The Empire Cycles PMBA Enduro Series final round was upon us and the year’s hard work culminated in one race. The overall title was on everyone’s minds: a true representation of consistency and skill. Empire Cycles had an MX-6 Evo frame for each category winner – so the stakes were high, and nerves had definitely kicked in. This round took us across the moors and back again. It started at Lee Quarry, then made a short moorland cross over to Cown Quarry, a big moorland cross over to Cockhill and finished off a with a last pedal back over to Lee Quarry for the final stage. This round would definitely be the longest, and most unlike any of the others – which have all been in trail centres and all in one place. The mixture of trails and long transitions would be a really good challenge for all riders and offer some really good racing.
The format for the whole race was a little different to all the other rounds: due to the overall course length and transitions the race would be a full weekend event, with practice on Saturday and racing Sunday. Normally we would get a few practice loops in on the Sunday morning before racing starts, but with this race (because of the length of the course) we had no chance to practice in the morning and we just had to go straight into racing.
Sunday morning came around and all the riders where ready for the day ahead of them. Straight away riders had to tackle the Lee Quarry climb, a long, steep in places, rocky scramble to the top. Stage one followed our very own Classic Weekender descent, using a mixture of the already existing trails and then adding in some fresh cut sections to spice it up a little bit.
If the pedally bottom section of stage one didn’t warm you up then the climb back up into the quarry and then the 15-20 minute ride over to stage two at Cown Quarry probably would. Stage two started just at the top of a wood and flowed its way down into Whitworth. The track had jumps, drops and some steep rocky sections. This stage was really going to be suited more to the downhillers, with only a short pedal in the middle, and a rather techy climb which a few decided to push instead of getting all caught up on the slippy rocks. After stage two’s flat out trail it was time for the biggest transition of the day which took you right over the moors to Cockhill for stages three and four.
Stage three was Cockhill’s well known ‘dark red’ descent: boardwalk, roots, loam and some big jumps faced the riders for this fast and flowy stage. If you tackled it succesfully you then had a nice calf burning push back up the top for stage four.
Stage four was a fresh-cut loam track, made for the race. The Cockhill digging crew really pulled out all the stops and made a challenging track. Starting off with some rocky/mud corners, and then a tricky man made rock garden, the stage finished off with a massive off-camber loam straight. Stage four done.
After finishing stage four you had to once again make your way to the top of the wood and back over the hill, down into Bacup and then back up into Lee Quarry to the top for the final stage.
Stage five started on the blue descent down to the small trials area, and then went straight off the face of the quarry down a grassy bank into a muddy rut shoot. If you tackled the off-piste section successfully you then had one of the most flowy feel-good sections of the enduro on the bottom table-tops of the red, then (not so enjoyable) was the pedally bottom section. Again. It felt somewhat harder after a full day’s riding and four other stages; nevertheless it was the final stage and the last drain of energy before rolling back down to the finish arena.
The five stages were complete and what a day it had been! The sun shone brightly and the trails were epic. The Singletrack Enduro team boys think it’s been the best enduro of the series and definitely hope to see the same again next year.
For those who didn’t fancy the full five stages, there was also a three stage event which tackled both stages at Lee Quarry and then the stage at Cown Quarry.
Well done to all racers who took part, and well done to the Singletrack Enduro Team! Richard Lane took 7th spot in the masters category. After a year of punctures and crashes it’s a fantastic boost for him to have a clean race – the lad’s got pace. Our U18 Men rider Dan took 4th spot after a big crash on stage three: a great result – and he has few lovely bruises from Cockhill’s hard packed track, too.
What a year of racing it has been. We have travelled around the Pennines, with a quick detour up to Scotland. I think it’s fair to say that the Empire Cycles PMBA Enduro’s first year has been a massive success: they have put on some amazing racing, with courses that can be tackled by any level of rider, and they provided a fantastic atmosphere.
We want to give a massive thanks to Kev from PMBA, and Mike for all the hardwork and hours he’s spent organizing the races. Also a big thanks to all the sponsors and to the title sponsor Empire Cycles.
That’s it till next year and we can’t wait to get racing again – the series has been amazing and is a great opportunity for people to get into racing.
Overall results will follow shortly.
|1||4||Matty STUTTARD||Mondraker UK / MucOff / Ride-On / Silverfish||03:47:51||2:11 (1)||1:24 (1)||1:52 (1)||1:37 (1)||2:12 (1)||9:16||–|
|2||1||Callum DEW||Pioneer Scott / Syncros||04:41:50||2:12 (3)||1:24 (1)||2:00 (2)||1:42 (2)||2:15 (2)||9:33||17s|
|3||2||Lee KERMODE||Pioneer Scott / Syncros||04:41:25||2:13 (4)||1:31 (3)||2:03 (3)||1:46 (3)||2:16 (3)||9:49||33s|
|1||13||Joe HARRISON||Marin Bikes||04:52:43||2:18 (1)||1:37 (1)||2:07 (1)||2:01 (3)||2:26 (1)||10:29||–|
|2||19||Callum RUSSELL (jun)||Hardtail||05:41:32||2:21 (2)||1:48 (4)||2:16 (4)||2:00 (1)||2:31 (4)||10:56||27s|
|3||5||Joe ADSETT||ATLAS / Decade-Europe / Deity / muel||04:25:49||2:28 (6)||1:47 (3)||2:12 (2)||2:00 (1)||2:30 (2)||10:57||28s|
|1||3||Tom KELLY||04:23:34||2:15 (1)||1:29 (1)||2:00 (3)||1:47 (1)||2:25 (4)||9:56||–|
|2||52||Joe YOUNG||Cube store / Infinity Cycles||04:31:52||2:22 (9)||1:31 (4)||1:59 (2)||1:52 (2)||2:22 (1)||10:06||10s|
|3||26||Ben CLARKE (sen)||biketreks||05:09:12||2:18 (4)||1:30 (2)||1:58 (1)||1:52 (2)||2:30 (9)||10:08||12s|
|1||175||Jan CZUGALINSKI||03:48:26||2:12 (1)||1:28 (1)||1:59 (1)||1:51 (2)||2:20 (1)||9:50||–|
|2||170||Nigel PILLING||05:41:20||2:15 (2)||1:29 (3)||1:59 (1)||1:46 (1)||2:23 (2)||9:52||2s|
|3||97||David READ||Twelve50 Bikes Race Team||04:53:09||2:17 (4)||1:31 (5)||2:05 (3)||1:52 (3)||2:24 (3)||10:09||19s|
|1||135||Davy LEDGERWOOD||Teamledg Racing||04:43:03||2:14 (1)||1:40 (2)||2:07 (1)||1:53 (1)||2:24 (1)||10:18||–|
|2||138||Andrew MEE||03:52:14||2:25 (7)||1:34 (1)||2:12 (5)||1:55 (2)||2:30 (3)||10:36||18s|
|3||129||Sam GIBBONS||03:56:46||2:24 (4)||1:43 (4)||2:09 (2)||1:56 (3)||2:30 (3)||10:42||24s|
Grand Veteran Men
|1||150||Howard STUTTARD||MucOff / Ride-On / Silverfish||03:49:16||2:27 (1)||1:43 (1)||2:17 (1)||1:59 (1)||2:29 (1)||10:55||–|
|2||151||Ian TATE||Hamsterley Trailblazers||05:02:34||3:02 (6)||2:17 (2)||2:52 (2)||2:51 (2)||3:14 (4)||14:16||3:21|
|3||152||Neil TILLEY||03:31:26||2:59 (5)||2:40 (5)||3:11 (3)||3:04 (3)||2:59 (2)||14:53||3:58|
|1||164||Rebecca BARAONA||04:59:44||2:30 (1)||2:12 (2)||2:25 (1)||2:17 (1)||2:39 (1)||12:03||–|
|2||160||Emma KNIGHT||NX2 MTB||04:54:26||2:55 (2)||2:06 (1)||2:40 (2)||2:42 (2)||3:00 (2)||13:23||1:20|
|3||162||Kaylee SWIFT||Allterrain Racing-Club||05:02:39||2:58 (3)||2:12 (2)||2:47 (3)||2:51 (3)||3:07 (3)||13:55||1:52|