Last weekend saw the 6th edition of the very popular Battle on the Beach race, held at Pembrey Country Park in Wales. 1000 competitors took to the start line on a complete mixture of bikes… cross, mtb, gravel, fatbike – you name it, there’s someone on it! We had five riders taking part this year: Scot, James, Stu, Sam and Scotty, all of whom (except Sam who was on a cross bike) were on mtbs and raring to go, come midday on the Sunday.
The mass start is always quite a sight and pretty full on to be part of, the sound of the starting horn that signals for the 1000 competitors to hit the beach and start the race and then, boom, they’re off! As per usual, the Belgian contingent (who have won every edition of the race) were at the front to string the bunch out, which, within seconds, split. From a standing start, to flat out, for four miles is never too pleasant and by the time the beach section ended, everyone was trying to find their lungs… Then it was time to hit the singletrack all the way back to the start/finish. Sam managed to get a belter of a start as he was positioned on the far left of the grid and was dragged out wide at the start and therefore got quickly onto the harder sand. By the time the first singletrack section was done and the boys were back to the start/finish Scotty came across the line as top Magspeeder, with Scot not far behind. Then it was time to hit the beach for the second go. By then, the race had fragmented and small groups formed, Scotty in a group of four, who were doing through-and-off all the way to the dunes.
All the boys had super strong rides, picking off riders throughout the race and Scot managed to pip Scotty to top Magspeed rider home with a solid end to the race. Scotty had a bit of ‘rough’ last quarter of the lap but still brought back a decent result. The team had three riders in the top 50, Scot (29th), Scotty (34th) and Sam (48th) which means they will all be automatically seeded for next year’s event and start at the front of the 1000 strong grid! A fantastic result for Sam, his first attempt at the race and he rode a really strong and sensible race, bringing back a solid result! Tomo wasn’t too far behind and has made a note to make changes to his bike set up for next year – a bigger gear! He was spinning out SO much on the super fast beach section! Pitman Stu had another solid ride in his second running of the event, even though still struggling a little from the effects of a recent cold, he managed to knock four minutes off of his time from last year.
There was lots of chatting and re-living the race after the boys had crossed the finish line, then a warm down on the beach, some playing on the sand, having more fun… Another brilliant event done and dusted, happy Magspeeders… here’s to the next one!!