News from the north, Joe Barnes and Emma Guy win first round of Scottish Enduro Series…
POC Scottish Enduro Series Round 1
Nevis Range, Fort William 22 + 23 February 2014
Round 1 of the inaugural POC Scottish Enduro Series took place last weekend in a very wet and windy Fort William. Hardly surprising given that it is still winter, and this is the Highlands! But that didn’t deter 300 people from entering, making the 1st round at Nevis Range a sell-out.
Riders had all day on Saturday to practice the 4 stages. These stages were a mixture of hardpacked tracks, some fire road sprints and some natural, rooty, muddy tracks. Stage 2 was the talk of the weekend. It was rooty, gnarly, steep, technical and after a day of practice – MUDDY! Regardless of the mud and rain though, most people seemed pleased with the course and were raring to race on Sunday morning.
No Fuss Events, the race organisers, arrived early to Nevis Range on Sunday morning to find that it had been wild there over night – the first piece of evidence was the Sick Skills marquee, flattened to the ground. Elsewhere, flag poles were snapping and cable ties holding banners in place were breaking free, one by one! But how about the course? An army of marshals headed out to check the route to make sure the signage and taping had survived the night. After a few fixes here and there, most of it was ready to go. Except from Stage 4! Stage 4 had a river crossing in it, which overnight had become a raging torrent unsafe for racing through, so was shortened for the race.
After checking that everything was in place and getting the marshals all into position and the food station weighted down, the race was under way.
The POC Scottish Enduro Series is about racing, having fun and where possible riding with your mates, so they let you choose your own start time. Of course not everyone can get the time they want, and some people have to go last. But, having a set time to leave the carpark meant that most waiting was done in the relative shelter of the start hut and not at the top of Stage 1! Getting a late start also meant, however, that conditions on ‘That Stage’ were quite different than for those who got an early start. Unfortunately the weather played a big part in the changing trail conditions, but as the marshal at that point said ‘It was always very rideable, some just rode it better than others!’
In the end though, it was Canyon rider Joe Barnes, who dominated the day and who won every stage. Competition was tight for the ladies 1+2, with Team Ibis UK rider, Emma Guy pipping 2nd place Tracy Brunger, also an Ibis rider, by 4 seconds. We had 2 junior girls racing at the weekend, one with a cross country background and one with a history in DH. In the end it was the cross country legs that prevailed and Elena Melton took home the 1st place prize. In the junior boys Drew Carters took a win for the last time on his hot pink Orange, moving onto Santa Cruz for the coming season.
Full Results can be found at http://www.sportident.co.uk/results/2014/scottishenduroround1/
Photos from the weekend can be found at: https://www.facebook.com/nofussevents/photos_albums