Talkingshop: Oli Beckingsale – King of the Tumble


A member of the MTB Hall of Fame, Oli Beckingsale (Endura) can climb with the best as we saw last Sunday in Wales

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A week ahead of the MTB XC Champs in Scotland, Oli Beckingsale (Endura) was showing how good he is going up mountains in Wales last Sunday when he went from the peloton to the front of the race on his own within five or so kilometres.


Then, 2009 and Oli leads David Millar, racing the Tour de France right now, up the Tumble. On that day, only three riders were ahead of him, Bradley Wiggins giving it big licks at the front with Chris Froome on his wheel and Peter Kennaugh a few seconds back. 


Now, 2013, crossing the KoM line, Oli has gone from the peloton to the front of the race on just one mountain.

Oli says he has always considered himself a cyclist (as opposed to a MTB’er) and whilst it is mountain biking that he has succeeded at, had fate dealt a different hand, perhaps it would be Oli racing over the mountains in Europe right now. “The way the dice fell when I was starting my pro career” he explained, “mountain biking was where the contracts were. If that moment was now, I’d want to be a road rider. I think I am a decent cyclist, not the world’s best but up there.”

Talking to Oli at the Welsh GP last Sunday, and asked about the move to solo up the Tumble, he explained “I rode the nationals here a few years ago and knew the Tumble was hard but the finishing circuit is really hard so today I didn’t really get involved for the first thirty of fourty miles, following wheels and only went with one move I think”.


Oli driving a chase group along on the finishing circuits.

“It was good a few teams missed the break and they kept it closeish and when we got to the Tumble, I thought I’d ride up at my own pace. I know the mountain is hard and steep and it kind of suits me. I rode it at threshold, managed to catch the break and drop everybody which was sweet and took the king of the mountains which was kind of a backup prize for the day.”

“I then rolled with the break for a while and thought a smallish group would come across but it actually turned out to be a big group and 30 of us hit the finishing circuit. I had really good legs today and I’d saved a bit of energy but it was all the jumping around that got to me. I don’t have that power”.

“I’m better off getting in a small move and riding tempo. In MTB, I ride hard threshold and that is what I am good at. Getting in a group of eight or nine guys all committed would have been ideal for me rather than a group of 30 where everyone is firing off.”

“So it ended up being stop start and that kills my legs.”


The last I saw Oli was him sitting on the front of the ‘back’ group of the riders left from that 30 man move. “I was just wanting to finish off the race by that point. It was gone and so I’d rather just ride tempo and get round and finish.”

Having races go up climbs like the Tumble is rare in Britain and only in the Tour of Britain would riders do that if at all. So Oli says it was nice for him to show what he can do on a mountain and it shows that should he have chosen road racing as his career, he was and is capable of some good results in mountainous races.

The focus though is next week and the British Mountain Bike national cross country championships. “I’m in decent shape. I rode a mountain bike race last week and today proves that and I want to have a good ride in the championships.”

“The course is very man made which is not ideal as I prefer something a bit more natural. I think Grant and Kenta are stepping up to do the senior race as they’ve had a good year and I hear a certain Liam Killeen has entered the race at the last moment as well even though he hasn’t race since the Olympics.”


Oli is also a dab hand at cyclo-cross, seen here wearing the National Trophy leader’s jersey, or in this case, skinsuit by Endura.

“You can only do what you can do on the day and I’m in good shape but it would be amazing to win the stripes again … “

Good luck to Oli on the weekend.

Here’s a press release on the championships.

Stars of British Cross Country head to Cathkin Braes for the British National Championships

Olympic athlete and 5 times British Champion Liam Killeen, XC Eliminator World Cup winner Kenta Gallagher and Scottish Champion Lee Craigie lead a world class field of athletes at the 2013 British Cycling National Mountain Bike Cross Country Championships taking place at Cathkin Braes Country Park, Glasgow on Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st July.

Athletes from across Britain will head to Cathkin Braes Country Park with the hopes of clinching the British titles on the 2014 Commonwealth Games course. Around 500 competitors will compete in six races over the two days, testing the newly built course and determining National Champions in 18 categories.

Scottish Cycling’s Chief Executive, Craig Burn said: “We are delighted that the British Mountain Bike Cross Country Championships are taking place at Cathkin Braes Country Park for the first time. It will give cycling fans the chance to see world class riders in action on home soil!

I have no doubt that world class events taking place in Scotland will aid the development of cycling in this country, by providing inspiration to our current riders and encourage spectators all over Scotland to try their hand at this fantastic sport.”

Executive Member for the Commonwealth Games at Glasgow City Council, Cllr Archie Graham, said: “We designed and built the Cathkin trails to be used by the people of Glasgow; but also to be capable of hosting world class talent and major championships like this one.

“With just over a year to go until the Commonwealth Games, to have one of our newest venues hosting another national championship is a great moment for sport in Glasgow.”

Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer of EventScotland added: “Scotland is the perfect stage for events and it is great to see yet another major event coming to a Commonwealth Games venue ahead of 2014. The Cathkin Brae trails have been developed in the lead up to the Games and with some of the best British talent on show, it will be a great introduction to the discipline for people in the city.”

The 5.5km course has been developed by Glasgow City Council ahead of the Commonwealth Games but it’s already a successful legacy project giving the city an exciting challenging course, open to all mountain bikers just 20 minutes from the city centre.

Other Scot’s competing for the title of British Champion are: Rab Wardell (Trek UK), Grant Ferguson (Superior Brentjens Mountainbike Racing Team (SBT), Gareth Montgomerie (GT Muc-Off Racing), Dave Henderson (GT Muc-Off UK) and double World XTerra Champion Lesley Paterson.

Getting to Cathkin Braes is easy! Either travel by bike and leave it in the designated Bike Park (remember your bike lock) or why not take our FREE shuttle bus. The SPT Shuttle Bus system will be running from Hampden Transport Hub on Aikenhead Road, giving direct easy access to the Event Village.

Senior Male Start list
1 Liam Killeen
2 Grant Ferguson Superior Brentjens Mountainbike Racing Team (SBT)
3 David Fletcher Orange Monkey Pro Team
4 Oliver Beckingsale Endura MTB Racing
5 Sebastian Batchelor Fluid Fin Race Team
6 Kenta Gallagher Superior Brentjens Mountainbike Racing Team (SBT)
7 Hamish Batchelor Fluid Fin Race Team
8 Gareth Montgomerie GT Muc-Off Racing
9 Paul Oldham Team Hope Factory Racing
10 Ian Field Hargroves Cycles/Specialized/Trant/Next
11 Adrian Lansley
12 Dan Fleeman Dig Deep Coaching – Pactimo
13 Nick Craig Team Scott UK
14 Robert Wardell Trek UK
15 Ben Thomas Mountain Trax RT
16 Lee Westwood Torq Performance
17 Dave Henderson GT Muc-Off UK
18 John Whittington Team Diabetes UK
19 Jason Bouttell Dig Deep Coaching – Pactimo
20 Stephen Hodge Mondraker UK
21 John Hopkinson Aire Valley Racing Team
22 Alex Paton Team Gwb-ACTiV
23 Robert Friel
24 Daniel LewisRoyal Air Force CC
25 George Budd
26 Lee Williams Gateway Cycling
27 Jonathan Pybus GT Muc-Off Racing
28 Llewellyn Holmes Strada Cycles
29 Christopher Minter
30 James Fraser-Moodie Pedal Power RT
31 Christopher Andrews Torq Performance
32 Jody Crawforth Hargroves Cycles/Specialized/Trant/Next
33 David Collins Team Hope Factory Racing
34 Philip Lenney Team Gwb-ACTiV
35 David Beskeen Psyclewerx
36 Giles Drake Herbalife-Leisure Lakes
37 Daniel Blackwell Team-Elite / Paul Bethell Electrical
38 Giles Bett Weaver Valley CC
39 Paul Beales Orange Monkey Pro Team
40 Lee Gratton Run and Ride
41 Dexter Hurlock Mondraker UK
42 Scott Clipstone AW Cycles
43 James Porter Juice Lubes Racing
44 Scott McCarron Mountain Trax RT
45 Douglas Shearer Innerleithen MTB Racing/i-Cycles
46 Joe Norledge Velo29-Blackhawk
47 Andrew Magnier Node4-Giorgana Racing
48 Michael Dunabie Pedal Power RT
49 Henry Sleight
50 Ben Hallworth Ilkley CC
51 Allan Clark Team Leslie Bike Shop/Bikers Boutique
52 Elliot Baxter Manx Viking Wheelers
53 Robert Sorby Manx Mountain Bike Club
54 Craig Cooke Giant WA Racing
55 Alistair Booth Velocity 44 Stirling



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