British Mountain Bike Marathon Championship silver medal for Velo Club Flintham cyclist Julie Bratton
Velo Club Flintham cyclist Julie Bratton won a silver medal in the gruelling British Mountain Bike Marathon Championships at Kielder Forest in Northumberland on Saturday.
Bratton, 50, finished the 73-mile race in second place in the women’s 50-plus age group, crossing the finishing line in in seven hours 43 minutes.
The championships were part of the Deadwater 100 event, which also hosted a non-championship race and sportive event.
Tour de France cyclist Connor Swift, who rides for French outfit Team Arkea-Samsic, competed in the championship race, finishing third.
Bratton, from Stubton, who is coached by Olympic track cycling medallist Bryan Steel, from Nottingham, said: “The race was two laps of a very technical course with nearly 10,000ft of climbing, higher than some of the biggest mountains in the Alps.
“I was only able to recce a small part of it the previous day, so I wasn’t feeling very confident.
“There was a section that was so rocky and technical that some athletes crashed, so the only way to avoid the risk of coming to a stop or falling off the bike was to hop off and run that bit of the course with my bike.
“When you have already been racing hard for nearly four hours and you’re just starting your second lap, it is tough, but I was pleased with my endurance and thrilled to finish wit the silver medal.”