Alastair competes in Red Bull 50/50

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

I was fortunate enough to gain an entry to the Red Bull 50/50 Ski/Bike Duathlon at the weekend  which was pretty special being the first mountainbike bike event to be held on Cairngorm Mountain just outside Aviemore. 

I was fortunate enough to gain an entry to the Red Bull 50/50 Ski/Bike Duathlon at the weekend  which was pretty special being the first mountainbike bike event to be held on Cairngorm Mountain just outside Aviemore.

Because of lack of snow it was more like 20/80 Ski/Bike which suited me fine as I’m not much of a skier and simply hang on in there and hope for the best. In the snow qualifier I came through the finish backwards and my time was not picked up as the transponder was then on the wromg side of the receiver to pick up the signal.

The event was made up of a downhill  slalom type ski or snowboard section followed after the transition by a mainly downhill mountain bike race. 

The snow course consisted of slalom gates and several large rollers and was around 1.5 minutes long. It was very misty and hard to guage speed and distance.


The mountain bike course started of on a loose rough mountain access road with a few big sandy corners leading onto a gravel path. From here we came into the resort car park and then set off down the gravel verge at the side of the mountain road. It was then down a twisty old overgrown  disused road which consisted of tarmac and dirt piles with a couple of jumps thrown in. After this we hugged the main tarmac road for a short while before diving off into a series of bus stops and single track with some boardwalk and steps thrown in before coming to thje finish, probably around 11 mins in total.

In the Finals we were set off 5 at a time. I got the holeshot out of the gate and immediately got my pro skier tuck on! . I managed to hold it until near the finish where I was overtaken by two boarders and came into transition 3rd. 

Having a fairly good transition I came out 1st and wound up the Nukeproof Mega to terminal velocity as I descened the loose track. It was pretty drifty on the few early corners and then just a case of holding it wide open all the way avoiding the bigger boulders and hopping the drainage ditches. 

Crossing the car park we again descended following the tarmac mountain road at full speed before diving off down the disused road containing the jumps and chicanes. It was here I managed somehow to twist my front derailler into my bash ring which meant the chain would not stay on either of the chain rings making it impossible to pedal. My race was over at this point and I eventually crossed the finish line very frustrated.

Aviemore resident Oli Carter was a very popular winner followed closely by Fort William man Liam Moynihan in 2nd.

Overall a great day out at what was a fantastic event. Hopefully I will get an entry next year again as there is unfinished business to attend to.

The skis are packed away now and its back to downhill mountain biking for the next race which takes me over the probably very rough  Irish Sea to Round 1 of the Irish Downhill series at Rostrevor. 

Nukeproof Scalp and sick bag packed and ready to go.


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