Just like last year, team eCHATlon-Doltcini travelled to Wales for the last beach race of the season. Perfect Welsh beaches and lovely singletrack are only one ferry crossing away after all. This year’s trip however would take us a bit further north for the Dirty Reiver gravel race, which you will read all about in the next post!
Let’s kick things off in the sand! Battle On The Beach is anything but the beach races we are used to on the mainland. Once you drive onto the campsite in the in the lovely Pembrey county park, the feeling already catches on. Our first experience with battle on the beach took place last year when Terry and I arrived at what looks like a giant bicycle tailgate-party lasting a whole weekend! Since then we fell in love with the whole event.
Although the competition is as fierce and fast as in any other beach race, Battle on the beach really packs the extra punch. How do they do it? Well, first of all they kick things of properly with a battle in the dark to get the blood flowing. A time trial on a part of the course, powered by live music and loads of enthusiastic supporters. Terry and I were the first out of the gates and Terry managed her way to the podium with a great third place, this meant she could start the next day’s race with confidence.
After a good night’s rest it the big race was on. The sun was out and there and we would be sent off on the beach with a tailwind. Perfect conditions for two hours of pedal hammering. Here’s a little recap of Terry’s race:
After taking a head start on the beach it was difficult to maintain the high pace in the singletracks. turns out there were some real power houses among the women elite this year! Each lap I managed to make my way back to the front of the race on the beach section of the course, I’m half a dutchie remember? ;) Unfortunately on the last lap things took a bit of a dive - At least I did, quite literally - into the pond next to the course. Luckily I didn’t hurt myself too bad and managed to get back on the bike and finish the race. By that time first and second place were no longer within reach. Luckily adrenalin pushed me hard enough to secure third place and a spot on the podium. This year’s race certainly took an unexpected course. But hey, at least they’ll call it Terry’s pond from now on…
Safe to say that Battle on the beach is a unique event. It’s not only about being the fastest on the bike, the Welsh really understand the importance of washing down the taste of blood with some fine ales after a race. Which makes it all even more worthwhile!
Finally we would also like to thank some of the lovely friends we made along the way.
Big CWTCH to Matt, for organizing one of the best cycling related events we have come across, for making us feel at home on the other side of the pond and for letting us taste some fine Welsh beer!
Much love to Grant, the wildest of men for the chats, tire boosting and love. We hope to see you as soon as possible on the other side, our door is always open.
Shoutout to Ian for the laughter, taking care of our lost & founds and making us feel warm and fuzzy on the inside!
That’s about it, I think we made our case. Battle On The Beach is a 10/10 must ride event. Take it from us, we would have been more than happy if Theresa made us stay on the island forever…
Terry & Reinout