Triscombe – UK Enduro Round 2 | 2016

April 27th, 2016

By Andrew Dodd in Features

Tech-fest in Triscombe for UK Enduro Round 2

With Round 1 of the UK Enduro series complete, and a further 4 weeks of preparation under the belt (in my case 4 weeks of carb loading via chocolate and beer ), Round 2 was upon us.

Triscombe

Triscombe always delivers when it comes to awesome natural trails. Photo | Dan Wyre

This time the ever-increasingly popular Triscombe was the venue – offering fast, tech and well-ridden trails by the bucket load. Or at least that’s likely what the sell-out entry list expected…

Neil and his team, alongside local trail builder Lee Carter had some surprises up their sleeves though – namely in the way of some very fresh cut off-piste delicacies and some re-generated Triscombe DH classics. This UK enduro race had it all.

Triscombe

Greasy and technical was the order of the day on Saturday, elbows out, get ready to slide and smash the Triscombe ruts! Photo | Kasia Fiszer

Unfortunately for us all, the Friday before the race weekend was wet, and I don’t mean just a little damp – think 12 hour deluge! The well worn Triscombe gold is of course used to high traffic during the wet winter months, but the fresh stuff wasn’t. And it certainly made things interesting!

It made for some very exciting disco shapes during practice on the Saturday morning with 2 wheels drifts left right and centre, mostly with each wheel going in different directions – and plenty of tree hugging to boot.  All things considered however, there really were smiles for miles and everyone was having a ball, despite the regularity of unexpected mud cuddles.

Triscombe

The UK Enduro round 2 at Triscombe was popular with tree huggers. Photo | Dan Wyre

The format was the same as RD 1 with 4 stages to practice on Saturday morning and then race in the afternoon.

These 4 stages are then raced again Sunday morning followed by another 3 blind stages in the afternoon (all raced blind by the 1 day competitors). Regardless of the wet floor and subsequent soggy bottoms, the sun shone nearly all weekend and the hills were alive with freehub buzz, and in my instance howling brakes!

The stages consisted of a mixture of steep sections with roots and ruts, interspersed with some sprints on the flat or when traversing the hill, and of course some Triscombe classic DH – flat out with cheeky natural booters enabling some tasty straight lines.

Triscombe

There was a fair bit of Airshot action in the Triscombe car park this weekend due to some slightly confusing conditions – mud tyre or all rounder? Photo | Kasia Fiszer

The stages consisted of a mixture of steep sections with roots and ruts, interspersed with some sprints on the flat or when traversing the hill, and of course some Triscombe classic DH – flat out with cheeky natural booters enabling some tasty straight lines.

Triscombe

It was great to see that the newly formed UK Enduro is enticing some big guns. In this instance Katy Winton from Trek’s Factory race team and her other half Greg Callaghan from Cube’s action team showed up to lay some EWS smackdown. Photo | Dan Wyre

Triscombe

Adam charges in race mode. When he’s not talking the ass end off a donkey, the guy’s got some legs on him! Photo | Kasia Fizser

Whilst on the topic of line choice, stage 7 of the weekend – the final stage of the 2 days, raced blind by everyone – proved increasingly controversial. Many of the racers, including myself, got to stage 7 quite early, meaning a lengthy wait until it opened (due mostly to the closure of stage 3 because someone had stolen a timing board!).

What this meant is many of us had a stroll down the top section of the trail to ‘scope some lines’.

Triscombe

Roots anyone? Triscombe delivered the goods – all out natural trails with some prime line choice options. The sun popped out too, and the atmosphere was spot on! Photo | Kasia Fiszer

Triscombe

Adam tips his demi-fat #frankenbike in to one of the slipper Triscombe turns – making the most of the insane grip on offer by his 3in tyres. Photo | Kasia Fizser

Unfortunately for Neil and his team, they’d assumed that all racers are honest individuals with well grounded morals on taking the most trodden line. Whilst I’m not questioning moral compasses when off the bike, racers will always look for the fastest line – if they don’t take it and their competitors do, they’re ultimately giving away positions.

Stage 7 had a severe lack of taping which opened the course up massively. Think an off-piste excursion resulting in a 7 corner straight line! Corner cutting is always a controversial topic, with many choosing this line through fear of losing out to the competition. Shortly after, 10-15 of the faster and more influential racers decided to boycott the stage by riding down in a train and then demanding the stage be cancelled as they were concerned that anyone who hadn’t had the opportunity to walk that section before racing, would indeed lose valuable time to those that had. Again, it’s a difficult subject, and with a discipline and series still very much in its infancy, its one that can only be solved with time and experience. In hindsight, whilst many of us were disappointed with the cancellation of the stage, the straight lines were rather larger than a simple corner cut, so fair enough really.

Many a discussion was had with Neil after the race and he has agreed that from now on, all stages will be taped far more securely, other than where line choice is a matter of a riders ability rather than their eyesight. Its all a learning curve for Neil and his team of marshalls and I firmly believe that as long as an organiser is approachable, listens to the racers and makes adjustments accordingly, the series will be a success. People don’t want perfection immediately, they just want to see positive adjustments resulting from their feedback. This is a prime example of where other series have ultimately failed, there’s no place for arrogance when you’re providing a race event for such a large number of people.

Triscombe

Triscombe – quintessentially English. Photo | Dan Wyre

Round one at Crychen had a slightly ‘tumbleweed’ feeling about the event village however, true to form, Neil took on board the valuable feedback and made some changes. As a result, the event centre at Triscombe had a real vibrant atmosphere all weekend.

Music was playing on the PA system and the title sponsors, Rocky Mountain, had their best ‘mc’s’ chatting much needed gibberish over the mic to keep everyone entertained. All in all, it was a massive improvement and one that was noticed by everyone involved.

Triscombe

Photo | Dan Wyre

Triscombe

Photo | Dan Wyre

Greg Callaghan took the Elite men’s 2 day podium above Sam Shucksmith and local ripper Rob Newman in third. The Elite women’s podium was taken by the tweed valley pinner, Katy Winton, who won every single stage of the weekend, closely followed by Katie Wakely and then Rachael Gurney on the third step.

Triscombe

Photo | Dan Wyre

The Elite men’s one day podium was taken by Bike Park Wales’ ripper, Rowen Sorrell, closely followed by Andrew Cooper and then Marin’s Chris Keeble Smith in third. The women’s Elite one day category was a small with Beck Cook taking the inevitable top step. That said, her times weren’t far off Katy Winton’s on some stages meaning she’d have been right up there on the 2 day podium.

Triscombe certainly delivered the goods, a wet start and a dry finish with a fantastic mixture of trails and a large turnout of competitors, pro athletes and weekend warriors alike. There are improvements to be made, which is to be expected of a new series and I have no doubt Neil has them in hand. Thanks again to all involved, see you all at rd 3.

There’s still time to enter some or all of the following rounds, more info can be found here: www.mtb-enduro.co.uk


 

 

Comments

comments

TAGS

You might also like...

ExclusiveCane Creek Helm | First Look

The Cane Creek Helm is a 100-170mm travel fork for 27.5in wheels that features external damping adjustments, and internal progression and travel adjustments

Why not try..?

Mojo Orange, Mega Adventure

It’s adventure time – “We had three riders along for the trip; Aimee Dix an ex-World Cup downhill racer, Anthony O’Boyle an ex- World Cup XC racer and Joe Taylor the local legend. 2013 is […]

Smith Optics: 2012 Fuel V.2 Sweat-X

Smith Optics have taken their proven Fuel goggle platform to the next level in 2012 and when you scratch through the sweet new graphics and bold colours, you’ll quickly find a new frame design, increased […]

ExclusiveGT Zaskar 1993 | #MTB Flashbacks

The GT Zaskar is an MTB design classic – and one of the all-time greats in the mountain bike world. Check out this purple anodised 1993 retro stunner – such a lovely bike!