World's hardest MTB stage race

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  • World's hardest MTB stage race
  • mtbmatt
    Member

    Iron Bike (Italy):
    [video]http://youtu.be/M5pP-oLcP5Y[/video]

    Why is it so hard?
    25,000-30,000 vertical meters over 8 days with technical climbs AND descents.

    Hope you like it.

    no_eyed_deer
    Member

    Nice one Matt! You are awsumzz… 😀

    How you didn’t end up breaking yourself on that, I don’t know.. 😯

    The pedals are still going strong by the way!

    Perhaps bump into you on the trails around Aberystwyth sometime? 😉

    Alan

    Premier Icon trailhound
    Subscriber

    That looks very tough but very,very fun! What’s the last track on there?

    monkeyfudger
    Member

    Looks awesome. How much is an entry, guessing an absolute shit ton! (Website doesn’t like my phone as it keeps crashing it)

    mtbmatt
    Member

    It also happens to be one of the best value races in the World.
    8 days, including food for €500-700. Price depends on how early you enter.

    You can easily do everything, including travel across and all your food for under £1000.
    Most years around 120 people enter, 100 start and 40-50 actually finish.

    There is an article in the final issue of Privateer with some great photos.

    monkeyfudger
    Member

    Bloody hell that’s rather good!!

    Come on, give us your write up or have I missed it? Surely you have a few tales to tell, how’d you finish, mechanicals etc!

    mtbmatt
    Member

    Here is a link to my blog with reports, stats and photos:
    http://www.acyclingteam.co.uk/iron-bike-2013-round-up-photos/

    mashiehood
    Member

    That looks amazing

    gee
    Member

    That’s mental. Is the weather always that nice??!!

    mtbmatt
    Member

    Pretty much. I’ve done it 3 years and can only remember a couple of damp days.

    gee
    Member

    Just checked the dates and I’ve already booked a holiday then!

    mtbmatt
    Member

    It has technical downhills anyway George 😉
    Plus a bit of hike a bike and I know you are not a fan of that either.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    The stage through the fort looked mint.

    tymbian
    Member

    I just checked your Blog – Strava – Stage 2 87 Km overall the first 30 up hill…WTF

    doffs cap.

    Alpha1653
    Member

    This will appear a bit random if you don’t, but do you live in West Wales?

    mtbmatt
    Member

    Pretty much.

    tymbian
    Member
    Alpha1653
    Member

    Ahhhh….so it IS you I’m chasing up Newgale hill on strava!

    Premier Icon epicyclo
    Subscriber

    Croc Trophy also worth a look if you like a real challenge.

    DT78
    Member

    Wow. you did that on a hardtail??

    Premier Icon singlespeedstu
    Subscriber

    I’m now seeing why you said this was your favourite event.

    That looks like some amazing riding.
    Just wish i was fit enough to give it a shot.

    Huge climbs/hike a bike/ awsum singletrack/ steep descents/ steps/Italian enthusiasm what more could anyone want. 😀

    Premier Icon Metasequoia
    Subscriber

    Thanks Matt, inspiring read, thanks for sharing and good write up in Privateer!

    mtbmatt
    Member

    Alpha – Possibly, although I have only ridden it once I think when visiting. If you steal it I might have to pay another visit 😉

    epicyclo – Croc is ace too. I’ve ridden it twice and its a much better (more technical) race than it used to be. It’s UCI for 2014 which will make it interesting. Different to IB, the “racing” is killer at the Croc and the heat, but there isn’t the climbing or anything severely technical.

    DT78 – Yup. Just because of the crazy amounts of climbing. I had a dropper seatpost on my Pivot LES and a 120mm fork. It has a pretty slack HA which make it fantastic downhill.

    stu – Got it in one. You have got to love the Italians 🙂

    Premier Icon jameso
    Subscriber

    Looks good that.. anyone know if there’s a route map anywhere for a self-supported ride, the general area if not the exact route?

    Well done Matt.. I heard it’s a really tough race. (There must be only one ‘world’s hardest MTB race’ left on your list now .. )

    Premier Icon Teetosugars
    Subscriber

    DT78 – Member
    Wow. you did that on a hardtail??

    Yeah, just think how “more alive” the trails would’ve been on a 650b eh? 😉

    Premier Icon jambalaya
    Subscriber

    @mtbmatt -being the Friday night party animal that I am I spent an hour reading the blog last night. Incredible event, great result, chapeau to your sir ! It is handy that on a bike forum we have some people who can actually ride a bit !

    By the way are you currently in Israel (Strava links) ? What’s the riding like ?

    mtbmatt
    Member

    Well done Matt.. I heard it’s a really tough race. (There must be only one ‘world’s hardest MTB race’ left on your list now .. )

    There are so many good stage races out there, it would be tough to do them all. The only other event that I know of that calls itself the hardest is La Ruta, but at 3 or 4 days I just can’t see it being harder and people who have done IB and La Ruta say there is no contest.

    On the to do list:
    Breck Epic
    Singletrack 6
    TransPyr
    Sudety Challenge
    Swiss Epic
    Maybe Cape Epic too, but as a pairs race it doesn’t appeal as much.

    If you mean the self-supported events/ITTs, no plans yet.

    IB is all based around Cuneo in Italy, you could get the routes from Strava.

    mtbmatt
    Member

    By the way are you currently in Israel (Strava links) ? What’s the riding like ?

    Israel is rocking. There is some crazy riding there and I loved the country. Looking to head back in 2014. It really suits the 140/160mm bigger bikes which wasn’t what I expected.
    Quick write up here.

    johnj2000
    Member

    I went through 3 pairs of underpants just watching the video footage, amazing stuff. Are the bits that look like you could die, if you went a bit too far right, as dangerous as they look?

    Premier Icon jameso
    Subscriber

    Thanks, will have a look. Want to do a trip to Italy before too long. Plenty on that list – hat off to your focus/appetite!

    bomba
    Member

    Meh, looks easy… 🙂

    mtbmatt
    Member

    I went through 3 pairs of underpants just watching the video footage, amazing stuff. Are the bits that look like you could die, if you went a bit too far right, as dangerous as they look?

    Yes. It was scary. The first few riding sections from the video we passed a memorial to someone who had fallen and died. I caught a pedal on the upper slope at one point which bucked my wheel and left me teetering on the edge with my back to the drop. Genuine heart in mouth moment until I manage to regain balance. There are lots of places where you could potentially die given a mistake.

    mtbmatt
    Member

    Meh, looks easy…

    You are one of the only Brits who can get away with saying that 😉

    bomba
    Member

    You are one of the only Brits who can get away with saying that

    Pootling round the hills of Kent and Surrey is easily enough preparation 🙂

    Fantastic vid, by the way. Difficult to get across what Ironbike is like, but you’ve done a great job.

    cynic-al
    Member

    Looks both epic and do able

    Premier Icon offthebrakes
    Subscriber

    Plus a bit of hike a bike

    Just a bit 😉

    It is do-able, even if most of your preparation is

    Pootling round the hills of Kent and Surrey

    . You just need to pootle for a very long time very regularly!

    It’s an amazing event, everything else pales in comparison…

    rexated
    Member

    That looks good / insane. All due respect sir.
    I’m doing the Andalucia race next Feb which is freaking me out a bit as it is my first stage race….but knowing there is something harder in Europe somehow makes me feel better 😀

    mtbmatt
    Member

    Andalucia Bike Race is a great event. Not as demanding as IB, but lots of fun with great descents.
    The competition at the front it first class. Very well organised as well, its a great race.

    Premier Icon adsh
    Subscriber

    Great stuff – can’t get the site to work properly – when is it?

    mtbmatt
    Member

    Iron Bike is usually the last week in July.

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