This blind enduro stage race, a total of 32km, was held at Dunkeld. With a mix of tracks, many of them hugely technical despite being a bind stage race, provided a great event as part of the Perthshire cycling festival. There was some tight racing during the day but I took the win over the 4 stages and 17 minute of racing by just one second. Just beating my good friend and previous Giant rider Stu Thomson down into Second. I'm sure this was a hard blow for him as he'd passed on his knowledge when I was going through the Junior ranks.
This followed the next day after the Dunkeld Enduro. After a drive to the West coast of Scotland, where it was raining as usual this event was a chair assisted 3 stage race. Two stages were individual with the final being a mass start event. See photos and video links below.
A poor first stage saw me suffer a puncture a long way from the bottom, however I pushed on trying not ruin the wheel too much. I was glad of this come the end of the day. A tough stage two went well for me, scaring myself a few times on the exposed and difficult terrain.. Especially when riding peat bogs blind! The Mass start was interesting, getting the lead to start and then a few wobbles in the snow I maintained a good placing up to the mid way climb. Pushing hard I made some places and pushed up to 3rd where I maintain my place to the bottom. Once all the results were in I finished up 2nd not far behind Joe Barnes the winner. A great way to finish of a tough weekend!
Innerleithen is always a difficult event, lots of climbing and technical rough and tiring stages. This weekend was no different, much different however to the SES event the month before. While most were practicing on Friday I jumped in the van after work and headed south. Making an early start on Saturday morning to get the stages in I got to stage 3 before I saw any other marshals. All stages complete by noon I thought I'd do a few more before seeding. Following an average seeding run (placing 14th) I'd climbed over 2000m in the day and probably over did it slightly…all prep I was thinking. Race day went better for me and I clawed back some time and moved up to finish 8th amongst another stacked field of riders.
Enduro World Series Round 2 – Tweedlove (Peebles/innerleithen) - 47th
This was the big event of the year really, the biggest EWS ever with 600 riders and the first in the UK. Being a 5 day event there was a lot of riding and a lot of stages (Eight) to try and remember. A GoPro certainly helps a little in these circumstances. With the best riders and some seriously impressive team and pit set ups it was like being back and racing a World Cup. There were spectators all over the places, within the event village and on the hill. It was an exciting event to be part of. I struggled largely on the longer stages where my training hadn’t really helped given the shorter 5 min max riding runs I’d been doing. My overall base fitness was good but the longer climbs on the MTB bike weren’t going quite to plan. I was fairly consistent all weekend with a number of good top 30 stage results, a puncture loosing me a lot of time on one stage despite still finishing in the top 60 on the stage. This was an encouraging weekend as I learnt a huge amount from it and placed within the Top 50, my aim going into the event.
June is a little quieter for me. I will be heading to race the 10 under the ben solo this year (first time for everything) and will be racing the Enduro Enduro event after. I'll also be racing the 3rd round of the Scottish Enduro series and hoping to get onto the Podium for these with the aim to have a strong overall ranking in the series.