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Mountain Bike/Off Road Championships 2014, Sep 20th

Hope Valley Mountain Bike Challenge

Jacobs Ladder looking back towards Edale

Just above Jacobs Ladder looking back towards Edale. Sadly, we were riding up this climb.


What a race! Full of drama....As expected Andrew Lindley disappeared at the start. The rest of us started like well mannered gentleman.

We all settled into our respective strategies and mine clearly looked like it wasn't quite quick enough to keep up with Andy.

As I approached the bottom of Jacobs Ladder a cheeky hello from above confirmed that Andy was at least 5 mins ahead.

I was still well placed overall so carried on racing as best I could. Once at Hayfield I decided to try and up the pace but still no one was in sight.

I was mentally getting ready for the fast downhill blast into Roych Clough. When a tiny Clarion Top appeared with Andy inside it... Race is on. Andy is in one piece no crashes just a puncture.

By the bottom of Roych Clough I hadn't gained much as the gates limited any gains. So as I crossed the stream I only had a gap of about 20m.

I virtually felt sick at the thought of trying to hold off Andy up this steep slabby climb. Somehow I managed and as the gradient eased the gap increased enough that I no longer felt obliged to leave the gate open for Andy.

Next target Chapel Gate after climbing up the first part of Rushop Edge. In simple terms my best chance of success was to get to the top of Chapel Gate before Andy and hope that I could extend my lead on the downhill. This only just worked as Andy was on my heels by the top.

Some other lunatic flew past me at warp speed down Chapel Gate. This lunatic then blindly followed him as we now both entered warp speed and started jumping the largest drainage bars known to man.

The gap was now large enough that the run in to the finish over Hollins Cross and back to Hope was a lot less stressful and a lot more fun.

Overall a very well organised event. All finishers received either a mug of a buff but I got both as I won a Spot Prize too 

Results so far for the Clarion riders.

1 Mark 2.59
2 Andy 3.02
3 Mike 3.30
4 Tony 4.43
5 Martin 5.23
6 Joe dnf

Report by Mark McPhillips