UK Singlespeed Champs 2019 ends in beer and fancy dress. As usual…

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Top work on the Roman numeral race numbers!

Who said that singlespeeders were a bit slack, eh? We’ve just had this report in from the UK Singlespeed Champs – that happened a month ago… It’s a good job it wasn’t a race. Oh, wait…

The Comrie Croft race HQ…

On Saturday August 24th, around 75 riders competed in the 2019 singlespeed championships at Comrie Croft, Perthshire. The race was over a four-lapped rocky/mixed-terrain course – around 30km with 1,000m of climbing in total.

Storming Sally Buckworth

The men’s race was won by Stefan Abram, who crossed the line ahead of Strathpuffer champion Marty Ross, with Phil Clarke in third.  Ten out of the sixty five male starters completed the full four laps and the field included the newly crowned World 24hr singlespeed champion Andrew Howatt, ‘fresh’ from his victory in Costa Rica.  The women’s race was won by former European and UK singlespeed champion Sally Buckworth, who was the only female of the ten racers to complete four laps.  Emily Long and Vicky Doherty were second and third respectively.  In the tradition of singlespeed racing, everyone else finished fourth.

The weather likes singlespeeders

Graham Morton took the fancy dress award (competing with an inflatable unicorn costume).  Wayne Elliott won the fixed gear prize (the only person to take on the course riding a fixie) and there’s a special mention to Sam Parkinson for bike-packing from Reading to get to the race.

The UK singlespeed championships is one of the longest-running events of its kind, with the first one taking place in 1995 in Stow-on-the-Wold and won by none other than the great Steve Worland. Subsequent events ran at the Cheddar Challenge for a few years before moving to Thetford, Machynlleth, Hamsterley, Drumlanrig and, well, after that it’s a bit vague.

The singlespeed championships are run entirely by volunteers with the intention of raising funds for good causes. This year’s event supported the Cardiac Risk in the Young (C-R-Y).  The charity is close to the hearts of many in the cycling community, former British youth cycling champion Ben Forsyth (son of local world championship winning endurance mountain bike rider Keith Forsyth) lost his life to a cardiac condition at the age of 20 last year (not to mention Charlie Craig – Ed).  Thank you to Comrie Croft and to all competitors, volunteers, marshals who with our supporters and sponsors made the race weekend a success.  So far, the 2019 championships has raised over £1,300 for C-R-Y. 

Next year the race heads to North Yorkshire – on Saturday 5th September.


Singletrack Editor

Chipps wasn’t around for the dawn of mountain biking in the UK, but he likes to claim that he arrived in time for second breakfast (about the time he shows up for work, then…) starting in the bike trade in 1990 and becoming a full time mountain bike journalist at the start of 1994. Over the subsequent quarter century, he has seen mountain bike culture flourish and diversify and bike technology go from rigid steel frames to fully suspended carbon fibre (and sometimes back to rigid steel as well.)

His riding style is best described as ‘medium, wheels on the ground, trail riding’ though he’s been spotted doing everything from endurance downhill racing to 24 hour cross country racing. He favours mid-travel trail bikes and claims to be wheel-size, gear, brake and tyre agnostic. In fact, his garage spans most bicycle flavours, taking in steel hardtails, carbon trail bikes, even a mountain bike tandem, along with road, touring and gravel/cyclocross bikes.

While he’s happy to chat about bikes all day, his real interest is in the people and places that bikes can introduce you to and he talks as fondly about the trails he’s ridden and riders he’s met as the bikes that took him there.

Comments (1)

    Thanks to Nicola Birch, Anna Marie Hughes, Sophie David, Neil MacKinnon, Sam Groves, Dan Thomas for the pics.

    We’re still fundraising for Cardiac Risk in the Young. Here the link… thanks for your support

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