Events: 2016 Monster Cross – Results And Photo Gallery
As a brand new event for 2016, Monster Cross arrived to a warm reception at Catton Park in Derbyshire over the weekend. Both metaphorically and literally speaking. The skies were clear, and a lovely autumn sun bathed the region in its warming glow throughout the day. But while numbers were respectfully small for the inaugural event, feedback was overwhelmingly positive, with riders loving the course, the atmosphere and the race format.
If you haven’t heard about Monster Cross before, it’s essentially a 3-hour cyclocross enduro event based at the classic Catton Park venue in Derbyshire. Rather than your typical flat-out ‘cross race, Monster Cross focusses a little more on endurance, and also offers competitors the ability to race as a pair or in a team of three. The course itself is designed for cyclocross bikes, but takes in significantly more singletrack, and competitors are welcome to bring a cyclocross bike, mountain bike, or anything else for that matter.
The original idea for Monster Cross was cooked up by the brain behind Fulcrum Events, Alex McNicol. As the son-in-law of mountain bike event legend Pat Adams, Alex has had plenty of experience working cycling events in the past, and decided the timing was right to unveil an all-new format. With cyclocross racing, gravel riding and off-road touring having increased in popularity significantly over the past few years, there are plenty of people out there looking for an event suited to the type of riding they enjoy most.
As a key supporter of the inaugural event, Grit.cx turned up for the Monster Cross to help provide prizes, while also entering a two-man team to see the course first-hand. Our team consisted of the Singletrack gentle-giant James Love, and Aussie newcomer, Wil Barrett, who both pinned numbers on to take part in the Monster Cross festivities. With two completely different bikes (James on his Specialized AWOL touring bike, and Wil on his Canyon Exceed hardtail), the Grit.cx team proved that whether you come from a road, cyclocross or mountain bike background, the Monster Cross event was accessible for all.
It must be said that Alex McNicol and his team did a stellar job of laying out a brilliant course. At just under 6km long and with just over 100m of climbing per lap, the course had plenty of variety and enough technicality to keep everyone on their toes. There were barriers to hop over, car tyres to step through, jumps to contend with, and some mega-steep 20% climbs that required dismounting for most. However, two incredibly flowy singletrack descents more than made up for the pain, and as the course continued to dry out and bed in throughout the day, they only got better and better. Much of the singletrack would be familiar to mountain bikers who have previously ridden enduro events such as Sleepless In The Saddle, with the Monster Cross course taking in a lot of the same trails.
Punching out ten laps in total, it was Matthew Dennis who took out the Solo Men category, and the victory overall, with a consistent performance that saw him finish in just under three hours.
In the Solo Women’s category, it was Katy Simcock who battled it out for first position after smashing out nine laps around the Catton Park course.
And in the Team category, the Bikehaus CT fellas duked it out in ten laps of fury while keeping the Bikelife Coaching crew at bay. The teams category was a mix of pairs and triples, and it provided much of the excitement and atmosphere in the transition area – particularly for the one team who turned up with one bike, one pair of shoes and one helmet between two riders. Now THAT was an exciting feat to watch!
For the full results of the 2016 Monster Cross event, head to the results page here. If you want more information about next year’s event, head to the Fulcrum Events website and the Monster Cross Facebook page. Otherwise, enjoy this gallery of photos from event photographer Wayne Jackson.