Rollapaluza's Bonfire Night excursion to Bristol was a big success with a large crowd of West Country cyclists turning up to try their luck on the rollers, or simply catch the action and soak up the atmosphere.
Over 70 riders pre-registered for the competition, sponsored by Iron Horse, at Bristol's Mud Dock Cafe including top roadies, trackies and mountain bikers. Amongst the big names giving it a go were pro roadie, Simon Richardson (Plowman Craven), track racer Andy Magnier, four cross rider (and Mud Dock mechanic) Duncan Ferris, and singlespeed record holder Matt Carr.
Cut off time in the qualifiers was a rapid 22.32 seconds which whittled the field down to the top 16 men and 4 women - who then raced of against each other: with the fastest taking on the 16th fastest until only two riders were left. Progress through the heats didn't always go to the faster qualifier and it was noticeable that technique rather than pure strength played a big part in posting a fast time.
Duncan Ferris was the fastest qualifier with a sub 20sec time for the 500m sprint, only the 10th rider out of over 7000 Rollapaluza competitors to do so. In fact he did it again during the races proper with a time of 19.75 seconds making him the fifth fastest rider of all time on the Rollapaluza rollers – a smidgeon behind Olympic hero Chris Hoy who posted a 19.44.
At the end of a hectic night's racing the men's final came down to a shootout between Duncan Ferris and Marcus Mumford, but this time the distance was uppped to 1km. Ferris blasted away from the start at a blistering pace and stormed into an early lead, but Mumford's steady style served him well over the longer haul as Ferris faded in the final 300 metres.
The women's competition went to form with fastest qualifier Sarah Barber dominant throughout. Both winners bagged an Iron Horse Transit singlespeed bike courtesy of the evening's sponsors Iron Horse
1st. Marcus Mumford
2nd. Duncan Ferris
3rd. Andy Magnier
4th. Greg Pittam
1st. Sarah Barber
2nd. Nicky Russell
3rd. Fi Spotswood
4th. Karen Hathaway
Tony has been editing cycling magazines and websites since 1997 starting out as production editor and then deputy editor of Total Bike, acting editor of Total Mountain Bike and then seven years as editor of Cycling Plus. He launched his first cycling website - the Cycling Plus Forum at the turn of the century. In 2006 he left C+ to head up the launch team for Bike Radar which he edited until 2008, when he co-launched the multi-award winning road.cc - which he continues to edit today. His favourite ride is his ‘commute’ - which he does most days inc weekends and he’s been cycle-commuting since 1994. His favourite bikes are titanium and have disc brakes.