Selkirk MTB Marathon / British Champs
A belter of a day greeted the riders for the Selkirk MTB Marathon, Peter Flick competed in the 75km sportive event after being removed from the British Champs 5 days before the event due to British Nationality eligibility requirements!
Here’s my race report:
The start this year was from Selkirk town centre which made quite a grand opening to the event. The Brit Champ riders went off first with a lead car shortly followed by the sportive wave with another lead car. The car proceeded to fluctuate between 10 and 20 mph dropping most of the riders in the process… luckily I was one of the first few and got a nice draft behind although I was still fairly pecking.
First climb is a long arduous affair however I managed to pick off quite a few tail enders from the Champs race, a good sign with only 10 minutes gone. I was joined by two riders on the climb who I stayed with however the pace near the top was cranked up so I decided to ease back as I was over cooking it at this point, with only 25 minutes gone not a good sign.
The Selkirk route generally features lots of long climbs and quite a a bit of fire road peppered with some crazy descents through what could very loosely be called a cycle route, a good fun. A couple of sections early doors require a hike with the bike however most is cyclable. I had a few dark moments on the way mostly after the 45km mark where the legs decided to make it difficult for me on the climb past Herring Wood.
The last siginificant climb features Minch Moor which is arduous to say the least especially the way my legs were feeling. I got a puncture with about 8km to go descending after following the guy in front who also punctured, goes to say it does not always pay to follow the rider in front.
The puncture put paid to the sub 5 hour mark and I crossed the line shortly after in 5 hours 10 minutes (13 on the official clock for some reason). Result would have put me in the high 50’s of the 70 starters for the Champs.