place at Trentham Gardens, close to Stoke on Trent in Staffordshire. Barrie Clarke enters the race as series leader with a win and a second place and Nick Craig lies in 3rd place overall. Clarke will be looking to maintain the lead and Craig will be hoping for his first win of the series. As major cross-country action remains with the UK, the downhill discipline action is in Italy with the European Championships. Diamondback’s Matt Farmer is selected to represent Great Britain and team mate Karim Amour shall be there for France.
As an addition to this, we would like to say congratulations to Nick Craig for being unofficially voted “most polite and friendly Pro racer” on the Bikemagic forum. Thanks from all of us who you asked if we were OK when we were lying in crumpled heaps next to the ‘root of doom’, and thanks for your patience as we dawdled about in front of you on singletrack.
Diamond Back really have got the Diamond Geezer.