Shimano UK Gravity Enduro Rd.5: Dyfi Results & Report

Our man James Green of the Leisure Lakes Bikes/Yeti Gravity team reports from the final round of the UK Gravity Enduro in the heart of Wales. After the tight twisting woodlands of Eastridge, it was time for the flat out speed of the trails around Machynlleth to see who’d take victory in the overall series…

[update: We've just had some rather disappointing news; Steve Parr has decided that he won't be running a third series next year - here's his statement:

"It is with much thought and sadness that I have to inform you, I will not be organising UK Gravity Enduro in 2013.

There are several reasons, issues with previous title sponsor {not Shimano - Ed} not paying their bill, horrendous timing at all but one round and my own personal situation.
I would like to thank all the sponsors and helpers from the past two fantastic years, but most of all the riders for believing in the series and putting it right up there with the best.
The format of proper "Enduro" in the UK is now moving nicely, with quite a few races and mini series in the pipeline, plus BC involvement, I look forward to seeing it grow even bigger than XC and DH in years to come.
I apologise to anyone effected by the issues with the series"]
UK Gravity enduro 5 Dyfi (11)

Mach speed...

Well, another year has passed and the second UK Gravity Enduro series has passed us by. The final round of the series was again something a little different to all of the rest, as most of the stages fired down the hill at warp speed down wide-open, rocky, whoopy trails. Many of you may have ridden some of the stages at the Dyfi Enduro and may know the sections known as ‘Dickos’ and ‘World Cup’ that were used for the race.

The sun shone for most of the weekend and many of the riders that I spoke to came down the hill with a smile on their faces after practice on Saturday. Claiming to be around 38km long and having roughly 1,400m of climbing, the riders knew they were in for a long gruelling ride on the Sunday. From riding some of the trails previously I knew that dual compound or ‘freeride’ sidewall tyres like on my Schwalbe Muddy Marys and Wicked Wills were vital. Many riders also opted for full-face lids, so you can imagine what some of the stages were like…

The Stages

Stage 1: Dickos

Relatively straight forward this stage was fast and loose from the off. With only one real technical section the stage was mainly a case of staying off the brakes.

Stage 2: ‘Cwmcelli’

After a long transition to what seemed like the highest point of the weekend, the stage began on top of a wide, open hillside but you were soon sent into the stage at Mach 10. The trail wiggled its way down a number of high speed shaily turns and then went into a minute long (for the fast boys) sprint along a fire road. The trail then fired back down the hill down a rocky slate strewn gulley. A lot of riders had issues with punctures while riding this final section and could be seen lining the sides of the trail fitting new tubes.

Stage 3: World Cup

UK Gravity enduro 5 Dyfi (9)

The Don keeping it pinned...

Well known by many riders of the Dyfi and locals, this stage is seriously fast and scary. The rider with the biggest kahunas was surely going to win. Starting on some seriously greasy rocks the stage then turned into the ‘World Cup’ stage. The top is fairly straightforward. That said, avoiding the large drainage ditch down the centre of the trail is well advised! The trail makes a right turn and the speed soon picks up – you have to hang on for dear life and hope that you and the bike make down to the bottom in one piece.

Stage 4: ‘Steve’s delight’

This stage began with a freshly cut section and then a lung buster of a climb. The stage eventually made its way downhill through a seriously whooped out section. This was again a case of staying of the brakes, pumping the woops and hanging on for dear life. Speeds must have touched at least 30mph for some riders!

Stage 5: ‘Farm run’

Freshly marked out on the Wednesday before the race the track wound its way down a series of fields through wide open, off camber turns. The wet grass on Saturday morning was a little unnerving when hitting it full gas. Unfortunately as you can see my GoPro footage isn’t all the way to the bottom of the hill as my battery ran out. The rest of the stage negotiated a tight right off camber corner, a tight right hander and then fired into the field and crossed the finish line.

Results

There were many stories after the race of riders getting multiple punctures, blown shocks and suffering from serious tiredness. A lot of riders also seemed to abandon the race near to the end as when the Elite field got to the top of the hill hardly anyone was there, so this race turned out to be a serious test of all round fitness.

Local rider and series leader Ralph Jones took the win in the Elite from Neil Donoghue closely followed Rob Cooksley in third. Tracy Moseley continued her winning ways and took the win in the Elite women’s category.

Bike Soup Under 18

UK Gravity enduro 5 Dyfi (2)

The Under 18 podium

1st Joe Buck
2nd Ben Nott
3rd Robert Goodey

Osprey Europe Women

1st Cheri Mills
2nd Sally Evamy
3rd Liz Simmons

Troy Lee Veteran

UK Gravity enduro 5 Dyfi (1)

The Vet podium

1st Richy Lewis
2nd Richard Ellis
3rd Marcus Jones

Grand Veteran

UK Gravity enduro 5 Dyfi (13)

The Grand Vet podium

1st Keven Baines
2nd Steve Felstead
3rd Dave Wills

Osprey Europe Master

UK Gravity enduro 5 Dyfi (10)

The Master podium

1st Andrew Devine
2nd Stuart Nicholson
3rd Charlie Williams

Streak Clothing Senior

UK Gravity enduro 5 Dyfi (6)

The Senior podium

1st Sam Flanagan
2nd Christopher Keeble Smith
3rd David Mirfield

Schwalbe Tyres Elite Women

UK Gravity enduro 5 Dyfi (14)

The Elite women's podium

1st Tracey Moseley
2nd Helen Gaskell
3rd Sarah Newman

 

Continental Tyres Elite Men

1st Ralph Jones
2nd Rob Cooksley
3rd Aidan Bishop

Overall

1st Ralph Jones
2nd Neil Donoghue
3rd Rob Cooksley
4th Aidan Bishop
5th Philip Shucksmith

Check out Roots and Rain for full results: http://www.rootsandrain.com/race961/2012-sep-9-fetish-bike-gravity-enduro-series-5-dyfi-north-wales/

Overall series results

Bike Soup Under 18

1st Joe Harrison
2nd Joe Buck
3rd Peter Lloyd

Osprey Europe Women

1st Cheri Mills
2nd Sally Evamy
3rd Liz Simmons

Troy Lee Veteran

1st Richy Lewis
2nd Marcus Jones
3rd Rick Ellis

Grand Veteran

1st Keven Baines
2nd Steve Felstead
3rd David Wills

Osprey Europe Master

1st Andrew Devine
2nd Charlie Williams
3rd James Richards

Streak Clothing Senior

1st Sam Flanagan
2nd David Mirfield
3rd Chris Keeble Smith

Schwalbe Tyres Elite Women

1st Tracy Moseley
2nd Helen Gaskell
3rd Sarah Newman

UK Gravity enduro 5 Dyfi (15)

Elite women overall podium

Continental Tyres Elite Men

1st Neil Donoghue
2nd Ralph Jones
3rd Rob Cooksley

Summary

Well this wraps up the series for another year. This series has captured the essence of Enduro racing and has attracting a number of new faces to the races. The discipline allows people to enjoy riding their bikes with their mates, plodding between stages and then sprinting down the gnarliest, fastest downhill they can find. If you enjoy riding your bike and racing your mates this is what this cycling discipline encapsulates. The series hasn’t been without glitches though this year and the timing issues cast doubt into many racers’ minds in some of the earlier stages, but it appears as if these problems are continually being ironed out. Steve Parr and his team have worked hard to make this series work and Steve has endeavoured to find the most interesting and inspiring tracks around the UK – so hats off to him. Thanks Steve!

Steve Parr (race organiser)

“I just want to say a big thank you to all those people that helped out, marshalled and got the series running. I’d also like to say a big thank you to Bud (Adrian Bradley – the man behind Antur Stiniog MTB centre) for all of his help this year.”

Neil Donohue, 1st place Elite overall)

“Gravity Enduro is still really young in the UK and it has a long way to go yet, but I give Steve, Adrian and the guys who help a lot of respect for what they have done. Personally it boils down to venues for me, I have loved some and loathed others but as the races move on I think we will find the best venues and develop them to suit the racing. As a whole I have really enjoyed the year and I love the relaxed and fun feel to the weekends. Roll on 2013…”

The future is looking very promising for Enduro racing. With talk of another potential British Cycling sanctioned series and rumours of a third National series, Enduro racing seems to be getting more and more popular.

I’d just like to say a final big thanks to Leisure Lakes Bikes, YETI, Schwalbe, Renthal, Chris King, Royal, Fox Racing Shox, 100% goggles, Ballard, Wenlock Springs and Muc-off for providing me with some incredible support over the past two years.

Green

Follow my blog for all the latest Gravity Enduro news.

Follow me on Twitter: @yetiukgravity

For further shots of the event, head to Roots & Rain

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