Held over the weekend of the 23rd and 24th of July, the Pivot TwentyFour12 event returned to Plymouth on the south west coast for a weekend of mountain bike racing, camping and good times. With summer (finally!) arriving in the UK last week, competitors and their families were treated to plenty of sunshine and warm weather as they setup around the race village in Newnham Park. As an event, the TwentyFour12 has been running consecutively since 2006, and so this year sees the race notch up its 11th edition, making it one of the mainstays of the British mountain bike event calendar.
Made up of three separate races, the TwentyFour12 offers riders the option of competing in a full 24-hour race, or one of two 12-hour races. The 24-hour race runs from midday Saturday through to midday Sunday, while one 12-hour race starts at midday Saturday, and the other starts at midnight on Saturday. Competitors can tackle the event as a solo rider, in a pair, or in various team configurations, depending on what kind of riding-to-beer-drinking ratio they prefer. But whichever category they signed up for, there was at least some kind of night riding involved.
As with every edition of the event, the 2016 Pivot TwentyFour12 was held at the iconic Newnham Park. Having been the host of numerous World Cup rounds during the 1990s, the region has deep roots in the history of mountain bike racing. Event Director, Martyn Salt, knows the area and the trails better than anyone else, having been a key part of many national-level events at Newnham Park throughout his event management career.
“It’s a five time World Cup venue, so I think one of the things it’s known for is that it’s actually one of the birthplaces of mountain bike racing in the country, but the variety of riding here is absolutely incredible. You’ve got lots of woodlands singletrack, proper climbing, softer sections, harder sections, lots of rooty stuff, bit of rocky stuff, bit of everything really, and some really good flat-out singletrack!” – Martyn Salt
The racecourse was just over 10km long and features about 140m of elevation per lap. As Martyn alluded to, the variety throughout the course is what many riders enjoyed the most. With river crossings, technical descents, challenging climbs and plenty of snaky singletrack through the woods, competitors certainly weren’t at risk of being bored. There was plenty of pretty scenery too, as riders made their way alongside the riverbank on their way back through transition.
While previous editions of the TwentyFour12 had been dogged by poor weather, this weekend was a welcome change with mostly warm and sunny conditions overhead. There was a sprinkling of drizzle on the Saturday evening that made the course a little more challenging throughout the night, but thankfully the heavier rain held off. In the end, over 1000 competitors raced the Pivot TwentyFour12, which combined with all their families and support crew, saw a total of about 2500 people camping at the Newnham Park campground. The family-friendly vibe was present throughout the whole weekend, though it was the kids racing on the Saturday morning prior to the main event that got everyone cheering the little ones on. Along with the lively event village and the ongoing race commentary, there was plenty to keep all entertained. Given the response on Twitter and Facebook by those using the #pivot2412 hashtag following the event, it sounds like everyone had a ripper time out!
If you’re looking for race results from the 2016 Pivot TwentyFour12, you can check out all the racing action at www.TimeLapse.co.uk. All the photos you see here are courtesy of event photographer Dave Hayward, and he’s got a massive gallery full of photos for competitors to check out. Head to www.DaveHaywardPhotos.com to see yourself or any of your mates who were there.
We’ve got a sample of photos below for you to check out from the event, and further down we also have some video for you too. Throughout the weekend, Wil was reporting via Facebook Live, talking with riders and event organisers, while also showing some of the racecourse as well. To see the full video coverage, head to the Singletrack Video page. Want to know about the Pivot TwentyFour12? The head to www.TwentyFour12.com for all the deets.