While the sport of enduro racing (in the timed-mostly-downhill-stage-racing form) has only been floating about in Britain for a relatively small amount of time it’s been massive on the continent for a number of years. Last year saw the inaugural UK Gravity Enduro series and we at Singletrack were high pleased, some might say stoked, to have been able to cover the races.
However, to keep you lot up to date this year, we’d like to introduce our new gravity enduro racing correspondent James Green, who’ll be racing a reporting from each round. Some people may know him from last year’s successful season racing in Elite, or possibly from his DH racing past – but we’ll let the man introduce himself…
I’m sure many of you are wondering who I am. Some of you may have heard of me or seen me spinning cranks at downhill races or shredding trails over the past few years. Some of you may know me from working in bike shops in the Midlands area and some people may have never heard of me.
Luckily for me I have been given the opportunity to write a blog for Singletrack about myself and Gravity Enduro in the UK. I’m not saying that I know everything about Gravity Enduro but who does? The sport is in its infancy and not many people have proven that a certain bike set up, training plan, racing background will make you a sure fire winner. So this is my take on it.
I’m relatively new to racing competitively and began in 2007 racing downhill at the Pearce and National series. I raced downhill, achieving expert ranking in 2009 and continued to race throughout 2009-10 with some occasional top tens. In 2010 I kind of lost interest in downhill; maybe it was the long waits between riding or waiting in uplift queues. I don’t want to take anything away from downhill as in it purest form it is some of the best and most insane fun you can have on a bike.
I had always ridden cross country whilst trying to train for downhill but never really had an inkling to race it; I always enjoyed the downs too much. So when Steve Parr announced that he was running a Gravity Enduro race series in 2011 it seemed like the perfect discipline for me. It incorporated skills that I had learnt from racing downhill over the past few years and was strongly biased towards a high level of fitness. Gravity Enduro seems to take so many aspects from different disciplines of mountain biking, mix them up and spit out to make an awesome race format.
So in 2011 I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to race Gravity Enduro on the Yeti/LeisureLakesBikes team. With this great backing and support combined with a lot off hard training I felt ready for all five rounds of the UK Gravity Enduro series. Due to my past ranking in Expert at downhill I was able to race in Elite, so the pressure was on to perform. For the first round I was confident in my fitness and my ability to produce some great results and
when I received 3rd place at the first round at Ae Forest I couldn’t be happier. What could have been if I hadn’t punctured in the rock garden and rode the bottom section with a flat. The rest of the season went well, where I consistently achieved top 5 results with one of the highlights being 2nd in Elite and 4th overall at Kielder. These results bagged me 3rd overall in Elite which wrapped up a great year of racing.
For the 2012 season I have really stepped up my training and have regularly visited Sportstest (www.sportstest.co.uk) who has sorted me out with a structured training plan. I have always tried to cobble some sort of training plan together but this year I thought I’d really step it up, especially as interest seems to be growing in Gravity Enduro and I want to be at the forefront of this type of racing. This year I’m joined on the Yeti/Leisure Lakes Gravity team by a Shropshire lad that goes by the name of John Adams Martin, he consistently puts in top results in the Masters category. This is going to be coupled with some great support from Leisure Lakes Bikes, YETI Schwalbe, Renthal, Chris King, Royal, Fox Racing Shox, Ballard, Wenlock Springs and Muc-off and I’m hoping that this will be my best year yet in Gravity Enduro racing….
In my next post I’ll be giving you an insight into the James Green fitness factory, so keep em peeled!
Keep tracks on me through Twitter: @YetiUKGravity
Posted on: February 28, 2012 by singletrackjon