Winter Kona Mash-Up 2009 – 5th December

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Jon Woodhouse reports for Singletrack…

If you’re not familiar with the format, it’s a bit like a car rally – there are stages you get timed on and it’s up to you to transport yourself between them, so you can take it easy to save your legs on the link sections and then pedal until you’re sick on the timed stages.

It’s split into two categories: the Enduro, which has six timed uphill as well as downhill stages taking in White’s Level and the July Trails, and the Technical which just sticks to three timed descents on White’s Level.

You can start a stage when you like and you can redo a stage as many times as you desire, but this means more climbing and tired legs, especially for the Enduro racers, timing being done with chips on the riders and timing mats at the start and finish of the stages.

Over 200 riders turned out which, considering the conditions (cold, sideways rain, about 18.5 on the scale of grimness), shows how popular this format is getting.

That’s not overly surprising as you can take it as seriously (or not) as you like. Clever tactics can make a difference, although not as much as being extremely fit as there’s a lot of pedalling to be done, even in the Technical Category.

If you’ve been keen to enter a european-Enduro-style race this is a good way to try it out – you don’t have to start at set times and the descents and climbs are relatively mild. Plus it’s in South Wales, not the South of France. This means lots of friends can come to race against each other, making it all the more interesting. A bit of healthy competition provides plenty of motivation to get out on the bike and stay fit through the dark and wet months that aren’t in British summertime too.

The racing was great fun despite the rain, cold and almost total lack of sensation in my body by the end, the timing system seemed to hold up okay this time and there was a good vibe about the whole event. If you want to do more runs than at a downhill race, have slightly less lactic pain and more “proper” riding than a cross country race then this could be the format for you. Just make sure your brakes work properly or you’ll get a great big surprise on the first corner. I’m chalking that down to experience.

Results are over on http://www.konamashup.co.uk

Endurance Category OVER ALL…

Women:
1st Meggie Bichard (WXC) in 26:50 min
2nd Rosina Kerswell in 32:06 min
3rd Rachael Spraggs (Moonglu) in 37:05 min
4th Marcelle Mackay in 43:02 min

Men:
1st David Beskeen (Psyclewerx) in 23:13 min
2nd James Astbury (DHCyclesport) in 23:34 min
3rd Al Fairbairn (Hargroves Cycles) in 23:35 min
4th Chris Leng (Barton-hill-bob) in 23:45 min
5th Antony O’Boyle in 24:17 min

Technical Category OVER ALL…

Women:
1st Rachel Vicary (CC-CC/Powell Fitness) in 14:10 min
2nd Jessica Stone (Worcester University) in 14:15 min
3rd Caroline Brighton in 16:50 min
4th Ivy Denham (Brechfa Bike Club) in 18:28 min
5th Aime Dix (Mojo Suspension) in 22:02 min

Men:
1st Rowan Sorrell (Orange / Royal) in 10:59 min
2nd Tim Williams (Mojo Suspension) in 11:00 min
3rd Martin Astley in 11:40 min

Next Kona Mash-Up event / 2010 line-up (provisional dates):

In 2010 they’ll be spreading the Kona-Mash-Ups out a bit by adding another date and location to the line-up. There will still be  a summer and a winter event at the Glyncorrwg Mountain Bike Centre, Afan Forrest but there will also be an event at Glentress, Scotland. Here’s the line-up with provisional dates.

  • 12th June 2010 – Glyncorrwg Mountain Bike Centre, Afan Forrest, Wales.
  • 24th July 2010 – Glentress Forest, Scotland.
  • 4th December 2010 – Glyncorrwg Mountain Bike Centre, Afan Forrest, Wales.
  • 4th Ryan Bevis (Bad Ass Bikes) in 11:43 min.
  • 5th Ian Hopkins in 11:51 min.

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