News: Battle in the Bowl


News: Battle in the Bowl


Paul Horta-Hopkins


This weekend sees the first running of the Battle in the Bowl, a new summer CX/Gravel race that’s a twist on the usual hour in the mud of a winter ‘cross race.


Organisers The Cycle Events Organisation, who already run the popular Wiggle CX Sportive series, are running the Battle in the Bowl to give ‘cross riders a chance to race for longer than usual, on a four mile circuit that includes “flat-out fast gravel tracks, a breathtaking grass track climb around the rim of the bowl itself, a flying wooded descent back to the arena and over a mile of taped, technical classic ‘cross”.


Fancy something a little different from the usual cold, wet 'cross race? Try the Battle in the Bowl

Fancy something a little different from the usual cold, wet ‘cross race? Try the Battle in the Bowl


The venue is Matterley Bowl, near Winchester and was once used by allied troops prior to D-Day, hence the Battle in the title. Although with two hours of racing on a fast circuit on offer, I’m sure there will be plenty of riders prepared to battle for first place honours!


Main event of the day is the Super CX Race, this is aimed at regular racers; whether ‘cross, road or Mtb, who want to give CX/Gravel racing a go. While Gravel racing make bring to mind epic North American races over miles of rolling gravel, or our own Dirty Reiver, space is at more of a premium in the south-east of England. The longer race format combined with traditional ‘cross obstacles and fast gravel tracks, should make for a challenge that is different enough from the usual cyclo-cross race to make the Battle in the Bowl a ‘must do’ for ‘cross fans.


As well as the Super CX Race, there will be Junior races and an Open Warfare race. This last is a five lap race, open to all types of bike and with separate categories for single-speeder and fat bike, so if you’re that way inclined you can race against your own! There will also be cyclo-cross skills sessions being run during the day if you want to brush up on your hurdles and dismounts.


Entries are still available and the organisers are keen to stir up a bit of team spirit, with discounts for teams of four or more available, separate team ‘pit’ areas and a Battle in the Bowl Team Spirit Award. All riders will receive souvenir dog-tags to commemorate this first running of the Battle in the Bowl. If you want to get an idea of what the course is like, check out the video below.


Battle in the Bowl




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