Plucky teammates scale Polish mountain challenge

Competitiors at the Beskidy Trophy race in Poland EMN-140722-100029001
Competitiors at the Beskidy Trophy race in Poland EMN-140722-100029001
Have your say

A team of local cyclists have been racing in the rooftops of Europe as part of a four-day off-road mountain bike race in Poland.

Former Oakham School pupil Tom Wragg, who grew up in Whissendine and now lives in Stamford, and teammate Joe Norledge took on the Beskidt Trophy event.

Norledge and Wragg were racing for Flatout Cycles, the off-shoot of the cycle business Wragg owns and runs from Langtoft.

After a gruelling four days racing through the mountain range which runs through the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia, Norledge finished in 21st position in 16.26:33 and Wragg in 50th in 17.29:36.

Most stages were about 40 to 50 miles long but would always contain at least 2,700 metres of climbing.

To fit that amount of climbing into such a short distance means the riders were either tackling 10 per cent climbs or descending at dangerous speeds.

Norledge, who was the top British finisher in the event, said: “The climbs were nearly always loose and technical and I felt terribly over-geared even with a 26/36.

“This meant we finished each day totally exhausted by the effort, all good fun though and exactly what you want from these types of events.

“The field was class with some big time pros and I spent the whole race being chased or hunting down someone up the trail.

“This once again ensured you had emptied the tank by the end of each day.

“We rode in three different countries during the race and the Beskidt mountain range is seriously breathtaking.”

The race was won by Polish rider Patryk Piasecki in a remarkable time of 13.53.33.

In total, 275 riders completed the event, with more than 50 dropping out during the endurance race.