Mountain Mayhem 2016

When we set off to mountain mayhem this year with our mixed team of 5 I thought to myself “if we don’t win this year we are not going to win”!!

 

I had been quietly confident of our chances this year as we had the additional recruit of a young lad called Ben Cooper who really knows how to ride a mountain bike fast!

 

 

So the fact we had a full five person team this year and we knew what to expect made a difference to our mental focus. The only problem with Mayhem is you don’t really know who you’re against until you hit the start line as bogus team names are used until the last minute. We were unaware that last year’s winners had entered or that Evans cycles had the power of Becky Preece, but we had just decided to go at it full throttle and see what happens…

 

What happened was we led the whole event for 3hrs! Ben had gone out so quick on the first lap he was first back into transition and we just went with the flow “full throttle”….crazy really when it’s a 24hr event!

 

The mind set was let’s go quick, then if we have a mechanical we have time to spare. What we did not anticipate was the terrible thick mud on every climb and the slimy bridleways and the additional technical descents that made the lap much harder than last year and it showed in the lap timings. Thinking about this it was harder for everyone so it really made no difference.

 

The overall lead was never going to last but we soon made a substantial lead on the rest of our category stretching it out to over 3laps in front by midnight the night laps are my favourite there are less people out on the course , its cooler, calmer and often lap times are pretty much the same.  I’m so proud of the whole team no one really lost the plot or had a mental breakdown …  At 23.30hrs I had completed what we decided was our last lap so to stretch the timing out to 24hrs I had a little sit down which lost us a lap but no one felt like doing a lap that didn’t really mean anything so at 24hrs dead I rolled down to the finish with a Yorkshire flag flying in my hand to complete the win for team NIER….boom

 

 

Mountain Mayhem is a huge event and the most competitive 24hr team event in the UK. It has a massive following of riders who turn up year after year to get punished for a weekend on the mountain bike!

 

The Siemienczuk family after Gaby rode the kids race

Massive thanks go out to our sponsors Chia Charge and nutrixxion UK your products made the nutritional difference and we can never forget the pit crew of Dean Tempest Mitchell, Sally hatfield and Monika Siemienczuk top job team

 

Glentress 7 tweedlove 2016

And so it begins… the road trip to Scotland. From lessons learnt we booked a hotel for the night before!
On the way to the hotel we stopped at Glentress and quickly bagged our solo pitch…next to the toilet. At the time it was the best location in the small area set aside for solos but we hadn’t thought about how we might regret this choice later the next day once the toilets got busy!
So the following morning, I was up bright and early and feeling refreshed… I wish! I didn’t sleep a wink due to a super snorer in the building keeping me awake( he knows who he is ;), and I couldn’t stomach breakfast which wasn’t quite the preparation for a 7 hour race I was hoping for.
We headed back to Glentress and sorted our pitch. Luckily we had already prepared everything and had our own boxes with what we needed to get through the 7 hours. My box consisted of several neatly wrapper Chia Charge peanut butter and jam sandwiches, without the crust of course! Also threw in a couple of gels, a packet of ibuprofen and 6 bottles of water.
gt7 6
On the start line I’d made the decision to try and ride with a friend for as long as I could to get a good start, then try and find my pace and keep pedalling. The first lap started on a fire road climb to string the field out, and my legs felt heavy!
After the first lap my thoughts turned to “where was I in the pack, who was I racing against and how much my legs can take!” On lap 2 I started to find my pace and allocated sections on the course where I would take on fluids, on passing through transition I was informed I had a 2 minute lead.
As the laps went on I started to gain a bigger time gap on second, but you’re always aware that a fall or mechanical could soon change things! I grabbed a sandwich and a 500ml bottle of Nutrixxion each lap, and ate before the first climb.
The weather was amazing, if not a little too warm on the climbs. The laps were around 6.8 miles with 1100ft of climbing, but there was no relief on the descents, these were brutal! My arms were taking a beating on every lap, despite riding my full suss.
In my head I’d pencilled in “ 7 laps” that’s my goal so I’ll be totally honest on laps 6 and 7 I went a little slower, no way did I want to do 8! But as I came through transition at 16:16 the announcement came that the cut off for getting your last lap in is 17:22. Our pit crew aka Deano was waiting for me and quickly updated me, I had won my category but if I went back out I would win overall female solo, …so I thought “what the hell! I’ll give it a go”.
Soon my thoughts turned to “do I have time, what if I don’t make it and my lap doesn’t count”. As I got towards the summit of the trail I kept looking at my garmin for reassurance “tick follows tock”. The marshals were fantastic, really supportive, they also remembered on lap 7 I said “this is my last one!” But here I was again! All the riders still out were very aware that time was running out, no one wanted to do a lap that didn’t count.
As I came along to the final decent I could hear everyone at the finish, quick check on the time and I knew this lap was going to count, bloody hell I’d done 8 laps! As I came in towards transition there were several riders trying to make the cut off, I kept saying “come on let’s make this count keep pedalling”
All my team and friends were there at the end, and through the crowd I could see Nigel’s face, he gave a sigh of relief:)The event and the staff, especially the marshals, were amazing and the support they gave was the best I’ve seen at any event so a huge thank you goes out to the GT7 team, you guys are awesome.