UK Enduro Round 1 – Crychan | 2016

March 21st, 2016

By Adam Wight in Features

Cracking weekend in Crychan – UK Enduro Round 1

After a long winter of darkness and rain, the start of the UK race scene is finally upon us.

Factory Jackson sent our in-house racer and upside-down faced Adam along to put a time in and see what was going on.

Uk Enduro Round 1 was held at Crychan Forest and run by Neil Delafield from MTB Enduro.

UK Enduro Round 1

Heading out – transitions aren’t timed and there’s no official stage start times meaning you can almost ride any stages in any order you like. With whoever you like. My type pf push cycle race! Photo | Kasia Fiszer

The rain has abated and the mud almost back to loam (finally) which was perfectly timely for UK Enduro Round 1. It was time to see who’d been putting in the winter graft (not so much me) and who’s had a slightly extended Christmas free-for-all of cake and coffee stops and breathers on every fire road (more like me!).

With a hire van collected on the Friday afternoon and almost the entire contents of the garage crammed in the back, we headed for Llanwrtyd Wells. A couple of hours of winding Welsh roads later and we were parked up in a basic little campsite on the outskirts of town (village) with the airbed inflated and a beer in hand – I only had one mind, taking this seriously I’ll have you know!

UK Enduro Round 1

It was a fresh weekend for the UK Enduro Round 1. An icey Northerly breeze eventually broke through the cloud and lit up the beautiful Welsh countryside. A bustling event village kept competitors and spectators busy when not out on the trails. Photo | Darren Ellis

Having visited the venue a few weeks back for the UK Enduro press day, I had a fair idea of what was in store, only this time Neil’s handcrafted tech fests were far less ankle deep in mud and far more axle deep in loam, with many a greasy sniper root to contend with!

Neil’s motto for his newly formed series is ‘for the riders’, meaning the focus is very much on providing a series of events that is less militant in its format, and more fun and sociable. With this in mind, competitors have the option of a 1 or 2 day race, each with their own separate category. In the instance of racing both days, like me, Saturday consisted of practicing 4 stages in the morning and then racing them in the afternoon. Sunday had a further 6 stages, a repeat of all of Saturday’s trails for the weekenders and blind racing for the day trippers!

I’ll let the photos tell the rest of the story!

UK Enduro Round 1

Stu Hughes, a man who could race in the Vets category but rightly chooses to compete with the Elites, proving that foot out flat out was the fastest way through this steep switchback. Stu was lighting it up all weekend, schooling the young guns on how to ride awkward off piste with aplomb! Photo | Darren Ellis

UK Enduro Round 1

There was a corner there – until local ripper Ceri Lewis blew the catch berm off the side of the hill. Photo | Darren Ellis

UK Enduro Round 1

Unfortunately a few riders didn’t get it quite right! Photo | Darren Ellis

UK Enduro Round 1

The plus tyres on the #frankenbike were sublime all weekend, this is shaping up to be one hell of a bike. Photo | Darren Ellis

UK Enduro Round 1

A cauldron of steep, deep loamy goodness spattered with awkward roots and off camber ruts made up the large part of the tracks. Love this shot of Rachael Gurney on her way to 2nd in the 2 day Elite Women’s category. Photo | Darren Ellis

UK Enduro Round 1

Tracy Mosely even came along for the Sunday and cleaned up. As always her stage times were well up there with the very fastest men. Photo | Dan Wyre

UK Enduro Round 1

Stu Hughes shows the young’uns how it’s done with a first in Elite men – just ahead of Bike Park Wales moustache-smith Will Soffe and Oliver McKenna Photo | Darren Ellis

UK Enduro Round 1

International Moto Trials rider Becky Cooke took the Elite women podium win, with a mid-pack seniors time. Followed by Rachael Gurney and Gemma Bond. Photo | Darren Ellis

It was all smiles at the end of the weekend, great weather, good food and most importantly great trails. For the opening round of an inaugural series, there were very few teething issues, only constructive suggestions from the racers which I’m certain Neil will take on board and run with. If you like off piste natural trails with a very relaxed format of racing, get yourself booked in for one of the upcoming rounds asap, you won’t be disappointed.

In case you missed it, here’s a little preview video we put up on our Facebook page last week:

https://www.facebook.com/factoryjackson/videos/vb.155410911163077/942643412439819/?type=2&theater

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