26th August 2021
THE ROLLERCOASTER | GB Duro 2021
GBDuro has always meant a lot to us at MASON CYCLES, and it's an event we have been involved in and supported from the start.
Former employee and now a supported rider, Angus Young was there at the inaugural #GBDuro19 alongside Philippa Battye, who also co-organised the event with The Racing Collective founder Miles Resso. Angus and Philippa rode that 2019 race on their Bokehs, alongside two other MASON bicycles that graced the start (& finish) line, ridden by Mark Tillett on a Bokeh Ti and Miles, also on a Bokeh. That year Angus came 2nd, only beaten to top spot by Lachlan Morton.
One year on, at #GBDuro20 we were proud to see another five MASON bikes on the start line: Angus Young and Josh Ibbett choosing our InSearchOf model for it's extra load capacity (understandable choices in light of the "self-sufficient" format of 2020 that catered for the COVID-19 restrictions at the time), as well as Jason Black, Paul Addy and Miles Resso who rode Bokehs. To our delight, our bikes featured as 1-2 on the podium with Josh taking the win in impressive fashion, followed by a stirling 2nd place effort from Paul. Worth noting that Angus suffered poor fate in 2020 and scractched in the dramatic form of storm-induced hypothermia.
Then here we are at the end of #GBDuro21 - and what a rollercoaster it's been.
We celebrate all these riders and some truly remarkable performances, but first up - lets take a moment to talk about Angus Young.
“I went quite deep, seems to have worked."
This is signature understated Angus, uttered at the end of stage 3 in Fort Augustus after hammering the 486km stage in just 24 hours 42 minutes, beating the Lachlan Morton 2019 record by 5 hours 33 minutes and his own PB by over 18 hours.
We couldn't be more proud of what Angus achieved at #GBDuro21.
While we are absolutely gutted for him and the unfortunate circumstances around his DQ right on the cusp of winning the race after 1,580km of superhuman effort, his performance at this years' event will be remembered by everyone as phenomenal, inspirational and just damn right gritty.
Angus is a true gent & has become a good friend and part of the MASON CYCLES family and story since starting with us prepping and packing bikes to help fund his endurance riding habit.
It's been an incredible year for Angus. In June 2021 Angus set a incredible FKT of 32 hours 10 minutes for the 3 Peaks Challenge (beating the record by 5 hours), before going on to win the Pan Celtic Race in July 2021 as his first ever road ultra race. Both the events were tackled by Angus on our #FastFar mile-eaters, the Defintion.
While GBDuro21 represents another year for Angus in which this race didn't go according to plan, it takes absoluely nothing away from the mind-blowing riding, grit and admirable character he put out there.
An equally significant story for us at #GBDuro21 is that of Philippa Battye, another MASON CYCLES supported rider. While notoriously and charmingly relaxed in her approach to racing, Philippa's riding this year was anything but. She was fast, furious and utterly captivating! From holding 3rd position during the tough, early phases of the race, to somehow battling through debilitating trenchfoot and a 12 hour bug mid-race, Philippa pushed through it all to claim an overall 5th place. Doing it all without even breaking a smile, obviously.
Crossing the final stage 4 line with Phil and catching many off guard, was the absolute dynamo Alice Lemkes. Claiming 7th place after 169 hours and 34 minutes of racing, Alice took everyone by surprise with her ability to dig deep and how she determinedly chipped away at the race. As she reflects: "I have underestimated myself many many times throughout this trip and it has been a truly life affirming experience." Chapeau to you Alice!
With almost 50% of the GB Duro 2021 field made up of female riders, we’re really proud to see the likes of Philippa and Alice rightfully emerging as true stars of the race among a host of other gritty women occupying top spots.
Famed as “a scrappy rolling picnic through Britain’s ever changing landscapes”, anyone who’s taken on the challenging 2,000 kilometre route across the UK from Land’s End to John O’Groats knows it’s anything but a picnic.
The going got tough for the whole field this year, which combined with other unforeseen circumstances saw many ambitious MASON riders like Jim Higgins and Naomi Freireich being scratched. We know how tough these guys are, which is just testament and a reminder to all about how hard GBDuro is.
The full list of riders we're honoured to have riden GBDuro21 on MASON CYCLES bicycles, in no particular order: Angus Young, Philippa Battye, Alice Lemkes, Izzy Freshwater, Jim Higgins, Naomi Freireich, Sofie Joore, Tim van Gemert, Chris Bower and Sharon Calton.
We always love seeing what people can do on our bikes in events like this. Not only is it riveting to follow on as fans and dot-watchers, but it also helps reassure us on everything we do at MASON CYCLES, and what our bikes are capable of and designed for. From our ethos around cycling to our overall approach to designs, materials and builds.
Final word: we want to extend a massive thanks to our friends at The Racing Collective, the Dot Watcher team, the awesome event photographers (@breakawaydigital @tommy.check @tomiczkovva) and all others involved in making the unique, world class spectacle that it has become. Here's to #GBDuro22!