This past weekend, the first Naughty Northumbrian enduro race took place, in a region you can probably guess. Friends who were there told us the conditions were pretty slippery, and the delightful evidence is now in, with plenty of crashes:
(Can’t see the video? Here’s a link).
If that’s whetted your appetite for crashing, check out this video of one of the corners:
(No video? Try a link instead).
They also sent us these words:
“Billed as an event by the organisers that was utterly unique and with website blurb such as “Don’t expect trail centre terrain though – this is big country with some technical and steep riding” The Naughty Northumbrian certainly tested every competitor, from those who raced the 3 stage “lites” route to overall event winner Ben Cathro who described it as “a challenge to be savoured”
“With 440 riders entered pre event, this inaugural event certainly looked the part when racers started arriving on a fine Friday evening in the Coquet Valley of Northumberland, situated next to the Otterburn ranges. Scott and Bergamont were key supporters of the event, along with Alpkit, Lowepro and Mountain fuel and for a first event the expo looked great. It’s hard to remember how much events like ‘Ard Rock have developed in the 4 years since they began.
“The event, which was a collaboration between local race organisers NDH (Carl Davison), the adventure race organiser High Fell events (Barry Kemp) and Descent World ltd was the first national level gravity mtb event held in Northumberland for nearly 20 years.
“Come Saturday morning, after more than a few had sampled some beer from Hadrian and Border and Brewery in the marquee riders set off to see what lay in store for them. With a mix of stages ranging from the fairly mellow stage 1, designed to ease riders into the day , Stage 2 proved to be a baptism of fire for those who had perhaps came expecting trail centre terrain. Stage 3 was met with many a curse but the great riders amongst the field took to it with a fair craic and it’s raw nature was welcomed by some. Stage 4 was a beast – we watched so many riders struggling to get down it cleanly but it also brought some huge grins – this is a great track in the dry that simply got battered by the wet weather. Stage 5 proved one of the most popular of the day along with stage 2 and as for stage 6 – we’ll say wait for the video!
“To a lot of riders, it was challenge accepted on Saturday in the fair conditions and there was plenty of egging other riders on throughout the day. Come Sunday, with the rain returned, stages 3 and 4 proved beyond most people, but the 272 rider who stayed the course truly embraced the challenge and big grins proved as much.
“There was a decent contingent of Scottish riders who made the trip down to Northumberland, of which Ben Cathro managed to take bragging rights along with the overall win on the day, by quite some distance. Ben used to travel and race together with one of the event organisers all over Europe and told him that “It was physically a huge day day out and most definitely hard work to race well – possibly one of the hardest races I’ve done” .
“By the time riders arrived at Stage 6 it was most definitely hammering down making photographs exceptionally difficult without destroying equipment in the process. Needless to say the last right turn will go down in race folklore as possibly the most ridiculous turn to ever grace a race track! If you’d been at the bottom of the stage you’d have heard continuous laughter for a good hour or so as rider after rider failed to make the turn.
“With all that said and done, there was still a race to be raced and the full results can be found on Roots and Rain . Well done to all who completed this wild event in some fairy grim conditions.
“The Naughty Northumbrian will be back next year, but you’ll need to keep your eyes and ears open in the next couple of months to find out what form it will take and where…”
Photos courtesy of DWAgency and Jerry Tatton.