Glorious mud as hundreds turn out to take part in national cyclo-cross competition in Shrewsbury - with pictures
Hundreds of competitors and spectators travelled to Shrewsbury this weekend as a national cyclo-cross competition began.
It has been four years since the National Cylco-Cross Championships were held in Shrewsbury, and the number of competitors has nearly doubled, from 450 to 800 people taking part this year.
The event, which sees riders complete an extremely muddy course, often having to dismount and carry their bike, was hosted by the Mid-Shropshire Wheelers at Shrewsbury Sports Village over the weekend.
Volunteer organiser Martin Cowell, from Paramount Cycle Race Team, said the competition is massive and brings in people from all over the country for the two-day event which started on Saturday.
"It is a hugely popular competition nationally, and incredibly prestigious, so to have it held here in Shrewsbury is amazing," he said.
"Those of us in the cycling federation have been excited about this for a long time. The planning that goes into this is massive.
"We say of the track – the muddier the better. Most of the riders will say they want it muddier, so it is more of a challenge."
Martin said that because the event has nearly 800 competitors visit, along with their friends and family, it brings in a lot of business for hotels and restaurants in Shrewsbury.
On Saturday, many races took place, including the youth boys and girls and the veteran races for men and women aged between 40 to 70.
The races on Sunday were seeing elite riders take to the tracks to try their luck winning the cyclo-cross trophy, as well as the junior races.
A variety of ages take part in the competition, from those as young as 13 to those aged 70, all having a go at the challenging, muddy course.