VIDEO: Mountain bikers race down Penshaw Hill

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COMPETITORS hurtled down Penshaw Hill in less than a minute in a bid to be crowned the fastest.

For the second year running, the Wearside landmark provided the backdrop for Penshaw Bikefest.

Bikefest 2014 event at Penshaw Monument on Sunday.

Bikefest 2014 event at Penshaw Monument on Sunday.

Dozens of mountain bike enthusiasts gathered at the top of the hill before racing down in timed runs.

The specially designed and constructed track incorporated a number of exhilarating twists, turns and jumps.

Sanctuary Bikes in Shiney Row teamed up with the National Trust, who own Penshaw Monument and Hill, and University of Sunderland students to stage the event which they hope will become an annual highlight in the mountain biking calendar.

Phil Grimes from Houghton, who was one of around 70 competitors to take part, said: “I’ve been mountain biking since I was young but have always had to travel to places like Wales for events, so it’s great that this was set up right on my doorstep. It means my friends and family can come and watch me race.”

Carl Davison from mountain bike group Northern Downhill, said: “It’s quite a unique track with Penshaw Monument behind it. It’s a simple track, so it’s good for beginners to have a go. You can build up good speeds on it so most people can get down in around a minute.”

Marshals were on hand to point out the best and safest vantage points for spectators who lined the woodland route.

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