Stu Thomson of MTBCut reports:
Saturday saw the small town of Fochabers in Moray host No Fuss Events‘ third and final Benromach 10 Hour Endurance Mountain Bike Event of 2010.
The Moray event has been a regular on the No Fuss Calendar for several years now and the flowing, undulating terrain of the 10 mile lap route once again provided both exciting racing and a challenge for riders of all abilities. As with the other No Fuss 10 hour events, the object for riders is too complete as many laps of the 10 mile loop as possible within the 10 hour limit. Participants can compete in the event as either solo riders or as teams of 2, 3, or 4.
With a pre-event meal supplied as part of the entry, the majority of competitors gathered on the Friday evening to kick off the event and begin the social atmosphere that No Fuss Events are so renowned. With the large distance travelled by so many competitors, the Moray events always becomes a full weekend of socialising rather than a one day event due to the number of competitors who camp or stay in the local area. Needless to say the public houses of Fochabers were certainly graced with the mountain bike community on the Friday evening as riders looked forward to Saturday’s event.
As Dawn came on Saturday morning it was clear from the outset that the weather gods had graced the hills of Moray with a stunning day for mountain biking. As all the teams and solo riders were greeted at the 9am race briefing the sun was already beating down the event. The race got underway at 9.30am to the cheer of spectators and a wheelie from early leader James Shirley.
The course in Moray is a sharp contrast to that of the technical and rough terrain of the previous Benromach 10’s in Fort William and Kirroughtree. At a first glance the course in Fochabers is a more simple technical challenge compared to the other events, yet it was soon clear that once riders gathered a strong pace, the dry, loose trails were at times very treacherous. The majority of the lap is made up of smooth, flowing singletrack, with trail centre styled flat and bermed turns scattered amongst a plethora of man-made bumps and jumps. However the final long descent back down to the finish was a more natural trail with a large helping of tree roots to keep competitors on their toes.
In a rare appearance at an Endurance XC event, Elite World Cup racing Downhill riders Joe Barnes and Ben Cathro turned up to take advantage of a gap in their schedule. Both riders entered separate team in the trio competition and it was clear from the outset there was a huge amount of friendly rivalry between the duo. Ben, partnered up with No Fuss Endurance Downhill champion James Shirley and fellow Scottish Downhill rider Chris Hutchens named their team ‘Team Orange MTBcut Factory Pro Big Deal’ in a bit of a tongue in cheek nod to their Elite DH status (although Ben raced in a comedy white Rab C Nesbitt style vest with sponsors scrawled in felt tip pen), Joe on the other hand created the ‘Dudes of Hazzard’ with his sister Hannah and Fort William local Liam Moynahan. The battle was certainly epic between the pairing, with Barnes and Cathro proving the high level of fitness possessed by downhill riders by setting the 1st and 2nd fastest lap times of the day. An early crash on a loose turn from Barnes set back the ‘Dudes of Hazzard’ back by about 15 minutes and despite a late fightback it was team Cathro who took the overall honours in the trio.
Despite the downhill riders fast individual lap times, they still had to settle for 2nd and 3rd respectively in the overall honours which went to the Square Wheels under 16 Pair entry, who crossed the line to complete 13 laps just over a minute ahead of their trio rivals.
The Solo competition was dominated by one man fron start to finish. Alex Slaven (Leslie Bike Shop/Right Move Windows) provided probably the most impressive performance of the day. Completing an impressive 11 laps in a time of 9 hour 56 minutes.
In the Quad competition it was the mixed team of ‘Ribs and Small and Klingons’ headed up by No Fuss regular Bob Maguire who took the honours completing 11 laps in the allocated time. It looked like the Maguire cycling legacy will continue judging by the skills his young son Ryan demonstrated in a near non stop 10 hour stint on the kids trials arena as Ryan and many other kids were overlooked for the day by demo rider and top international Trials competitor Ben Savage.
No Fuss Events once again proved that its possible to create a great family weekend event for riders of all abilities. The weather was an added bonus for an occasion that had the sort of mellow, laid-back vibe that makes the events some of the best in the race calendar.
For full results and more information on No Fuss Events head to www.nofussevents.co.uk