Sunday, 8 June 2014

The Brutal Planet.... Enduro World Series/Tweedlove, Innerleithen, 31st May - 1st June

Photo copyright of Ian Linton

"That was probably one of the toughest weekend’s racing of my life. I’ve never dug so deep and had so many words with myself. Eight awesome stages, 94 km and 2,900 metres of climbing. Pretty happy to place 28th against the world’s fastest riders."
- Angie Coates, Enduro World Series, Innerleithen.

Photo copyright of Ian Linton

For me this race will go down as one of the most exhilarating and soul destroying, yet in the same breath, also one of the most amazingly fun weekends of my life.  I almost didn't end up going after having my driving licence revoked the day before but shit happens and I just worked around it.  Steve being ill didn't help matters much and I'd been super busy at work, if I am honest just didn't feel like racing my bike, especially competing against the world's best. 

I motivated myself with the fact that I would get to see my friends for four days of pandemonium and throw my Orange Five about with aplomb, couldn't say "no" then really could I?!  

Photo copyright of Ian Linton

After heading up on the Thursday morning, I met up with Helen and Sarah and we got the wheels rolling straight away.  The race was a two-day format with day one taking us from Peebles along to the infamous golf course finishing on the Innerleithen side before spinning back to Peebles. Day Two was at Glentress equally as intense. 

The Weapons; Sarah Newman, Helen Gaskell, Angie Coates & Bex Barona

Our medicine show was soon on the road and we headed to the golf course for some practice, the tracks were sick, steep twisty turns littered with roots and rock, the transitions were tiring, draggy fire road. We finished Thursday on Stage 4 across on the Innerleithen side and that was me done. On Friday we all decided to take it easy, Glentress wasn't as technical so I opted to race those blind on the Sunday in order to get a bit of practice at Inners on Stage 3.  This stage put the biggest smile on my face ever, it was on 'Pro Spacer' which is one of my most favourite tracks ever, the steep turns brought the old full on downhill lass out in me, I could ride that track every day for breakfast. So.Much.Fun!

Waiting at the top of Stage 4 with my amazing Michelin Wild Rock R2 tyres all set for the assault...

Photo copyright of Ian Linton

After an evening of relaxing and preparing on Friday evening I was race ready, the girls were first off at 8.15am (How early? Yes, I know, that's what I said!).  A 12km spin along the Tweed Valley to Inners and then up towards the golf course tracks, we only had 1.5 hours to get to the top of the hill for Stage 1 from Peebles so I channelled my inner Linda Carter!  It was hard to gauge how much time we had, for me the stages were pretty tight over the whole weekend, but this is as they should be really, it was achievable and not impossible. 

Photo copyright of Ian Linton

Photo copyright of Liam Moss

My first two stages were utter crap, I just wasn't in the zone and maybe still asleep. Bex was behind me and we ended up overtaking each other at different places laughing as we went. It made it really fun but not great for times and positions obviously.  Soon we were off over to Inners and Stage 3 which cheered me right up, my Five felt absolutely amazing down there, just like a mini DH bike.  I held it together and kept it clean, the same with Stage 4 really although I over-cooked the brakes here so popped to see Tim Flooks once I got back down who sorted them out. 

One Orange Five, fully primed and ready to rock....

Once done dunked my big ass in the River Tweed to cool off!!! Phew!!  That night Steve came up to support me with the Bo dog, happy days!!  Still a poorly mite though.

Day two; we had just one hour to get to the top of the Black Route at Glentress next to the mast! I made it with just 45 seconds to spare, wiped my goggles and hit the trail blind. Wiped out some tape after missing a turn but it was an awesome trail, in fact every stage at Glentress was new to me and I cant wait to do them again. I had a couple of moments on some stages and a stall on Stage 3, bugger, but all in all I was fairly happy. The last track was the best by far, it felt like the bottom of the Megavalanche track, absolutely blinding.

Photo copyright of Ian Linton

Photo copyright of Ian Linton

Photo copyright of Ian Linton

Sarah and Helen, such natural posers eh!

Come of the end of Sunday I placed 28th out of about 40 girls in the E1 category and was really happy considering everything.  I just had a mint four days riding with my best mates and soon-to-be bridesmaids :)

Roll on the next one. 

I would just like to add a big THANK YOU here going out to Ian Linton for the pics, they are amazing, thanks Ian x

Hope everyone's doing well out there, my next report will see me taking you all on a journey around the Tour de Mont Blanc, join me soon!


No comments:

Post a Comment