I properly met Neil Mansfield a few weeks before this year’s 3 peaks.  Neil’s an experienced MTB rider with a good deal of cyclocross experience but he’s always keen to learn and take on more advice and generally chew the fat… like a lot of us it seems.  This race has got hold of another one big time.

Neil’s blog post here tells of how his elation at achieving a 20 min improvement on his PB turned sour when his GPS device had cruelly failed him.  Next year, eh, Neil?

“Climbing Whernside was an uneventful slog, carrying the bike up the rocky climb, passing the injured Rob Jebb (2010 winner) en route. Checking in at the summit with GPS time of 2:15 it all seemed to be going well despite the conditions; who needs a grand plan glued to the top tube? The traverse across the top is high speed – as we encountered a long section of peat bog I felt the bike initially plane across the top but then start to cut into the soft soil. Speed only reduced gradually but handling plummeted to zero and I was thrown off spectacularly. It was a big crash and I was at first pleased to realise that apart from a sore head, I was basically OK… then slightly disappointed as I realised that the hardest part of the race was still to come”