Manx End to End bike race: Finisher numbers increase

Nick Craig The 46-mile (75km) course was slightly shorter this year

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More people finished the Isle of Man's annual End to End biking challenge than ever before, organisers said.

A total of 1,147 mountain bikers crossed the finishing line on Sunday, compared to 959 last year.

A rider from the West Midlands was first across the line at the 46-mile (75km) challenge.

Matt Clinton of Balsall Common finished with a time of about three hours, taking the title from Manx cyclist Elliot Baxter who won the 2012 event.

Organisers said it was the largest field in the event's 17-year history with more than 700 cyclists travelling to the island to race.

'Brutal conditions'

The challenge sees cyclists ride from the Point of Ayre in the north of the island to Cregneash in the south.

Last year 1,500 cyclists started the race, with 959 completing it.

Organisers made slight changes to the course since last year, including a new all-weather section through Arrasey Plantation.

The annual event was first held in 1996 when a group of friends cycled across the island.

Riders have to tackle a variety of terrain during the event and climb more than 1,500m as they ride from the Point of Ayre in the north of the island to Cregneash in the south.

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