One mountain bike stage race is not like another, and if you are after a bike racing experience that will take you through different countries, and to places you just might not visit otherwise, then you need to head to Poland. The Sudety MTB Challenge has run for 10 years, and explores the terrain of the Sudety Mountains, in southern Poland. The forests, with their rock outcrops, old roads, small villages have en eerie feel to them. You think that you just might have ridden into a fairy tale setting from the Brothers Grimm.
But there is also stunning mountain biking on offer. Pure, un-buffed mountain biking. On trails that don’t thumb their nose at IMBA design, they have been developed by the passage of time, feet and hooves. Many of them have been there for centuries. You race over trails that have been used to connect villages, separate nations, fight wars, and pick mushrooms. It beats any trail centre you have visited.
The Sudety MTB Challenge will be on again next July. Head to their website for more details. Remember to take a bike that handles rocks and roots, some strong brakes and tyres, an open mind, and a sense of adventure. This is a race that will not disappoint.
You can read our race reports from 2014 here: