1,700 riders will line-up at the start of this Sunday’s [Sept 8] Manx Telecom End2End Mountain Bike Challenge with competitors from the UK, Ireland, Scandinavia, Israel and Australia alongside a strong Manx contingent. Signing on for the event takes place at Noble’s Park Pavilion Community Room in Douglas on Friday September 6 from 5pm to 8pm, and on Saturday September 7 from 2pm to 8pm. The Saturday session includes a pasta party – those riders who attend the Friday signing on session will be given a voucher for Saturday’s pasta party. Riders must sign on personally at one of these sessions, there will be no signing on at the start and no-one can sign-on on a rider’s behalf. Under-18s must bring a parent/guardian to sign the disclaimer. Those unable to attend either session due to work or other commitments may be able to sign on earlier by prior arrangement if they email email@example.com.
Steve Honeybone, End2End Committee Chairman, thanked the event sponsors Manx Telecom for their support and said it promised to be a fantastic event.
“We have around 1,000 riders from the Island, and the rest from off-Island. The course has been improved this year with a new all-weather section through Aarasey Plantation. It’s about one mile long and work has been going on since March. The Committee is very grateful to all of the volunteers who have given up some of their free time to work on the project, and thanks must also go to J.Qualtrough and Co, Wilson and Collins, OMS, and AV Craine who all helped with the project.”
The new section is fast and quite steep towards the end, so organisers are advising riders tackling the End2End to get in some practice on it before race day if at all possible. The Manx Telecom End2End Mountain Bike Challenge starts at 10am precisely with the top 100 riders beginning at the Point of Ayre and heading off on the 46-mile race which finishes at Cregneash. After the elite riders have cleared the start the main field will begin their race.
Defending champion Elliot Baxter will be riding with the Manxman looking to add to the five End2End victories he has already. Nick Craig, the Englishman who has won the End2End four times and is one of Britain’s best ever off-road riders, will be returning after finishing second last year. The Scott UK rider’s son Tom will also be competing and aiming to repeat his 2012 win in the under-16s race which covers half of the full distance. TT rider Conor Cummins is also among the 1,700 entrants. He’s a keen mountain biker and, like a lot of motorcycle racers, uses cycling as part of his fitness regime. ‘Conrod’ will be riding in the colours of Team Manx Telecom and has produced a video with some tips on how to ride the End2End. Take a look at it here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PCY7FqtmcQ0&feature=c4-overview&list=UUR0s6Xq3FvZm7bwb6xB6YRA
Live video streaming of the start and finish, plus some locations along the course, can be viewed at www.eyespywebcams.com and Manx Timing Solutions will have an online leaderboard during the event for the top 100 riders. The leaderboard can be viewed at http://manxtimingsolutions.com/Scoreboard and this information will also be displayed on a screen in the marquee at the finish area. Full results of the event will also be on the Manx Timing Solutions website. Organisers are urging residents living along the course to come out and support the event, but they are also requested to make sure that vehicles are not parked along the route on race day. Leaflets with details about the race have been distributed to homes along the route with details about road closures on the day. For more information go to www.manxe2e.org
Manx Telecom is sponsoring the End2End for three years beginning with the 2013 event. However, their support extends beyond sponsorship as 29 staff – around 10% of the company’s total workforce – are riding in this year’s race.