It's been a manic return to the UK and I've finally found some time for an update on the past few races while I'm in the middle of the North Sea working for a fortnight. Nothing better than installing infrastructure at 150m water depth!
Heading out to the Crested Butte and Whistler Enduro World Series races was top of the events list for me this year, both new places for me to explore and some important events to include in the season.
Colorado was a challenge from the start and the altitude was far harder than I expected. The riding however was incredible - remote, long and flowing. After day one of racing I was a bit back on where I had hoped for sitting in 59th but on seeing the results sheet even some of the 'big guns' were back on where they would usually be so I took some confidence in this.
Racing wouldn't continue after a rider fatality on Stage 3 during day two. This was hard news to take and it definitely hit everyone hard as we were at the top of the hill waiting to race. I can only hope such an incident doesn't occur again.
After the memorial ride on Sunday it was time to pack up and leave town onwards to Whistler and the next stop of the EWS. Thoughts can only be with the family during this hard time.
The event comprised of 5 stages in one day with over 4000m of descending and 50 minutes of racing. A huge day, way beyond anything I had ever ridden. Some good days of practice set me well for the weekend of racing. Unfortunately my travelling buddy Dave injured himself mid week and after an operation to clean out an infection flew home on race day. This did make getting back from practice on Saturday interesting and I can say it's the first time I've hitched a ride with a kit bag and bike.
Race day start well for me and despite a crash on Stage 1 I kicked of the day with 30th on the hugely challenging stage. The remaining stages got longer in length, Stage 2 being over 15 minutes long. I found my weakness throughout the day though and by Stage 5 I was feeling the pain of the day and struggled to put in a good run on the bike park stages, definitely feeling slower than in practice. A good day of riding put me in 41st place and 4th fastest Brit, moving me up in the series standing and into where I was aiming for at the start of the year.
After some amazing days riding around BC with OneUp Components and some local friends I headed back to Scotland and with a 7 hour turn around was heading back to the West of Scotland for the 4th round of the Scottish Enduro Series. Another brilliant race come Sunday and I finished up 4th for the day, just 15 seconds from 2nd place. Not the position I have in me but after a busy 3 weeks I was pleased to move closer to leading the series again.