Last weekend riders headed to Graythwaite for round one of the British National Enduro series. The PMBA enduro was also an EWS qualifier, so brought with it some of the UK’s top racers.
The race report reads:
2021 has seen record numbers racing at Graythwaite. Organisers find themselves forced to use territory and venues away from Forestry England outside of test events. Graythwaite Estate provides the perfect location at the southwestern side of Windermere in the Lake District, it’s a privately owned estate with ample space for camping and 5000 acres of private forest for the stages. For the second year in a row, the social side had to be toned down a little, with no race arena or brands and company stalls available. However, the restrictions did not deter a record number of over 600 riders.
This year was a huge contrast to Graythwaite in September 2020. Kev and his dedicated team of trail builders have been busy repairing, creating and calming down the stages. Add this to the completely contrasting weather over the weekend and it was game on for a mega weekend of racing. This is not to say it was an easy weekend in the saddle, far from it.
With an approximate 14 mile loop and over 3000 feet of altitude gained and lost, it’s called ‘the epic’ for a reason. For the fastest riders, this was approximately 12 minutes of racing, middle of the pack about 16 minutes, and the less rapid, 21 minutes. This venue is private land and not accessible throughout the year. The stages felt raw, they are technical with fresh loam, rocks, roots, steep in places and hard on the pedals on uphill sprints. This is a World Enduro Series qualifier for a reason.
This year saw many elite/world-class and international riders compete, and boy did that make for some incredible racing. The first top 20 places were only separated by 60 seconds! The world rankings are now looking tasty. Greg Callaghan’s win for 125 points puts him 15th, and Reece Langhorn in 25th. Bex Baraona ends up 10th with her win and a total of 8 women end up in the top 25 from the weekend’s points. In the men’s U21, Jayden Randell lands 10th with his win, with Alex Storr 21st. The women’s U21 2nd place and PMBA Enduro ambassador, Polly Henderson now sits in 10th.
In the master’s, Ian Austermuhle goes 11th after his win, James Hughes 16th and Mat Wright 20th. Tracy Moseley goes 3rd after her master’s win. Greg Callaghan (30-39) took an outstanding win in 11:56.20 across the six stages. 21.45 seconds behind him was an outstanding effort from Jayden Randell (U21). Winning his category, Jayden took the fastest time on stage three! And third fastest was Reece Langhorn (30-39) with 12:19.48.
The women’s race was competed by a stacked field of 40 women. Bex Baraona 21-34 (F) put in another outstanding performance taking the fastest time of the day with 13:41.99 beating 90% of other racers! Close behind her was Chloe Taylor 21-34 (F) with 14:26.41 and third fastest went to Tracy Moseley 35+ (F) with 14:31.04. A shout out to the amazing Katy McGowan U16 (F) who is only 11 years old taking the 15th fastest woman on the day out of 40, mixing it with one of the most stacked women’s fields we’ve ever seen outside of an EWS. The future is bright for the sport for sure!
1st – Kelan Grant
2nd – Christopher Gallagher
3rd – Archie Box
4th – Lewis Ranger
5th – Luke Williams
1st – Greg Callaghan
2nd – Reece Langhorn
3rd – Sam Shucksmith
4th – Joe Smith
5th – Adam Brayton
1st – Bex Baraona
2nd – Chloe Taylor
3rd – Jess Stone
4th – Martha Gill
5th – Emily Ashwood
1st – Tracy Moseley
2nd – Becky Cook
3rd – Emma Birtles
4th – Katy Sunter
5th – Maxine Filby
The PMBA Enduro Series kicked off their year with a bang. This was a very challenging race, but the buzz and euphoria is off the scale. With great work done by Kev and the crew, the trails have been ‘slightly’ tamed from previous years. The weather was very different and challenging for a different reason. Blistering heat on the top of stage 5 and 6, mostly dry trails with the exception of some greasy roots and slimy rocks. For more information on upcoming PMBA races head over to the Facebook page or the website. Next up is Llangollen and Kirroughtree. Though it’s advisable to keep checking for updates.
PMBA Enduro have been enacting some more environmentally friendly ways of working, and this event saw a few great steps. A 2kw solar array and 12kwh lithium storage powered the timing systems and one of the catering outlet’s fridges and coffee machines, it also powered event essentials. The racers used hemp-based string instead of single-use plastic zip ties for number boards. Two out of the six stages were marked with biodegradable plastic tape, and one other used hemp-based paper tape down one side. These are only small steps, but they are in the right direction.
Take a closer look at the stages and see what riders faced over the bank holiday weekend.
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