UK Gravity Enduro Round 1 - Ae Forest. Twelve50 Bikes Race Team Report

UK Gravity Enduro Round 1 Ae Forest 13th April 2014
9 team members, 2 podiums , 5 great stages, 6 beer can chickens, 2 Weber barbeques and 4 WAGs. Those were the magic numbers for the opening round of the 2014 UK Gravity Enduro Series, Ae Forest, Scotland.
Alex Stock getting 2nd Place in Elite for Twelve50 Bikes

A trip north of the border so early in the year left unsettled nerves as to what the weather gods might smite us with. The fears were unfounded though as, with the exception of a couple of showers and some strong winds (that helped to dry the wet ground), conditions were near ideal. In fact, looking at some of the early photos that are emerging, those that didn’t attend would be forgiven for thinking we had a weekend of sun and blue skies!
The winds did cause some havoc across the pits on Saturday with more than one gazebo getting airborne, landing in a crumpled heap of plastic and metal. The Billy Can seemed to have it worst than most with double flying gazebos and dodgy generators to contend with. They continued to turn out their superb food, with smiles on their faces come the end of the day Sunday. File under Professional.
Speaking of food, team chef Des Ryan surpassed himself, turned it up to 11 this weekend and literally spent all day Saturday slaving over the chopping board and Weber grills. Highlight for me had to be the beef and beer pie… or maybe it was the club sandwich. Hard to call to be honest but I do know we all ate like kings and it was appreciated across the board.
Twelve50 Bikes team pits getting their cook on

The team kit excelled without exception. The Mavic clothing did exactly what was needed, kept us warm, dry and protected without us even realizing it was there. The podium results speak for themselves with regards to the speed of Mavic Enduro wheel sets. The Osprey bags weigh next to nothing and yet still managed to swallow a couple of tools, a waterproof, inner tube and more besides. Maxxis tyres hooked up faultlessly with no punctures across all 8 riders. I tested the new Fox Enduro knee pads with an embarrassing fall on to stone from standing, having not been able to unclip. Those things provide a surprising amount of protection for a pad so thin. Powerbar kept us spinning for a good four hours of tough racing. What more can you ask for?
The stages were neatly arranged around the finish arena, with the exception of stage 3. This was at the end of a good 45 minute transition, past the majestic wind turbines providing efficient green energy for our fair isle. If truth be told, the liaison arrangements for the whole loop seemed to have been carefully calculated to cause maximum tiredness. What didn’t seem to be too much of a challenge when broken down across two days practice left most on their arse come stage 5 start time on Sunday afternoon. With a distinctive split between the heavy pedaling of stages 2 and 3 and the no compromise downhill of stages 1, 4 and 5, it was widely agreed this round had the trails and racing nailed. Well done to Steve, Charlie and co once again.

Alex Stock flying high on stage 5

Team noise makers
 Before I get in to the nitty-gritty of race day, I’d like to introduce a new section to this years blog where we’ll meet the team riders. First up is Ross Adams and Dave Read.
Name
DR: David Read (Dread) RA: Ross Adams (Roscoe)
Category
DR: Masters RA: Veteran
Years Racing
DR: 6 RA: 20
I say turbo trainer, you say
DR: If I say I’m thinking of shaving my legs that’s probably all you need to know RA: PAIN!
I say 27.5, you say
DR: The future RA: No need
Would you rather race an entire Enduro with your dropper post stuck down or your Renthal handle bars off centre?
DR: My bars are already on the slant. I recon I could hit a turn hard enough to straighten them during the race anyway. RA: I‘ve already completed one of these with the handle bars crooked so I’ve ticked that box.
Seat to the groin or superman clean over the bars?
DR: (confused look)…superman obviously. RA: Over the bars. Just hopefully not in to expensive camera equipment (sorry Doc)
Finish this sentence; “I’m so Enduro I…..”
Mavic Crossmax Enduro & Maxxis tyres, perfect combo!
DR: …scream and make moto noises when I ride. This weekend I had to scream at a couple of unsuspecting Sunday riders who’d somehow made their way on to the race track. During racing. Did I also mention I’m planning on shaving my legs? RA: …once added an extra climb to a race, all the way to the top of the wrong stage, then back down again and up to the right one. Just for fun.

Dukes of Hazzard theme?

Cheri Mills 'Lardy' in her Quali run
Racing kicked off on Sunday at 9.30am as each rider rolled off the new, Superenduro inspired start stage to wind their way up the hill to stage one.
Some of the bikes cleaned and ready for action.

Seven hours later, Alex Stock and Nikki Mallet were stood on the second step of their respective podiums. An excellent start to the year, well done guys! Full results can be found here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/217957474/Rd1-UK-GE-Results-2014

Next up is round 2 at Innerleithen, Scotland, Sunday 25th May. Come along and help us cheer the riders down the hill or tune in here for your update on the action.
Big thanks to all of our sponsors:- Mavic, Osprey, Renthal, Weber, PowerBar, Fox, Orange

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