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Chris Orfeur reports on Mountain Mayhem at Marston Lodge last weekend!

Ellie and I joined a large number of Welland Valley members competing in the 6hr Mountain Mayhem event at Marston Lodge, we were in the Mixed Pair category which had a total of 16 pairs.

The weather looked dreadful, the course looked hard and we were to be racing on our cyclocross bikes…we had been warned that we may need a chiropractor by the end of the day.

Ellie stitched me up with the LeMans style start, running is only really something I do for emergencies. The run only took two minutes eleven seconds but that was enough to get my heart rate right up to the ceiling before jumping on my bike and getting stuck into the first lap. Luckily my run put me in the front fifteen well clear of bottle necks and crashes out on the course.

Ellie and I had gone with the tactic of rotating every lap, with a lap taking roughly thirty minutes this would give us enough time to recover but not get too cold and I was also confident we could put in a TT type effort every time we went out on the course.

I think this proved the best tactic for us as my off-road bike handling isn’t the best and I would certainly start crashing my way round the course after getting tired and would definitely end up covered in brambles.

The course was fantastic, roughly 8km it featured long drags, hills, steep climbs, heaps of changing terrain, steep descents and it was prepped to perfection.

Ellie was flying round the course despite having to run a lot of the climbs as her pip squeak physique wasn’t enough to keep traction…I had no such worries, all the flapjack, jam sandwiches, cheese sandwiches, scones, bananas, moat loaf and anything else edible I was chomping down on between laps was giving me more than enough grip on the back end.

At half way I was told the fantastic news that we were leading by sixteen minutes. Time to keep our foot down but try and avoid any risks that may scupper our chance of a podium finish.

Luckily the second half of the race went much like the first, fast and full gas. I managed to finish my sixth lap with enough time for Ellie to head out and finish it off (also I wanted to make sure she did six laps after stitching me up with the running start).

At the finish Welland Valley members had taken over the pit area giving cheers to all those coming into the finish for the final time.

Ellie and I both said what a smashing time we had waiting under the Welland Valley gazebo between laps, there was always someone from the club to talk to and exchange a little banter with. This made the six hours fly by like a great club social event but with a heart attack effort every thirty minutes.

Winning our category just topped what was a cracking day out with friends doing something we love, racing bicycles!!

Well done to everyone from the club who raced on Sunday, Welland Valley looked a formidable force out there and as a club we had great finishing positions all round.

Photos by Mountain Mayhem

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