Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Into The Woods.... Northern Downhill TT Enduro, Hamsterley Forest 30th March 2014

Hi guys, it's Angie here again and you've caught me on the fly, it's a whirlwind of riding, rocking climbing and country scrambling with my new dog, I've hardly been able to sit still!  I reckon our Steve should write more blogs too!  Speaking of Steve, he's over in Wales doing some filming with The Tea Lady for a new video so keep your eyes peeled.

2014 is the Northern Downhill crew's first real stab at a series of Enduro events.  Being a single day format with practice in the morning and then racing throughout the afternoon it was set to be a tiring day however with just three stages it was enough time to master the courses and give it full beans!

The morning of the race I was excited to try out my Orange Five as had been fettling with various settings, as you do!  Combining the lowered front end with a set of Michelin's Wild Grip R tyres I figured that with a couple of downhill stages being soaked from the wet weather these bad lads would chew it all up really well, I was later proved right!

Stage one started down 'Section 13' followed by a fire road sprint off the left before dropping down onto some technical wooded trails and then onto the Descend Hamsterley's National Points Series downhill course to the finish.  The tracks were running sweet and it felt amazing to be back on some proper downhill stuff.  

(Photo copyright of Tom Harrison)

Stage two was down 'The Transmission' with the single track sprint at the end, this is always a fun track to race on despite it being completely man made, the bike was running incredibly well, keeping it nice and fast.

Straight back up the hill for stage three which started on the Phil Saxena designed 4-Cross track and then went went straight back into the woods, down over the fire road and finishing again on Descend's NPS downhill course.

(Photo copyright of Robert Blackburn)

All three tracks were very well thought out, quite varied and not too pedally which is always always a bonus!!  It would however be nice to have more trails of the forest being utilised as there's such a great scope in the area.

Unfortunately the timing hadn't worked on track one so times were based across last two tracks.  Helen Gaskell smashed the overall win with me taking 2nd.  Steve then killed it for 3rd place in the men's.

I've been inspired to ride more steep gnar again, watch this space!! 

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