Your roving reporter has spent the night with the CATS and Solo teams at Sandwell Park and brings you some of the goings on.

As expected it soon developed into a head to head battle between the UK Diamondback team and the Big European guns Giant, with the lead swapping constantly all night, as they put in 34-min laps at times.

In a frantic start one of the CATS team suffered a collapsed wheel after 3 corners – forcing a whole lap run back to the pits for a new one.

3 corners and avery long run for the first lap

Ian Scott (Eastern Velo) also had problems badly damaging a knee in a crash causing early retirement on his first lap.

It soon became evident the packed hard ground of the fast 9.5 mile lap was being hard on the bikes

Our main interest was in the Solo race though. Patrick Schalbetter put in a storming start to clear the masses of fun riders, then settled down to some steady 50-min laps. As the race settled Shalli held 8th place amongst 4 other riders on similar times.

Shalli laps Adi in the early evening as the two meet up

Up front after 5 hrs and 6 laps Ben Bardsley held a surprise slim lead of 3 mins over Favourite and last years winner Roy Hunt. Bardsley is apparently from a fell running background and had his eyes firmly set on the £2000 top prize. Shalli at this time was 26 mins back and Adrian Scott a further 29mins in 15th place.

By 10 p.m. it was Giants turn to lead 12 laps with Diamond back 2:09 behind.

Eastern region Velo putting in a great showing in overall 7th place.

First locals up is the mixed team of Old spice CATS 2001 in 77th overall and a superb 11th in their class with Vic Barnett and Gaye Taylor doing some flying laps.

Sol leader Bardsley was only 6 secs behind the CATS 5 man/women team in 78th overall and had stretched his class lead with amazingly consistent 47 min laps, and every one was muttering he’s going to blow. At this time 10 laps in, his slowest lap of 47.53, was still faster than Schalli's fastest second lap of 47.54…….. Staggering.

yes those PACE forks are not connected very well another long carry - this prompted pace to recall some faulty forks darknest starts to hit as Shalli starts his long night

See the full early results at

adi in the hectic night race..zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
And his pit crew stuggle to keep up

As the riders settled into their night rhythm (Adi’s by now had a snoring motif…. as a back pain caused him to seek a few hours rest) a 4-man battle royal was developing in the solo class.

By 4:15 am and 15 laps Schali with some efficient Pit crew team work from his Family and friends, found himself in 6th, only 2 secs behind Cannondales expert solo 24 hr rider Matt Carr, with another two riders Rob Saunders and Schwinn’s Polaris expert Garry Tomsett only 10 mins behind them.

Schalli then pulled up to 5th by 5:50am and pulled 5 mins on Carr who had to keep using the massage crew on his aching back, and now Schali in the money (£150 for 5th), gained renewed enthusiasm as the strong sun rose over the dew dampened track.

Dem cones is dazzling beer fuels the night crews for the solos

It was also noticeable that 4th was now only 24 mins ahead and 3rd only 34mins up as either the riders rested a bit or were they tiring…..

Leader Bardsley now on 18 laps was well away, and still doing sub 50 min laps bar a few food stop extra minutes.


Team Giant is in the overall lead by 20 mins as Diamondback suffer a few punctures to slow them. 26 laps in 17hrs

The old spice CATS team holding 11th in the Mixed team

Kettering cream team are 70th in the sport male class


9am I’m back at work – hard life but the solos still have 5 hrs to go and suddenly it’s a sprint.. From the site, Hotline, Helper Bob Mitchell, its reported that 4th place Gillespie has blown and has been sitting in the solo pit tent for over an hour. 3rd place man, American Mike Ohran has disappeared somewhere and Sanders has passed Schalli, but then came into the tent with a soft front tyre.

Schalli then came in for a feed and as the crew realised what was happening he raced off again now in 3RD PLACE (£500), Saunders saw this, and he too realised the race was on, and after 19 hrs of racing its going to be a 5hr sprint !!!!

But don’t count out Polaris distance regular Tomsett yet whose putting in consistent laps.

Adi Scott has got a second wind and is pulling back to 14th place as leader Bardsley is still ploughing on at the head.

1.5 hour’s to go

Suddenly its all happening Shalli comes through in 4th but with Tomsett putting in a string of 49-min laps, they are neck and neck. And what's this ---- they are shaking hands on the line, and then they are off again, grabbing drinks as they go. What was that all about, a pact to ride together or a race to the death? Its possible to put in two more laps and 3rd place Saunders is only 5 mins ahead so it’s possible.

Ohmran has indeed packed in from his race long 3rd place, he was found spark-out in his tent.

The crowd and pit crews can now do nothing but wait untill they return.

Last lap.

2 mins to go and the solo leader passes through the finish. Which means he's willing to do another lap to make it 30, what a nutter, but a clear winner. Adi finishes in around 14th, after another rest period, and here comes Shalli and Garry Tomsett over the line hands linked to share the 4th place spoils for a brilliant 27 laps in total. 256.5 miles off road in 24 hrs

Latest finishing results probably on the singletrack site first but I think everyone's asleep now.

Now available at

See you next year -----zzzzzzz Sun 24th 17:00