"Short, steep single track, switchbacks and giving it our all"....the Salty Dog race report by Kip Manktelow is below!
"Short, steep single track, switchbacks and giving it our all"....the Salty Dog race report by: Kip Manktelow
This was my second time racing in the Salty Dog U15 category in Trail Bicycles colours. Last year I raced with my brother and we won silver, but this year he was too old to race U15, so I teamed up with Seth Robertson from Rundle Mountain Cycling Club in Canmore to try and finally win the race.
The Salty Dog U15 race is a 3-hour-long, 2-person relay race. The day of the race was quite hot, even at 10 am when it started. The trails were dry but had been dampened by the dew of the night so were in almost perfect condition.
The course starts up a 4-5 minute fire road climb in the sweltering heat of the day. Next it turns onto a very short but steep singletrack climb which spits you back out onto the road. After that it goes up one last short climb and then it's all singletrack downhill from there. The trail is fast and flowing with lots of small berms. After a few minutes more of the downhill you get to a steep switchback down right into the tag zone.
I took the first lap for our team because I was a bit speedier than Seth on starts and it was sure to be a Cyclocross-esque start with tons of speed and jostling. I got pinched behind a slower rider and had a unlucky start, but I caught up to the front pack on the downs and got us in the top 10 of the first lap. From there, the race went smoothly and we went back and forth with two other teams for 4th to 6th place.
We gave it our all and in the end it just was not enough to get us a podium, but we did get 4th place, with 15 laps in just 3 hours and had a blast. I myself did eight of those laps and had lots of fun on the downs of each and every one of them.
Finn Manktelow and his partner Tiegan De Leeuw got 4th in their category (combined age under 35) in the 6-hour race.
The Salty Dog is always super-fun and I’m proud to represent the Trail Bicycles Cycling Team there. Next year we hope for a podium - and for more Trail riders to come and enjoy this awesome event.
A huge thank you to all our amazing sponsors:
Riverway Dental Inc., Eatmore Sprouts & Greens Ltd., Nikkei Ramen-ya, Hornby Organic, Rob Nygren, United Riders of Cumberland, Trail Bicycles COALCROSS, Sew What I Sew Wedler Engineering LLP Airport Service and Mini-Storage !