WITH more than 2,000 riders taking part and in excess of 15,000 spectators attending during the weekend's events, Mountain Mayhem is now well-established as the biggest mountain-biking event in the UK.

But, in the 10 years that the event has been held at the Eastnor Deer Park course, near Ledbury, last weekend's competition - as well as being the biggest turn-out ever - was one of the muddiest and most challenging with parts of the course already entering biking folklore.

The UK's number one mountain biker Oli Beckinsale, who will represent Great Britain in next year's Olympics, and who rides for the Giant team, was there to take part and ex-England footballer Graeme Le Saux also tried his skills.

But it was not just riders from this country who came to test themselves alongside the 490 teams taking part.

There were riders from all over the globe, including Ireland, Spain, Australia and Sweden taking part. And a team of American servicemen on vacation from Afghanistan made a special journey to take on the hills and dales of Herefordshire.

"The course was particularly challenging this year, even without the weather conditions," said event organiser Patrick Adams.

"So to achieve what they achieved in the wet and muddy conditions was absolutely amazing."

The Scott UK team completed 35 laps of the course in 24 hours 18 minutes and 58 seconds to take the Elite Men's title while Anthony White and Jenn O'Connor topped the solo men and women's tables.