The first ever indoor mountain bike race took place at the Xscape REAL snow slope at Castleford, West Yorkshire on Friday the 21st of January
Over 400 mountain biking, snowboarding and action fans turned up to watch 38 of the UK's top riders battle it out on the 190-metre course for £1,750 in prize money stumped up by event sponsors Evans Cycles.
"This is the first time anyone has put on a race like this, so we didn't really know what to expect" said Evans Cycles Marketing Co-ordinator Ben Hart. "As soon as the riders started doing their practice runs the crashes started happening, so we knew it was going to be an exciting race!"
By the time the motos (or heats) were underway the riders had got into the groove of riding on snow. Balance, cornering and a whole lot of luck was needed to make it down the course in one piece.
In between the motos the jump riders kept the crowd entertained by performing big air and big tricks off the jump ramp including a massive back-flip which made the crowd go crazy.
The action then hotted up with the quarter and semi finals underway. Eventually the final four of Scott Beaumont, Aidan Bishop, Nigel Page and Brendan Fairclough took to the start gate. The start was electric with the riders literally launching off the gate.
The racing was very close Beaumont got the snap out the gate and lead into the first corner with Bishop, Page and Fairclough following close behind, by the 2nd corner the following three riders had managed to crash and take each other out. With £1,000 first prize at stake the riders soon got up and back on their bikes very quickly! At this point the race was anyone's, the key to success being the ability to avoid crashing on the bottom section of the course.
Scott Beaumont and Nigel Page both managed to pull away with Beaumont narrowly beating his rival to the line. Brendan Fairclough took 3rd with Aidan Bishop finishing 4th.
"It was a great night out" said Ben Hart. "The riders really enjoyed themselves, and the crowd lapped up the action, we would certainly like to see this sort of race take place again, and we've got some exciting ideas on how to make it bigger and better next time".
The race helped put the new Evans Cycles Castleford-Leeds store on the map. "We opened our new store at the Xscape centre in November last year. Opening the shop gave us the perfect excuse to put on a crazy event like this" said Evans Cycles store manager Mathew Atkinson.
Evans Cycles have got some more great events lined up in the near future including a mountain biking stunt display and organised ride from their Castleford store in May. Be sure to check out the Evans Cycles website www.evanscycles.com for details on upcoming events and store information.