We were eager to see how Gosse would fare over the 200 kms of fast gravel around Kielder Forest and he didn't disappoint. Averaging 27 kmh (16.7 mph) over the 187 km course with over 3,000 metres of elevation, Gosse proved to be a Flying Dutchman crossing the line just 3 minutes after the winner.
The event wasn't short of drama, Gosse had a nasty puncture the night before, needing to patch his rear tyre and ride with an inner tube for the entire distance. With the help of Bombtrack, Weldtite, Panaracer, Lezyne and ourselves, we somehow managed to supply Gosse with everything needed in case of another puncture (or five), so he set off almost stress-free. If you've spent time around Gosse before a race or event, you'll appreciate this. Fortunately enough, he only suffered one. So, after a quick repair, he managed to get back on and continue with his bid for gravel glory.
Here is what he had to say:
"Last weekend I was back in England for the second time in my life and the HUNT guys where also on the spot again. This time not for a 1 hour cross race but for a seven hour gravel race all the way up north. I rode the HUNT 30 Carbon Gravel Disc wheels with a tubeless setup. If we go really down to the details then I want to let you guys know my weight was around 63 kg and rode with 40 PSI in my Challenge Gravel Grinder tyres which were 38 mm. I changed the setup from my CX race bike from the normal 11-32t to a 11-42t for the race and I changed the derailleur to accommodate for the bigger cogs.
The day started slow in the first group but I hadn’t ridden so long in a long time so I decided to hide in that group for the first two hours. That went really well and after 2 hours the first small attacks came. With 120 km to go I managed to ride away on a long steep climb to pass the Bombtrack Bell first. I saw my friend Stan (Godrie) behind me with a rider on a mountain bike. I waited and we rode on with the 3 of us. Then Stan got some mechanical problems and I was alone with the mountain biker. The pace was kept on high the entire day and I felt really good. I attacked after the last downhill where I had a disadvantage toward the rider on the mountain bike and so I could reach the Kielder castle first from all the 1200 riders. After the event it unfortunately came clear that that other rider actually passed the timing chip at the start very late and since we where going so slow in the beginning he could easily move up but even though I passed the line first with quite a gap, the other rider had the quickest time.... so if I come back I will wait a few minutes at the start or I go full gas for a monster solo."
Stan, Piotr, Pete and Deepti were also there representing HUNT. Things didn't start so well for Pete as he had a puncture with 2 minutes before the start. They all set off at the back of nearly a thousand people which certainly added to the fun, trying to navigate through riders of all shapes, sizes and abilities.
Our friends at Bombtrack, being another key sponsor & advocate of the Dirty Reiver, had their man Fish busy filming all day, and will be coming out with one of their signature epic videos... so stay tuned!
In the meantime, here is a quick gallery of all the shots our team managed to take while trying to balance their bikes one handed on a fast gravel downhill.