monster cross catton park cyclocross race enduro

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.

monster cross catton park cyclocross race enduro

The start line. No, those blue skies aren’t photoshopped in! Photo: Wayne Jackson

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.

monster cross catton park cyclocross race enduro

The classic Catton Park circuit played host to the very first Mosnter Cross event, taking in much of the same singletrack used for enduro races like Sleepless In The Saddle. Photo: Wayne Jackson

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.

monster cross catton park cyclocross race enduro

Taking to the skies. Photo: Suzie Barrett.

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.

monster cross catton park cyclocross race enduro

Smooth, snaky singletrack descending. This course is flat-out fun! Photo: Wayne Jackson

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.

monster cross catton park cyclocross race enduro

Solo Mens podium: Matthew Dennis (1st), Kieren Brown (2nd), Christian Aucote (3rd).

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.

monster cross catton park cyclocross race enduro

Solo Women’s podium: Katy Simcock (1st), Kate Hemsley (2nd), Lynne Coldray (3rd).

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.

monster cross catton park cyclocross race enduro

Team podium: Bikehaus CT (1st), Bikelife Coaching (2nd), The Good, The Bad, And The Fugly (3rd).

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.

monster cross catton park cyclocross race enduro

Grit.cx reprezent yo’! Photo: Wayne Jackson

monster cross catton park cyclocross race enduro

Race preparation out the back of the bike wagon. Photo: Wayne Jackson

monster cross catton park cyclocross race enduro

Spare wheels? Shit’s getting serious (for some). Photo: Wayne Jackson

monster cross catton park cyclocross race enduro

Humming transition area. Photo: Wayne Jackson

monster cross catton park cyclocross race enduro

The battle for the holeshot. Photo: Wayne Jackson

monster cross catton park cyclocross race enduro

Fields of joy. Photo: Wayne Jackson

monster cross catton park cyclocross race enduro

The track is always a little firmer on the other side. Photo: Wayne Jackson

monster cross catton park cyclocross race enduro

Sun out, green grass, tacky trails, and cyclocross bikes. Perfection on a plate. Photo: Wayne Jackson

monster cross catton park cyclocross race enduro

Your humble author taking to the course on a hardtail. It proved to be hella fun through the wooded singletrack. The grassy climbs? Less so. Photo: Wayne Jackson

monster cross catton park cyclocross race enduro

The back-end climb never got easier. Peak gradient? Over 20%. Photo: Wayne Jackson

monster cross catton park cyclocross race enduro

Burnin’ the midday soil. Photo: Wayne Jackson

monster cross catton park cyclocross race enduro

Cresting the peak. The pain is nearly over for now. Photo: Wayne Jackson

monster cross catton park cyclocross race enduro

Aero-tuck for putting the power down on the bottom straight. Photo: Wayne Jackson

monster cross catton park cyclocross race enduro

Shit-eating grin model’s own. Photo: Wayne Jackson

monster cross catton park cyclocross race enduro

Sublime singletrack at Catton Park. Photo: Wayne Jackson

monster cross catton park cyclocross race enduro

All smiles for miles. Photo: Wayne Jackson

monster cross catton park cyclocross race enduro

Short-sleeve jersey and shorts during a mild autumn day in Derbyshire. Photo: Wayne Jackson

monster cross catton park cyclocross race enduro

Mr James Love cutting through the blur on the wicked descent. Photo: Wayne Jackson

monster cross catton park cyclocross race enduro

In the drops, fully tilted and wide-eyed. Photo: Wayne Jackson

monster cross catton park cyclocross race enduro

Feel the flow, and easy on the brakes. Photo: Wayne Jackson

monster cross catton park cyclocross race enduro

Blasting out the end of the descent and back out into the open. Photo: Wayne Jackson

monster cross catton park cyclocross race enduro

Lungs are burning, pedals, please keep on turning. Photo: Wayne Jackson

monster cross catton park cyclocross race enduro

Final gate with the finish line in sight. Photo: Wayne Jackson

monster cross catton park cyclocross race enduro

Elegant barrier hop on the way in to the finish straight. Photo: Wayne Jackson

monster cross catton park cyclocross race enduro

Don’t bugger it up now, everyone’s watching! Photo: Wayne Jackson

monster cross catton park cyclocross race enduro

Dirt.cx’s James Love offering a textbook barrier hop. But what to think of the expression? Photo: Suzie Barrett.

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Relief. Photo: Suzie Barrett.

monster cross catton park cyclocross race enduro

The last obstacle before rounding the bend into the finish line. Photo: Suzie Barrett.

monster cross catton park cyclocross race enduro

Back down to earth. Photo: Suzie Barrett.

monster cross catton park cyclocross race enduro

Post-race shit talkin’. Photo: Wayne Jackson

monster cross catton park cyclocross race enduro

Some were still out on course post-2pm. That climb… Photo: Wayne Jackson

monster cross catton park cyclocross race enduro

Enjoying the last bit of sunshine at the end of the inaugural Mosnter Cross event. We’ll be back next year, and we’ll bet our rear derailleur this event is going to blow up like a viral cat video. Photo: Wayne Jackson

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