End to End 2012: Nick Craig targets fifth Manx title

Former Olympian Nick Craig is targeting a fifth consecutive Sleepwell Hotels Manx End 2 End mountain bike title.

The 43-year-old from Hayfield will have to beat a record entry of 1,700 riders if he is to win this year's 46-mile (75km) race in the Isle of Man.

He said: "I never ever expect to win but I always do my best to win."

Last year, he completed the challenge in two hours, 53 minutes and 17 seconds.

Neal Crampton finished second, Matt Clinton was third and Elliot Baxter was the leading Manx rider in fourth position.

Craig continued: "The conditions aren't going to be great but it's the same for all of us. I love this event and if I finish first, second, third or fourth I will still have a great time.

"It is a race that has everything and the quality and quantity of the field is improving each year."

Craig will be competing on a Scott 29er bike at this year's race.

Riders will have to tackle a variety of terrain 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.

The race will get under way at 10:00 BST on Sunday.