682 folding bike riders in office attire turn out for Bike Blenheim scorcher
The Brompton World Championships, held over the weekend at Blenheim Palace, have been declared a success, with 682 riders turning out on the start line.
The quirky folding bike only race has once again seen time trialist Michael Hutchinson crowned victor, smashing his 2011 time by nearly a minute. Hutchinson posted a cource record busting 20 minute 17 second time in the 25-degree heat.
Julia Shaw took the prize for Fastest Female in 23 minutes and 39 seconds. She last won the female category in 2009.
As ever, the event was an international affair with 34 nationalities represented including Anders Hedqvist, who had spent the last 18 days pedalling from Stockholm to London on his Brompton in order to take part. Twelve first place winners from six of the Brompton National Championships held this year were also present.
The expansion of the Bike Blenheim Palace event as a whole, now held over two days, meant there was space for two additional Brompton events on the track. The Brompton Marathon saw 150 riders tackle the 26 mile sportive route in the Cotswold countryside, many completing the route in less than 2 hours. The Brompton Sprint also proved to be an intense affair as riders battled it out in groups of three to try and set the fastest time on the 300m uphill course.Article continues below
Yu Shing Tang and Susan Todsy, female winner of the Brompton US Championship, beat the rest of the field to take the glory. A number of enthusiastic individuals took up the gauntlet of taking part in all three events in an attempt to win the title of the Brompton Treble. Richard Spencer, who came 14th in the World Championship, 9th in the Sprint and completed the Marathon, won the male category, whilst Susan Todsy picked up her second accolade of the day.
The team event was hotly contested with the Brompton Factory team just stealing it from Kingston Wheelers and Small Wheels Big Difference closely behind in 2nd and 3rd place respectively with the latter showing that even a Land’s End to John O’Groats charity ride on Bromptons couldn’t prepare them for the fast course at Blenheim Palace.
Event organiser Katharine Horsman said: “The Brompton World Championship has been popular for several years now and we have been at capacity for the last three years. The expansion of the Blenheim event gave us the opportunity to add some new disciplines to the mix both to appeal to new participants and to really challenge the events serious fans. We had a great turnout early in the morning for the Marathon and I think the Sprint may be the new hot ticket in town, great fun to watch and, from all accounts, good fun to take part in.”
Full results can be found on the Brompton website.