Monday, December 21, 2009

2009 Virginia CX Race

On Sunday I got to take part in my first ever snow race – it was also the first time that I wore full length leg warmers (and needed them) in a race. A heavy frost and snowy roads detered many from making the trip to Virginia Cavan for the event ran by TC Racing. With the weather, and the naturally beautiful backdrop it made for some picturesque racing.

After arriving I started a lap preride, I made the second second set of tracks on the fresh snow and three quarters way around the lap I payed for it. My front wheel dropped into a hole (filled with snow) and I went over the bars hard. It took 20 seconds on whimpering until I got myself off the ground – a dead leg (still in bits), a very sore thumb (currently twice it's usual size), a thankfully not broken but twisted shifter and a bruised ego... With that, I went back to the car, fixed the shifter and switched out my carbon tubular wheels for my spare wheels – dry weather wheels! (A shipment of Rocket Ron CX tires will soon arrive). The course was very technical as far as cross courses went, it was more like an MTB course but thankfully before the start the course was tamed down a lot.

The race started and Aidan McDonald went to the front with Alan Clogher – as I rode, my tires slid out on every corner and could never put the power down. I was here for training (my choice was this or a LONG 4-5 hour training ride in the frosty hills – easy choice) so let them go and concentrated on getting a few things right that I have been working on.

After 1:09, at around 15kmph (slowest race of the year) I rolled in for 3rd incident free (well, I had one working gear and had to stop twice to pull out sticks from my wheel – but that is minor in comparison to my last race!).

My Dad and brother (thanks for the pictures Mark) made the journey from Monaghan to watch (and freeze!). Thanks – come to CX Nationals, I promise a good race :)

Thanks to TC Racing for putting on the race – the grounds (Park Hotel) were amazing and I enjoyed riding in the snow – next time though, open the course up a little.

Friday, December 11, 2009

2009 Supercross Cup Round 4

Sunday was the final round of the this years SuperCross Cup. Roger Aiken had already claimed 1st place overall but 2nd through to 5th was still up in the air with myself, Joe McCall, Lewis Ferguson and Evan Ryan vying for position.

My club, MAD MTB, were the host club running the event in Corcaigh Park. My duties were putting together sandwiches for afterwards (7 loaves of bread!) and putting together a video of the race (which can be seen in this post).

Race winner - Connor McConvey

At 1pm we lined up and started – immediately Roger went to the front and attacked. A few groups formed from the start and I was silly not to be in the lead group (I was following wheels that I should not have been). Towards the end of the first lap I left my group moving after the lead group – a lap or two later, Roger fell off the lead group and we started riding together. We rode well together sharing the workload on a very windy course until with 3 laps to go he had a little trouble in one of the very muddy sections and a gap formed – at this point, I moved off in hunt for third position. On the final lap, with about 600 meters to go I passed Joe on the tarmac section but then things went horribly wrong – my bike skidded to a halt. Looking down, I found my rear derailleur (a beautiful 2010 Force one with about 14 hours of use) mangeled into my wheel. Nothing was moving. With Roger still behind me (somewhere), I picked up the bike, threw it over my shoulder and began to run – oh, I hated the running. I made it around the course to nip in just ahead of Roger with only a couple of seconds to spare.

With my 4th place result, I ended up finishing 2nd overall in the series – my first cyclocross series. I really enjoyed the racing – there was always 6-7 people that could make it onto the podium and that created a great race atmosphere, everything was up for grabs.

The damage

Thanks again to MAD for running the race and K-Capital Source and Cycleways for supporting the events.

More pictures from Ollie.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Video of Supercross Cup Round 4

I bought a Canon HF200 recently and this is the first clip I threw together - I was racing so Oisin Fitzgerald took the footage. A few lessons have been learnt (iMovie takes up a lot of resources - iMovie isn't that great beyond quick tasks - editing takes up lots of time if done right - I didn't do it right).

Anyway - enjoy - make sure to watch in HQ mode.

It is widescreen, so you probably have to go to the youtube webpage...

Thursday, December 03, 2009

2009 Cycleways Sale

Last year, Cycleways had a mega-sale the likes of which we hadn't seen in Ireland in a bike shop before. Mel and I ended up spending 2-300 hundred each picking up bit and bobs (An Assos Climajet Jacket for €50!), shorts, jackets – even a set of rollers.

Its that time of year again and they are having another one – the sale has just started and I'll be heading in tomorrow to see what I can find.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

2009 Supercross Cup Round 3

The alarm goes off and it is 8:30am (or just after midnight in California where I was two days earlier), I don't really want to get up – I heard the rain hammer down all last night and the thought of racing in it, during my 'off-season' wasn't exactly appealing. I drift back to sleep...

Startled, I awake – I think to myself, if it is 10am or later I'm skipping the race, I check the time – 8:50. Okay – time to get ready for a bike race.

After my puncture in Round 2 of the Supercross Cup, I dutifully filled some NoTubes sealant into my rear wheel with the hope that I wouldn't have to rip off another Tubular and restart the gluing process again. On the three weeks I was away between rounds, the tire held pressure perfectly so I was confident that I would not hit another mishap this weekend.

With the car packed, I started driving the 1.5 hours to Rostrevor – for the first hour, biblical rain fell and weather warnings beamed over the radio – hmm, I wish it was 10am when I woke. When I arrived, the weather had turned to being overcast, cold but overcast – race organizers were confident that the course would remain fast and holdup well. With all the rain recently, I didn't share their confidence.

I still was not in any sort of race mood when I started riding two laps of the course as a warmup – this changed quickly though as I realized the organizers confidence in a fast course was justified. Fast straight sections, flat out 90 degree corners, kicker climbs and bermed 180 U turns – I loved the course. There was even a run up where carrying your bike was the optimal mode – a first for me in a CX race.

At 1pm the race started – first time for me this year wearing a base layer and arm warmers. On the first descent section I went to the front to push the pace, at least that was my plan. On a very tricky loose left hander kicker (the looseness was caused by inches of wet leaves), I lost the front end of the bike and also took out Joe McCall who was sitting on my wheel. We went from first and second to somewhere in the early teens. Ooops – don't panic. By the second lap, Joe and I had gotten across again and a lead group of 7 or 8 had formed. Over the next few laps, I had some of the closest racing I had all year. Connor McConey and Roger Aiken were running their own race attacking off the front and watching each other – I tried to join the party mid way through the race attacking off the front but with a transatlantic flight 36 hours earlier – my lungs and legs didn't respond - I could ride pretty hard, but not super hard. The following lap, Connor and Roger attacked and stayed away for the remaining two laps. Joe, Evan Ryan (who was riding a stormer) and I came around for another lap – the last lap 'bell' went off. I thought we had at least two more laps to go (time flies when you are having fun I guess). The thought of an uphill sprint finish, although suiting me, wasn't exactly what I wanted so I attacked on the descent and flat section on the bottom and got a 10 second gap. I could see Conor about 15 seconds in front of me. With a half lap to go, I didn't think I would catch Conor (he looked very strong) – I eased off a little, watching the race for 4th unfold behind me and rolled over the line to take 3rd with a smile on my face. Evan edged Joe out for the sprint finish and both looked worse for wear for their final lap efforts (that's why I didn't want to be in a sprint finish!). Average speed for the race, despite the mud, was 23.5kmph - imagine if it was dry!

In the end of the day, I am very glad my alarm clock read 8:50 and not 10am. I had a really fun race with a great group of people. The course was possibly my favorite CX course of the year (a hard one to call), the organization was seamless and I'm really 'stoked' for the final round this weekend, held by MAD MTB in Corcaigh Park. If I can't convence you to race - come out and watch the event, starts and 1pm and is very spectator friendly - cow bells are optional.

Results are available here, some photos here and a report here.

Friday, November 27, 2009

2009 Mount Hamilton Hillclimb

The last thing that I did in the US (well, except eat a yummy Thanksgiving feast) was take part in the Mount Hamilton Hill Climb. The climb is pretty formidable – 30km long with 1,310 meters of climb and two short descents. I had climbed the climb a couple of times before and even took part in this race one year earlier – in 2008 I punctured my loaned tubulars half way up so that ended that.

The Profile

Due to the puncture last year, I felt like I had a little unfinished business. While training over here, all the rides have been endurance type riding on the flats with tempo or sweet spot on the climbs. My legs should be more than capable of a good effort before I left for Ireland.

Off the front - picture from here

As I'm also competing in the third round of the Supercross Cup CX series in Ireland two days later I followed wheels for the first 25km of the climb. The lead group (of the 200+ racers) was still big (around 20 riders) at the half way point. My plan was to up my pace with around 5 km to go. (Final 5 km was at 6%). At around 5km to go, with 7 in the lead group, I went to the front and upped the pace – about a minute latter, on a steep switch back, I attacked – my companions quickly dropped off and I soloed to the top to win in a touch over 72 minutes. The time was not particularly fast as we cruised along for the first two thirds (I could have pushed the pace more earlier but with a transatlantic flight later the same day and a cross race two days later, I thought it prudent to hang back until the end).

Picture from here

Winning with a view - picture from here

With the win, my puncture demons from last year have been quashed. Full results and photos will be up here soon, As my brother pointed out on the way to the airport, it is also my first US win.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Best of 2009: Garmin Edge 705 + BikeRouteToaster

It is around a year since I got my Garmin 705 and I have realized that didn't blog about the devices best use case (outside of Powermeter integration) over the 305. I didn't think that mapping would be a huge thing for me, but a few weeks with the device and I was proved very wrong – not only did the mapping help Mel and I navigate our way around Europe, Africa and the United States like a normal car GPS when getting to the race, but it has been a great tool for training in new areas when used with a website I love –

An example toasted route from last week

Bikeroutetoaster basically allows you to trace out a road loop on a google maps style interface and easily upload the result to your Garmin for playback. Not only that, it will also give you an elevation breakdown of what you are about to do which can even be viewed on the Garmin. For instance, last January in Gran Canaria, in the morning over breakfast I would trace out our routes, check the profile (make sure there is the right about of climb for the day) and distance, upload to my Garmin and go. Not once did we ask for directions, get lost or need an external map – perfect.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Pictures from today's ride

I few pictures from today's ride. A 155km point to point from Livermore over Mount Hamilton and back to Palo Alto. Nice weather throughout (but it was really cold) :)

On Thursday (Thanksgiving) the Low Key hill climb will be going up Mount Hamilton - I'll be giving it a go before I head back to Ireland later that day.

Monday, November 16, 2009


The secret to climbing well in the summer - lots of this in the winter:

There are no shortcuts.

In other news - the start to Saturdays CX race in Sierra Point:

That was the start of the cat A race - there was probably around 700 racers in total!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Cyclocross Final Laps

The day after each of the World Cups (and other big CX races), TV coverage of the final lap pops up on youtube. I'm been watching them for the last few weeks - some amazing finishes. The video below is from last weekends race in Nommay.

Amazing to see the attacks and Sven almost bridging across to the lead pair. Niels Albert's riding style is also really interesting - out of the saddle a lot and a lot of upper body movement.

That course looks really amazing - fast wide corners and not too much mud.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

2009 Supercross Cup Round 2

Sunday was the second round of this years Supercross Cup. IMBRC were holding it in Tymon Park and it was the first CX race down south this year.

On arriving I found a fast course with some really nice twisty sections – the recent rain meant that it would get pretty muddy but not turn into a mudbath.

At 1pm the race started and just a few hundred meters into the race I punctured the rear tire (running tubeless tubular). I was so annoyed – I nursed the bike around the 2km lap back to the start to get my spare wheels. Unfortunately, not only did I have the slowest wheel change in history (must practice that - and remember that I'm running cantis and not disc brakes!) but the tires were dry weather CX tires setup for the road (65psi rather than the usual 30 I would race). I started the chase from somewhere in the 30s or 40s but the game was over. I rode the remains of the race (trying to stay upright as my rear wheel tired to foil me at every cover) but the motivation wasn’t there to push it, this is, after all my ‘off-season’ and the racing just a bit of fun on the side. Needless to say though, I was frustrated as I missed the opertunity for a great battle at the front of the race. I think I would have had a great fight with Robin, Lewis, Joey and Roger at the front instead of tooling around for an hour - C'est la vie. Better this race than a big important one...

Now I’m off to the US for some work and training – I have a few days scheduled for holidays so I should get a few long rides in too.

News and results can be found here and Ollie's great pictures are available here.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

2009 MAD Club Championships

My club had its club championships yesterday on a beautiful (but windy) day. I took up photo duty for the day and snapped these shots. It has been a while since I have been taking pictures with my nice camera and I'm totally out of practise, but I still captured a few good ones.

2009 MAD Champs

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

2009 Epic Blast Video

I have talked about the Epic Blast before, but this year a few folks captured the event (in all its glorious weather) with some high def cameras. Have a look at the video, espeically the action a couple of minutes in. I unfortunately skipped it as I was still recovering from the broken collerbone - it is an event that is hard not to go full out in :)

Epic MTB - The Blast - Wicklow - 13th September 2009 from Dylan Murphy on Vimeo.

Looking forward to 2010 already.

2009 Ballyhoura Screamer MTB Stage Race

This may have been my 'off-season' but I have still ended up racing some sort of event every weekend. My training between events (more exercise actually) was just the Tuesday night cross training sessions and maybe another 1 or 2 MTB rides - nothing that resembled a structured plan.

Anyway, I heard about the Ballyhoura Screamer a few weeks back. It is basically a two stage MTB race held on Ireland's largest trail center (Ballyhoura) on Halloween night. They promised a carnival atmosphere and that is exactly what we got.

The first stage was a 32km cross country loop utilizing many of the purpose built trails (mostly the brown loop). Things were going well until about 10km to go when I had a slight crash, my first racing in a long while, and punctured my front tire. Luckily, despite a lot of stopping to re-pump the wheel and the use of a few CO2 (thanks Mick Jordon) cans I was able to scrape around to take the race lead.

After a chicken curry with rice (well, more like a veg curry – they were stingy on the chicken) with the other MAD racers and we were back for the night time-trial. All the kids that were present for the family events congregated around the start ramp creating a great atmosphere. As I was in the lead, I started last (to a smaller crowd) but had great fun bombing around the 9.2km singletrack loop setting the quickest time and claiming the overall.

The racing etc... was great, but the main thing about this event was that it was a relatively low key introduction to racing. I had not seen 90% of the people down there before at races – baggie shorts, flat pedals and lots of nerves where the order of the day. I hope that this event has snagged a few more riders with the racers bug I caught a few years ago.

Thanks to everyone for putting on such an inclusive event – there was something for everyone there from the people who raced the event in a little over two hours to the folks that took over four.

Results are up here, and a selection of photos here.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

2009 Ulster Cyclocross League - Round 2

It was a bank holiday weekend and my choice was to go on 3 long MTB rides, or 1 medium, 1 Cyclocross race, finished off with a long spin on the Monday. I decided for the later and found myself up in Carrikfergus with Greg May as company to take part in the second round of the Ulster Cyclocross series. Before the race, I knew the course was going to be around circles in a field with a bit of a hill – with the rain the past few days I also knew it would be a muddy affair – my first muddy CX race, cool.

The race started a little after 1pm riding up a pretty wet climb. Everyone was vying for position and I just remained in the top 4 or 5. As we neared the top of the hill, I went to the front and started descending at a reasonable tempo, by the time I got to the bottom I looked around (due to the course being in a field, you can see where everyone is really easily) and had a 10 second gap – ehh, didn't expect that. So with that, I continued on at a good pace. Half way through the race I could judge that Lewis Ferguson was about a minute back but looking good. At this point the course was getting really shlompy and putting the power down was hard going (a thing that I now know I don't like so much). As we neared the end of the race, Lewis was getting closer and closer – a frantic last lap seen me finish 5-7 seconds in front of him – wow, a close call.

Being well rested, my HR was sky high!

Lewis chasing me

Not that you can tell from the pic, the SRAM Force groupset worked perfectly

Despite how it sounds, the race course was actually a lot of fun – the deep mud was frustrating but hey, it is Cyclocross, in Ireland, in the winter. The organization went well and warm showers and good food greeted us for the prize giving. My second CX race and my first CX win – the next CX race is the second round of the Supercross Cup being held in Tymon Park, Dublin.

There is a report available here and the great pictures by Andy here.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Thanks Everyone

Thank you, thank you, thank you. Mel and I have both had a very successful year topped off two weeks ago with us winning Cycling Ireland's Male and Female Cyclist of the Year awards. There was a few rocky periods, my broken collarbone and Mel being raced out in the middle of the season, but it all came back together for us to finish the season wanting more - what more can you ask for? Fortunately for me Cyclocross is giving me a bit more racing but I promised myself, until Nationals in January at least, that I can't take it more seriously than a bit of fun on the side.

Stunning Cavan Crystal Vases we won for Male/Female Cyclist of the year

Being unfunded privateer racers with full time jobs/phds we really rely on the help of other people and companies to allow us to race and train the way we do. We both put everything from a time, financial and energy point of view into what we are doing and these people allow us to stretch that as much as possible.

First off, and most importantly we would like to thank Cycleways - Shane, Francis and the mechanics Michael and Conrad (well, everyone in there really - it is always nice popping in and getting a cheery "how are you") have helped us time and time again, whether it was sorting us out with the best race bikes out there (our Specialized S-Works Epics), fixing things I couldn't figure out, finding parts that are hard to find or just giving us great advice and encouragement - it is hard for us to say how much we appreciate the help without sounding cheesy! Thanks guys - we owe you a lot!

Specialized - we mostly dealt with Specialized through Cycleways but they were always great at supplying us with all the best race kit available. It is always possible to debate the best XC race bike whether it is a hardtail or full suspension or what type of suspension works best but one thing you can never argue with (if you tried them and if they fit you) is their shoes and helmets - they feel like my Vietnamese suits -tailored just for me :)

TorQ, for the second year have been a huge support to Mel and I. For any race we raced in the UK, we always looked forward to meeting Sasha and Matt and catching up. Not only do they make great products (I have talked enough in the past about that), but they are genuinely really nice people too. Mel and I have always enjoyed being part of the team - especially the BBQs after TwentyFour/12 :)

KCNC/Clee Cycles - I talked about KCNC products earlier in the week which I have been using for about 3 years now. This year was the first year that we got some direct support. Andy from Clee Cycles was great to work with and they also have their own successful shop team too.

Schwalbe Tires - I started using them when they came on a bike I bought and have not looked back since. A post earlier describes our usual race setup, which is actually the same as I use on my 6 inch travel bike (except I go for the 2.25 width rather than the 2.1). Chris from Schwalbe was always amazing at making sure we had everything we needed and some...

We would also like to thank the following companies who have supported us in some way over the last year: Crankbrothers, Saris, Garmin and Physio Dynamics. Servicing pedals, telling me how many Watts I'm putting out, pointing me in the right direction or fixing me after an incident - these guys helped make our season roll along smoothly.

Lastly, we would also like to thank everyone in the Irish mountain biking community - it has only been a couple of years since we started (and yes, we were non cyclists when we first met) but we have always been made feel so welcome from day one and encouraged along the way. It means a lot to us - thanks guys, and see you on the trails :)

Friday, October 23, 2009

Best of 2009: KCNC

I have talked about it before, but another thing that I have really loved in 2009 is the KCNC products. KCNC is a company based in Taiwan that makes lightweight, high performance components at a reasonable price. There are many ultralight race components that I lust after but have mega high price tags - KCNC matches the weight and performance but yet is at an affordable price. In addition, to this day, I'm still to have a single issue with any of the products - I have used the seatposts, bars, bar ends, skewers, stems, cassettes and jockey wheels in some form for the last 3 years.

For me, of the products I have used, the seatpost is the star of the show - for £75 and 150 grams you get a set and forget way of dropping 100 grams off most posts. I have used the post on all my mountain bikes, my road bike and my cross bike.

Securing our front wheels - 44 gram (a pair) KCNC skewers

Monday, October 19, 2009

2009 Supercross Cup Round 1

On Sunday I took part in my first proper Cyclocross race (I did two in 2007 but lets not mention that now). I decided two months ago that I would do the Irish CX season this year, built up my bike, and started doing some skills sessions with a bunch of guys on Tuesday nights.

Apollo CC were the hosts on the first round of the Supercross Cup this year - the main Irish league for CX this year. Upon arriving, I found a really fast, fun course with lots of passing opportunities, two run ups (or one run up and one bunny hop if you have the skills) and lots of fast flowing corners. After the first practice lap of the course, I knew I was in for a good race.

At 1:30, 55 of us blasted off. The first lap, a bunch of us jostled around the front with Lewis Ferguson putting in a few good efforts. On the second lap, Lewis, Roger Aiken and myself broke clear. Roger at the front, Lewis and then myself. Half way around the lap, Roger attacked and a gap grew in front of Lewis - I made the mistake to not bridge up immediately. A little too late, I went to the front and drove the pace for a couple of laps with Lewis showing great skill bunny hoping one set of boards each time (The boards were high enough and I had not practiced it so was not going to attempt them in the race - I lost a couple of seconds each time!). For the middle section of the race I put in a few attacks but Lewis was hard to shake off so I rode mostly at a good tempo. As the bell rang for the last lap, I knew it was now or never and gave a good attack, still Lewis on my tail, another minute or two later another attack, no luck. On the run up section we were together but I was riding the corners better and attacked off a corner before a 20 second climb. I got about 10-15 meters and put the head down pushing to the line to place second to Roger.

I have to admit that the race was one of the most fun races I rode all year and the course was perfect. My bike, on its maiden race rode amazingly well and the Tufo wheels and tires worked a dream. I was buzzing all day after the race and am really looking forward to more CX racing soon. I'm approaching these races as a bit of fun intensity training to do in the winter and not putting any pressure on myself - but next time, I'll be more attentive of letting Roger off the front :)

Results are available here with some photos here (I scattered a few through the post)

Friday, October 16, 2009

Ballyhoura Screamer

Ireland's first purpose built trail center is holding a fun event on Holloween night this year. The Ballyhoura Spook will consist of a day time 30km mountain bike race and then a 10km night time trial. They promise to take out all the stops and make this a great event for riders and families alike.

Having family in the area, it is another reason for me to head down to that part of the country again.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Lugalla Mountain Hike

Mel and I were lucky yesterday and found amazing conditions for a hike around Lugalla

Supercross Cup

It may be my "non-competitive" season but I'm still going to give a few Cyclocross races a go. The Supercross Cup series kicks off this weekend in Lurgan.

As this is my first year racing cross, the series is mostly about having a bit of fun - I'm taking it pretty easy at the moment and mostly riding my 6 inch travel fun bike (Enduro SL) but hopefully the cross races wont be too painful :)

Friday, October 09, 2009

2009 K-Capital Challenge Round 3

After the Newnham races I officially went into "off-season" mode, or as some like to call it, "non-competitive" season. For me, I guess it is the off-season as the following week I took part in the final round of the K-Capital Challenge series.

Unfortunately, due to other commitments I missed the first two rounds. The events are a little different from the standard XC races as they are mass start for all categories and based on either one or two laps with the winning Elite rider finishing after 1.5-2 hours.

The final event was being held in the beautiful surroundings of Kippure House, home to the 2008 Marathon Championships. Luke Manning (and a bunch of others) put together some amazing new singletrack on the western Dublin mountains, an area of the Dublin and Wicklow mountains that I severely ignore (not any more!).

James McClusky

At 12pm, 140 riders left Kippure house for our 28 kilometer route. We kept the pace neutralized until we finished an initial road section and headed into a fireroad climb. Almost immediately, Matthew Adair attacked - I jumped onto his wheel and towards the top when he started to slow, I jumped onto the front to push the pace. I entered into the virgin singletrack in the lead but made a few mistakes and watched Robin Seymour and shortly afterwards, Joe McCall, ride by. As I rode the singletrack, I forgot I was in a race and simply enjoyed riding my bike in the woods. After lots of amazing trails, Joe and I were riding together and I judged Robin to be about 30 seconds up. After a very steep (but short) climb, I kept the head down to bridge over to Robin - half way up the main road climb I made it to him and we crested the hill together. I let a gap open on a rocky descent and followed that up with a few poor line choices (all new trails to me) and by the time we hit the final long climb, I was again around 30 seconds back. The head went down and I pushed to the top of the climb entering the final singletrack ahead. As soon as I entered though, I made a wrong turn (oh, I wish we had multiple laps of this course) and Robin passed me for the final time. I tried to stay with him but a gap opened. Half way down, I took a wrong turn (in this case, lots of people did - the only ambiguous place on the complete loop). Knowing that Joey was a couple of minutes back I took the time to enjoy the final section and finished a little over a minute behind Robin.

The event was ran to perfection on great trails - I would love to see a marathon even held there over a couple of laps of that course.

Results are available here.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Thinking of the 2010 Cyprus Sunshine Cup

After the amazing experience Mel and I had at the 2009 Sunshine Cup, we have already signed ourselves up for the 2010 edition. This year, the event will be slightly shortened cutting out the inital Point to Point race (a 45km course with 1600m of climb) but running that race a little later in the year. The other events, thankfully, remain the same. So basically, fly over for 2.5 weeks, get two C1 XC races and another S1 Stage Race in the middle.

The thing I'm looking forward to most is the 45 minute single track climb to the clouds that is followed by a 12 minute rollercoaster single track descent back to the start - that is part of the point to point race which is the second stage of the stage race.

A few days ago we also go the following photos from one of our friends from Cyprus - Savvas. Thanks for the pics!

The time trial (part of the stage race) was the only wet race

Mel in good company

60-90 riders in the Elite Male races meant frantic starts