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Race Report: Snowy, Scottish, Mass Start Racing in the Macavalanche 2019

May 8, 2019
by Frazer Coupland  
No Fear, No Fuss this is the Iconic Macavalanche Start

Welcome to Macavalanche 2019 and thanks to the Man with Eye the amazing Brodie Hood for the photos.

Macavalanche! Where does it sit in the Scottish Mountain Bike calendar? We would say the "Iconic race" however the word “Iconic” is somewhat over used. Type iconic into your favorite search engine and voila, nearly 200,000 articles about an “iconic gadget,” “iconic comedian,” “iconic art”. The word comes from the Greeks and describes depicting a victorious athlete in a conventional style, we believe the picture below is iconic and one that depicts this absolutely cracking mountain bike race at Glencoe Mountain Resort, first hosted in 2011 this one never fails to deliver.

With weather predictors predicting the coldest May bank holidays ever, race organizers No Fuss Events were on all channels preparing participants for a cold one. Glencoe Mountain and the Macavalanche are always a tough test, add in some unseasonably cold conditions from a winter that had failed to deliver, 2019 was going to be a classic.

The outgoing winter had one more try at delivering snow!

[PI=17177877]With riders dressing warm for the uplift, tough mountain stages soon had them overheating.
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Stage one, for 2019 took rider left at the top of the cliff hanger chair. Previous years for this stage was famous for its big soft snow patches, 2019 was different, it was straight into a steep rocky chute, followed by a fast (if you dared) new uplift track before hitting the plateau where every ridge has a potential surprise. For every rider it is that fine line between full on pedal and approach with caution as the battle for seconds begin.

Surface water on a firm base or deep bog. It is a split second decision.

Get it wrong and those seconds just ebb away.

It was junior rider Tom Needham who stated his early intentions with a good stage win on the opening stage. Stage 2 and it was once again the double chairlift transition, this time it was a right turn and the notorious stage two which includes the killer climb to the summit of Greag Dubh

The 2nd stage start lends itself to great stage previews and a chance to discuss tactics.

It would be Kyle Beattie who would take the stage win on stage 2 smashing down the only sub 8 min stage time an incredible 21 seconds ahead of his nearest rival and giving him the No 1 seeding position for the mass start stage 3.

Stage 2 can be an overwhelming big mountain stage. Keeping an eye on the prize and keeping it between the gates is the only way.

Riders digging deep on the stage 2 climb.

2 Stages down and it was time to download the times and see where riders would feature in seeding for stage 3 "The Mass Start".

Kyle Beattie looking stoked in getting the No1 spot for seeding. Oli Carter had the measure of the mountain and was ready to unleash for the final stage.

Logistically stage 3 is always a tough one, there is no simple way to get almost 200 riders and steeds to the start line at the same time. At 14:30 the mass depart for the final ascent of the mountain began, the day, if anything was getting colder, the instructions were to wait at the top of the cliffhanger chair before heading upwards to the start line. The snow flurries and biting wind were made bearable by the amazing Goat Stew Orchestra who had made their now annual sojurn north to provide some mellow Jazz, Rhythm and Blues for the gladiators before their contest.

The Goat Stew Orchestra entertaining riders before the final push.

Pushing on towards the start.

Some threatening showers as riders gather before lining up.

Music and Mountain Bikes. does it get any better. Oh and a mass start!

Almost ironically the snow field for starting the 2019 was as wide as the race had ever enjoyed, there were many discussions about where the fastest line into the first corner would be and who would take the hole shot. As the music died away and the last instructions were given, a strange silence came over the mountain of the roaring stags.

Brett Jackson hanging out left about to take the hole shot!

Much talk about the tactics on the snow!

3, 2, 1 and GO! Ladies and Gentlemen Macavalanche 2019

After the initial mayhem on the snow the pack soon strung out and every position was up for grabs if a mistake was made.

Mistakes like this.

Once the race was over it was all about the stage times!

In the Master Female category Anna Riddell took the win from Debbie Spencer
In the Senior Female category Emily Murphy was 1st with Sam Hewitt in 2nd

Vet Female and it was Margaret Weir on top step with Clair Aitchison in second.
Hardtail 1 Grzegorz Stankiewicz 2 Blaz Ochman and 3 Shane Doyle

The ever fierce Junior Males, Winner Tom Needham , 2nd Angus Fraser and in 3rd Shaun Holden
Master Males was won by Daniel Johnson in 2nd and Mass Start winner Oli Carter and in 3rd King of the hole shot Brett Jackson

Senior Male and Top Dog for the day and it was King of Stoke Kyle Beattie, Jamie Bew and Angus Roberts
In the Vet male it was Chris Bishop, Chris McCann and Jason Mitchell who end up on the steps.

All in all it was an amazing day, great people, the amazing Glencoe Mountain Resort and an Iconic Event. Next up is the EWS European Rnd 2 and the Scottish Enduro Rnd 2 in Innerleithen until then sit back relax and enjoy.

That's what we did.



7 Comments

  • + 2
 Some day out! Riding the line between taking well calculated risks and totally ending yourself!
  • + 1
 There was a super vets category as well. Any podium photo? I had a good go at matching those young pups (vets)
  • + 1
 It was another awesome MacAvalanche, right up to the point I broke my tibia, here's to next year!!
  • + 2
 Surprised there wasn't more of that to be honest mate, heal up!
  • + 2
 Your mactabia you mean schneeflooker
  • + 1
 Looks bloody cold! and class craic!
  • - 1
 Would not be so cold, if there was not so many chemtrails?

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