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Cold Outside? Try These Conditions Faced By Army Mountain Bikers In Germany

British Army Germany (BAG) cyclists have had a baptism of fire at the start of the mountain biking season.

After a busy summer cycling campaign they took part in one of BAG's most challenging mountain biking competitions to date, in near-freezing temperatures.

The Sennelager event wasn't the easiest way to get back on two wheels, in weather conditions that would be enough to persuade most people to stay inside and keep warm.

British Army mountain biking competition

But for this hardcore bunch of bikers, it just added to the challenge.

Race organiser Staff Sergeant Noel Yates, a Royal Army Physical Training Corps instructor from 3 Close Support Battalion, the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME), said:

"We've had a bit of surprising weather come through with the rain last night, as well as some snow today and a quite chilly wind as well. But it's been really good... It's added a bit more of a technical aspect to it. It's been challenging for all levels of riders."

Following a pre-set route of 20km, the competitors remained in good spirits despite the recent snowfall.

The muddy four-lap race included a range of terrain, from hills and valleys to narrow paths, dense woodland and the dreaded water crossing.

Many of the riders form part of the BAG Cycling Club, taking part in summer road races and keeping their fitness up during the winter months through mountain biking.

British Army mountain biking competition

But when you are used to sunnier climates and more gentle terrain, it can be quite a challenge taking on this different kind of bike racing, with a different technique and riding style necessary.

35 Engineer Regiment, which is based 30 minutes away in Paderborn, had a strong representation at the event, with its personnel taking the top two podium places.

But it was an exciting finish, with Warrant Officer Class 2 Dean Turner taking the lead in the last lap after a sneaky overtake.

Next up in the mountain bike season is a race on February 21.

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