No, I’m not John Anderson announcing the inevitable battle between participants and Gladiators to an audience in a distinctive Scottish tone. No, I’m a humble mountain biker who is about to go up against some of the best 24hr soloers in the country in the simply legendary annual event that is; Mountain Mayhem.
What I’ve done is gone through the mens start list and picked out those who I’m familiar with(/afraid of) and others who upon a little bit of research looks like they may be in the mix this weekend for top Solo honours.
If there’s a name missing below and you reckon they’ll be up there I’ve probably just missed them but regardless, hopefully they’ll see it as an opportunity to prove me wrong!
So, here we go;
James Braid (Wiggle.co.uk)
Aware of two good wins this year for this up and coming rider, the first being Enduro6 (open) and the later being Britsol Bike Fest 12hour just the other week, a perfect tune up for Mountain Mayhem? We’ll see.
Nic Gharbaoui (COCO RACING)
I read but very rarely remember names of the people who’ve placed well at endurance races but I remember Mr Gharbaoui. As well as his memorable name courtesy of his Irish Moroccan heritage he is a seasoned endurance racer with very reputable results at events such as Twentyfour12 and the European 24. His name will be up there again, I’m sure.
Richard Holmes (Cyclescene)
Another rider I’m not too familiar with but winner of Twentyfour12 in 2011 (and podium the year before) speaks volumes about the level of this rider.
Nathan Judge (Naffriding.com)
Me! 3rd place last year at Sleepless in the Saddle and been building my fitness slowly this year, backed by a very (very) experienced pit crew I reckon I’m on for a good ride.
Jason Miles (Team JMC/On One/ Clif)
Winner of Relentless 2011, Two time podium finisher at Mountain Mayhem and just last month, 2nd to possibly to best ever 24hr solo racer at the Worlds in Italy. This guy knows how to push it and I’m sure he will once again at Mountain Mayhem.
Luke Morris (Salsa Cycles/Halo/Ison Dist)
A very familiar name when talking 24solos. He was taking part in 24hr solos when I did my first one way back when and he continues to put in the solid performances. Multiple Mountain Mayhem finisher and multiple Puffer24 podium placer means he’s a hard nut.
David Powell (Team JMC/On One/ Clif)
Give this man many hills and he will stomp all over them from dawn to dusk and then go and win an endurance race the following day just for good measure. Just about anyway! Made the podium in the vast majority of 24hr solos over the last few years (including twice 2nd at Mountain Mayhem) but most recent achievement is the European 12hr title. This guy’s good.
Mark Spratt (Cardiff JIF/One Industries)
Speed and endurance built up over the years gave Mark an European title in his first ever 24hr solo, which he then went on to retain this year, yeah, Marks quick and will defiantly be up there.
Dan Treby (Brotherton cycles)
Another seasoned soloist but this guy does them on a single speed, which he used to get onto the European podium in 2011. Think he uses gears these days mind, which sucks for the rest of us.
Ant White (Cannondale MT ZOOM racing)
Do I really have to say anything? 4 times Mountain Mayhem winner. Nuff said.
That’s who I reckon will be up there, no doubt one or two may blow up, crash and burn, go the way of the dodo in the same way that I bet one or two unknowns (to me at least) will be up there too but in my opinion, come noonish on Sunday 24th the top3 will be as follows;
1st Ant White
2nd David Powell
3rd Mark Spratt
As for me, top5 was the aim prior to rider analysis, hmm, top10 will still be an achievement but I’ll still stick to my guns!
“Yeah, why not, I’ll give it a crack”
Suppose I better go and build my bikes…