Event Review: Howies Battle On The Beach 2015
March 23rd, 2015
March 23rd, 2015
Anna is a jack-of-all-bikes, and has been riding and racing in a myriad of genres for over seven years; from World Cup level cross-country, to grass roots coaching kids on the road.
The Best Belt-Drive and Internally-Geared Bikes for 2018
What is a Women-Specific Bike?
Best 2018 Budget Mountain Bikes for Under £1,000
Bespoked - The UK's Handmade Bicycle Show announces talks
Did you know we have a marketplace too?
We've got a new, dedicated Marketplace, with no hidden fees or commission.Find your next bike
Three members of the Bikesoup Test Team headed to Pembry Beach, South Wales to race in the second edition of the Howies Battle on the Beach; the first bicycle beach race in the UK. Carmarthenshire may not be the place you’d usually go for a beach weekend, but sunshine and soft sand was the order of the day for our riders when they turned up to Battle On The Beach at Pembrey Country Park.
The event is aimed at all kinds of riders, and that’s exactly what we found; from fun-loving fat bike-racing locals in fancy dress, to professional beach racers from Belgium. The event saw nearly 600 entries this year and played host to the UK Fat Bike Championships too, itself in it's 2nd year.
We think Battle On The Beach is THE race of the year
The race consists of 3 laps of a 12km loop. Each lap takes on around 4km of hard sand on the beach, then heads back into the surrounding woodlands to take on sandy singletrack and bridleways. Entrants were able to enter an age category or Open category and, although fat bikes and singlespeeders had their own category, any bike was fair game but mainly cyclocross, gravel and mountain bikes. The atmosphere was incredible. Everyone was in high spirits enjoying sunshine and ice-cream and admiring the myriad of bikes sprawled across the fields. Bonfires and banter were the order of the evening before the race, and a noon start on Sunday added to the relaxed feel of a unique event.
Event organiser, A Cycling, outdid themselves with a very slick operation in a location that was already busy with non-racers enjoying the beautiful spring sunshine. The course was marked well, manned by marshalls and offered timing chips alongside their number boards, which sported a sand castle and your full name. Cash prizes went to the leading Open men and women thanks to the main sponsors, Howies, who even designed a classy commemorative t-shirt. Other category sponsors included Schwalbe, Lezyne, Surly and Enve.
We think Battle On The Beach is THE race of the year. It encompasses everything you want from an event; from pin-precise organisation and gender equality in prize monies, to an environment that makes every kind of rider feel like it was designed for them and their chosen stead. We salute you Matt Page of A Cycling! 2015 Battle on the Beach Winners The Open Male category saw a Belgium KMC-Koga Team full house with Ramses Bekkenk (1:21:12s), Bram Rood and Stefan Vreugdenhil taking first, second and third respectively. Stephen Roach (Cycle Tech) just missed out on third, and our Lee Williams (Bikesoup Test Team) followed closely behind 2 seconds later to take fifth. The Open Ladies was won by Mel Alexander (Contessa Scott Syncros) with a finishing time of 1:36:51 putting her just outside the top 50 overall. Second place went to Iwona Szmyd (Saddle Skedaddle/MT Zoom) and third to our very own Anna Cipullo (Bikesoup Test Team). The winning fat bike rider, and now UK Fat Bike Champion, was Roki Read (Four4TH Lights) who came 10th in Open and 26th overall. www.battleonthebeach.co.uk See a fantastic gallery of Battle On The Beach by event photographer Anthony Pease www.acycling.com