The Singletrack Classic Weekender – The Saturday

by Ben Haworth 37

cyandbenRather than wait until the actual weekend itself to “debut” the race format, we thought it might be a good idea to do a scaled down version beforehand. Very scaled down. Just three competitors to be exact.

On a sunny Monday afternoon Ed Oxley (Great Rock), Brant Richards (Ragley Bikes) and Cy Turner (Cotic Bikes) turned up to do battle. The idea was to pretend it was the Saturday of the Singletrack Classic Weekender – the day of the “Classic Trials” and the “Downhill” rounds.

Benji was there with his trusty videocam to capture the thrills and the spills.

First up was the “Classic Trials” round. Five obstacles. Only one chance to get it each one right. If the obstacle was cleared (with no dabs and without leaving the confines of the imaginary race tape) the competitor incurred no time penalty. If they put a foot down – or went outside the imaginary race tape – a 1 minute time penalty was incurred (ie. added to their Sunday XC time).

After the “Classic Trials” round was completed by all three competitors it was time for the “Downhill”. It was here where each rider’s differences came into more effect. Ed knows the course like the back of hand and was on a bouncy bike designed for “gravity assisted” riding (Orange Blood). Cy was riding the course unseen on a mid-burly full-susser (Cotic Hemlock). Brant was feeling the after-effects of an earlier crash (see/hear video below) and was riding a hardcore hardtail (Ragley Blue Pig).

The benchmark time for the Downhill course is 1 min 30 secs. Competitors will incure time penalties (ie. time added to their Sunday  XC time) for every 10 seconds over this time. Anyone who puts in a time faster than the benchmark will earn a time bonus (ie. time subtracted from their Sunday XC time).

If a competitor does the “Downhill” in 1m 30 secs they incur no time penalty.
If they do it in 1m 51 secs they incur a 2 minute time penalty.
If they do it in 1m 22 secs they receive a 1 minute time bonus.

So basically if you do well at the “Classic Trials” and the “Downhill” you’ll start the Sunday’s XC race at (or close to) 1:00pm.

If you mess up all the “Classic Trials” and put in a slowish time on the “Downhill”, you’ll have incurred a few time penalties and you’ll have to wait a few minutes to start the Sunday’s XC race (eg. 1:14pm).

The idea being that the Sunday’s XC race works under a handicapping system. A handicapping system that’s based on performances from the previous day’s “Classic Trials” and “Downhill” rounds.

This way, whoever crosses the XC course finish line first is the Weekender Winner! No waiting around for panicky-looking computer bashers to formulate the results.

It sounds a whole lot more complicated than it is in practice (phew!) 🙂

So the standings for Ed, Brant and Cy after their “pretend Saturday” were as follows…

Ed Oxley
Classic Trials: 2 minute time penalty
Downhill: 2 minute time bonus
Sunday XC start time:  1:00 pm

Brant Richards
Classic Trials: 2 minute time penalty
Downhill: 1 minute time penalty
Sunday XC start time:  1:03 pm

Cy Turner
Classic Trials: 0 minute time penalty
Downhill: 0 minute time penalty
Sunday XC start time:  
1:00 pm

Stay tuned for part two – Sunday’s XC. Will “Local Hero Ed” elbow “Gentleman Cy” into the first ditch? Can “Bruised Brant” make up his 3 minute handicap?


There’s still plenty of entries left for this “say-you-were-there” event. Entry on the day will be possible but it’s cheaper (and less risky) to enter early online –

Props and shout-outs:-

The “Classic Trials” event is kindly sponsored by Singular Cycles.
The “Downhill” event is equally kindly sponsored by Maxxis Tyres.

Comments (37)

  1. Can “Bruised Brant” make up his 3 minute handicap?

    I think that’s reasonably unlikely, and I’m wondering whether I’ll ever walk again.

    Can now do stairs, albeit sideways 😉

  2. Have you decided on the length of the DH Course? When we did the Skills training with Ed a while ago it hadnt been decided whether to end the course near the cattle grid or go further down and include the jumps – which one have you gone for?

  3. Is a rucksack with 14 bricks in it obligatory? 🙂

  4. >Is a rucksack with 14 bricks in it obligatory?

    It was a pineapple actually.

  5. DH is now finishing on the big corner after the jump section I think. Sweet…

  6. is it the hardtails head angle is too slack to get up those little climbs or user error?

  7. DH includes the jump line .

    Rider error on the hill climb for me :-/

  8. so a time bonus means what?

  9. Free pre-rides of the 3 courses for anyone who’s bought a Weekender ticket. Tonight and next Tuesday. Come and scope your lines!

  10. In Laandon this week, so I’ll see you up there for the next one EduardO.

  11. Pineapples are really good value at the moment.

  12. How about adding a 5 second trackstand to the log over the water? Would be good for tshirt sales!

  13. Is the log over the water being used?

    How about a wheelie/backflip off the log INTO the water. I think people there last Tuesday might know what I’m on about!

  14. the last step up on obstacle 1 always gets me!

  15. Going up on Friday evening. At least now we know the sections and can have a bit of a practice. Still don’t know which bike to use on the day though. Hardtail or full sus.
    PS. Brant – pulling a wheelie off the end of a seesaw seems like a great idea until you put it into practice. Been there at Stainburn – it’s amazing how it falls away as you put the power down. Never again.

  16. DBW – I doubt anyone could pull off such a trick.

  17. You’re right Ed. Nobody could have such mad skillz.

  18. Chase, hardtail for me since I found where the bottle cage mounts are on my Prophet………

  19. And the trials courses may be subject to change as we see fit… 🙂
    You’ll only know for sure what they are on Friday evening. But there will be time to practice them before the competition starts on Saturday at 10am.

  20. Question- whats the security like for the event/weekend?

  21. There’ll be 24 hour security down at the car park, plus people wandering around. I’d still recommend bringing a lock though.

  22. From what Ed tells me Brant did a similar trick to you DBW coming off the seesaw but without the water/mud to land in.

    As Chips says security on the car park, I’m trying to sort out some scafolding to go up in the quarry for people to lock bikes to as well.

    Local Police are going to be knocking around over the weekend (some of them are I beleive quite keen mtbrs) they will be helping to keep an eye on things.

  23. Thankfully it wasn’t me that ended up ass first in the mud Tony – it was ed80. Oh how I laughed until I realised I had to give him a lift home. I started laughing again when I learnt he had spare clothes.

    10 days to go – can’t wait!

  24. Where does the DH start?

  25. I was keen before, but I’m really excited about the event now I’ve been up. Well worth a pre-ride, and Ed’s a great guide. Personally, due to current fitness ‘issues’ I’d have hoped for HUUUUUGE time bonuses for pinning it on the DH and trials, but that’s only because it was my only hope of troubling the top half of the field 😉

  26. lev – I don’t know Lee Quarry that well but its basically the whole of the long downhill on the western edge of the quarry with the jumpy section at the bottom.

    Watched the video last night of the trials. Lots of new stuff compared to what we were playing on last Tuesday!

  27. Looking good, aslong as I don’t flat on the corkscrew top of the DH, that’d be worth a 5min+ penalty I bet.

    Have you decided if (and how) you are going to enforce same tyres rule?

    (i doubt I’d bother changing even if it was allowed but it would be annoying if someone had 2.7″ dual plys on DH day and 1.5″ flyweights on XC)

  28. The chosen Trials obstacles will be decided/revealed on Friday July 3rd afternoon/evening 🙂

    The “same tyres” rule will apply.

    Your bike will inspected at the start of Saturday and then as you cross the XC finish line on Sunday.

  29. cool, all very formula 1 🙂

  30. Personally, I’d go tubeless with sealant 🙂

  31. I’m going for the “my back wheel needs a rebuild soon anyway so if I flat on the DH I’ll just keep pedalling” option!

  32. tubeless yes
    sealant no – it only makes it messy when I manage to pinch the tyre and have to put a tube in

  33. Have we had a ‘what tyres are best?’ thread yet 😉

  34. Thanks D-B-W, it might be where the black reconnects to the red, sort of makes sense.

  35. “Have we had a ‘what tyres are best?’ thread yet”
    …….and bike, tent, lock, helmet, beer, fridge………

  36. DH starts on the flat section before The Ginnel and ends after the jump line.

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