Colin and Tom are back after a short break with episode 8 of the Mountain Bikes Apart Podcast.
In this episode, we catch up with what Tom has been up to with his international racing schedule and also jump into an interesting listener question also about the state of mountain bike competition and events.
Kicking off with Tom, he tells us about visiting countries that aren’t the first ones to pop into your head when you think of mountain biking destinations, these being Norway and Romania specifically…
Tom tells us about scoring his first international podium at the UCI-ranked NapoCup XC event in Cluj, Romania and the disappointment of the results being cancelled at a UCI marathon race in the same location the very next day due to a marshalling error. A large group of riders were sent the wrong way on the marathon course and so organisers had no way of reordering the finishing times, leading to them invalidated the results.
With a lot of international riders travelling to the race to qualify for the World Championships, there were a fair few heated exchanges at the conclusion of the race!
As a place to head mountain biking, Norway ticks a lot of boxes. There are some fantastic XC and endure-like trails to be found within an hour of the capital city of Oslo and it’s a society that seems very active and exercise-focused.
Unlike the UK, all trails are permitted for mountain bikers, meaning that you won’t have to sneak down a footpath you shouldn’t legally be riding on! With a lot of skiing in the winter, the steep slopes become great gravity-focused MTB runs in the summer, so there’s something to suit XC and more DH-style riders alike.
The state of competitive MTB events
Transitioning nicely into the listener question for this episode, Jon Stagg asks what Colin and Tom think about the popularity of MTB racing, both on a UK and an worldwide scale…
He mentions that he’s noticed an XC-style event close to his home seeing reduced numbers of participants over the years and asks Colin and Tom for their opinion on why this might be.
Both agree that compared to even 4-5 years ago, there are now many more disciplines that are taking off, perhaps the most popular being enduro racing. In the past, MTB racing was generally limited to either downhill or XC-type events only, where as nowadays, riders have all kinds of choice in terms of the style of racing, the duration of events etc.
They remark that even though some local events might be struggling, with the coverage of the racing at the top level on sites like Red Bull TV, the sport is still growing strongly and there are now simply more types of racing to choose from.
What do you think? Listen to the full answer on the show and let us know your thoughts on the matter!
Over to you!
Colin and Tom would love to answer your question or simply read out a thought you might have on the show. So, get in touch via the website or drop us a voice recording that we can splice into an upcoming podcast.
We’ll see you on the next one, where we’ll try to help a rider who is struggling with having enough energy during and after their rides!