Bryce gets a Podium finish at Buxton Bootcamp

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Check out Bryce’s race report from the Buxton Bootcamp below, you can race a 6hour or 3hour event , either as a solo or as part of a team.

Gareth and I decided to test our stamina at the Buxton Bootcamp 3 Hour race on November 12th.

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The event atmosphere held the friendly vibe that comes with a cross-country endurance race. I felt at ease finding out through the chatter that no-one had done any training and that nobody had been on their bike for the past 6 months. Then the start was counted down… I don’t think everyone was being entirely truthful… as the dust cloud rose along with the race-start tempo.

Gareth storming around the 3hour course
Gareth storming around the 3hour course

As always, you can never judge a book by its cover. In the case of Buxton Bootcamp the cover is a kilometre of ascending fire road that is only used at the start of the race before the field is directed into the 14km course that is, in this case, the book. With a majority of the course being single track there are still plenty of opportunities within the course to pass or be passed. The first lap provided a good example of this as everybody settled into their own rhythms or perhaps made some attacks. There was a mix of solo riders and team riders so choosing to attack or defend can make it easy to get lured into a pace beyond the ideal if the other wheel is racing in a different category. But sometimes it can be worth the effort if it means you can hold better momentum through any sections further ahead.

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Race face for Bryce at Buxton

The first 2.5 laps demonstrated how a little bit of work on the ups gained the reward of some flow on the downs, but as the lap count increased the ups seemed to demand noticeably more work. Knowing that the flowing descent through the fern gully was a good place to regain some average speed helped to ignore the sign of cramp and muscle fatigue in the approaching climbs but my last lap become more of a mental game as the physical resources were drained to almost empty.

Despite the course’s best efforts to break our spirits we were both able to complete 4 laps, aided by bursts of encouragement from Peter Hepworth at various points alongside the trails – he popped up everywhere! With one last charge through the fern gully remaining, and a couple of climbs at a pace that seemed only marginally quicker than backwards, my final challenge for the day was to not yield so that the rider I had recently passed could get back in front of me. I was able to hold position, tipping over the crest and down the bermed descent that covered the last kilometre to the finish line.

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The Sider Gully is a rider’s favourite at Buxton.

We each rode our Stumpjumper hardtails that performed faultlessly. Gareth and I had ridden to slightly different plans, but the end result matched – we had a blast and we were well-and-truly done!

race drinks
race drinks

Then Peter appeared with the cold drinks, capping off another great day on the mountain bike.

 

Ed’s note, Bryce finished with a 2nd place in the Master’s category ! Well done mate.