UK Gravity Enduro - Round 4 Dyfi Forest. Race Report.
Round 4 of the UKGE race series saw us take a trip down to Dyfi Forest in Wales, with torrential rain and a land slide to navigate through on the way, it promised to be a damp affair......
If it's variation in trail types people wanted at this round, that's what the organizers gave us!!
Team Twelve50 looked a bit thin on the ground at this round, with Rick out (recovering from a dislocated shoulder) and Cheri out with a recovering "Snapped humerous" it was down to the rest of the team to slug it out. We were also a major part of the team missing, our chef Dez... also out of action after Russ broke him on the local trails (Another dislocated shoulder)
On the Friday with Russ and Ross (With Nikki helping) setting up the pits, Dave and Nicole went to ride the tracks to see what it was all about.
Stage 1, Muddy rooty death with drops followed by balls out faaaast finish on a shale chute.
Stage 2, Fast start in a gully, then mud and roots to finish.
Stage 3, Flat out fast, faster, even faaaaassster, with some slight chances of death at high speed in the rocks, followed by more speed.
Stage 4, Wildly fast start in a gully 8" wide, followed by uphill mud fest and roots, then a horrible fireroad sprint into more rooty off camber stuff, then a balls out of the brakes fast finish on shale and rock.
Stage 5, and also the quali stage, Remember old school NEMBA races that did slalom on a grass field, same as this but faster!
Oh yeah, and the transitions are huuuuuge.
We got the picture, it was going to be a fast track with some killer 50minute transitions....
Practice & Quali for everyone.... Matt, Russ & Ross (And a few others) headed out for the rather long 33k loop, it was a long day.
The stages were exactly as Reedy described, bonkers fast and loads of fun. The only downside to the stages were the ever lasting fireroad climbs back up again, but hey, this is Enduro not an uplift!! We dug deep and got the job done before the rain came in.
Quali was eventful, mainly because of the torrential downpour just as we headed up for runs, meaning the grass track was better suited to spikes if you wanted to actually stay upright.
Nicole was first off and managed a pretty steady run with only one spill, putting her into 6th place..... a cracking start for the team.
Next up was Ross & Russ, well it would have been if they hadn't got lost heading to the start and added 6miles onto their trip to the top!
After both being squeezed into the timing slots (Turns out someone had blocked the signs for the quali track) they both had good runs.
Matt & Reedy left to go, and with no crashes from either of them it was Team Twelve50 all in one piece. Turns out that running cut spikes worked a treat:- Reedy was in 5th place!!
|Nice bit of river cleaning for the bikes....
Quali over, bikes cleaned (In the stream).....it was time to eat. And in true Twelve50 style, we had 12 racks of ribs and 6 beer can chickens to feast on (Not all just for us!) Thanks to Russ who had to step in for Dez as team chef.
Sunday - Race Day
Up early ish, to a nice bright day, and better weather forecast than the Saturday.
Nichole was out on track first, and after we relieved her of at least 1.5kg of weight she was a bit lighter on the bike (Although sulked at the removal of jelly babies)
Next out was Ross and Russ with a quick trip to the Shimano tent for Ross for a gear tune.
Last out for the day was Dave followed by Matt (Also after a trip to Shimano to get a rear brake back)
En-Route to Stage one and only around 200m from the start gate, I heard the almighty scream off a rider followed by screams for a medic, things sounded bad..... turns out they were!
A Vet rider had gone down hard and dislocated his hip, and with medics fighting to stabilise him and remove him to safety, Stage 1 was cancelled.
With an impromptu re-route we headed to stage 2, still sticking with the original start times.
Stage 2, wickedly fast start in a rocky/shale filled track into a muddy section and then roots and loam to finish, great fun stage!
Onto a 50min transition up to stage 3, and then the longest stage of the day to follow. What a stage though, flat out through loads of rocks with plenty to catch you out, another belting stage with a flying finish!
Stage 4 was another 50min transition, and with shaky legs it was time for some PowerBar fuel to get me to the top! It starts with a super narrow flat out and straight run down a shale filled gully, into a 90degree left and more of the same. Then into a terrible muddy uphill section (Most people ran it) and nasty fireroad sprint in the middle. Followed by an off the brakes (If you dared) finish down another shale rock death chute.
Stage 5, the grassy slalom track. Now dried out a lot, it was time to put the hammer down hard with every ounce of energy left.
Ross looked smooth out the gate, then next down was Reedy, lets just say the boy had some power left in his legs! Sadly two crashes saw his time slip down a bit.
Last rider for the team was myself, nice quick run but with a crash mid way down, managing a 15second improvement over quali was a good feeling to finish on.
|Tired and well used bikes!
It was a mixed bag but we all had a great time at this event, Reedy was a bit sulky to say the least about dropping a few places, but that's what drives us to do better at the next round!
Nichole 7th - Ladies
Russ - 22nd Vets
Ross - 28th Vets
Matt - 34th Masters
Dave - 9th Masters
A huge thanks has to go to all of our sponsors "Maxxis, Renthal, Osprey, PowerBar, Mavic, Weber, Fibrax", the kit performed superbly all weekend again.
And huge thanks to the UKGE team for putting the event on, it was a great track with loads of variation!
It's the final round next, see you all there!