The 22nd and 23rd July this year saw two entries to the final and arguably best 24 hour MTB event in the UK – the Bontrager Twentyfour/12. London Phoenix provided two entries to the event – Steve Hanks riding the 24 Solo in the Vets
class, and the first ever Club team entry of four consisting of Simon Pemberton, Damian Robertson, Will Beresford and John Dallison.This was reduced to 3 as unfortunately Simon was afflicted by injury shortly before the event.
The event started well, with all of the LP’s arriving in time to enjoy the Saturday morning sunshine before the official start at midday. All the Club members went well, with the Team establishing themselves in the top 20 immediately, and Steve commencing the slo
wer but steady pace of a continual 24 hour strategy. The course was excellent with some challenging climbing – 800m per lap – technical singletrack and a start/finish that wound through the campsite and much encouragement. The idea of repeating this over and over for 24hrs with tiredness and ever reducing focus is something not easy for anybody.
After 12 hours – during which Steve was forced to retire with injury, the LP Team had moved up to 11th place – a place that they were to establish as their own until the end of the event despite 7 hours of torrential rain from 4am to the finish turning the course into a much more slippery and muddy challenge. Congratulations to Will, Damien and John who deserve much applause for this position whilst riding continuously through the elements – and against teams sharing the effort between four and five riders!