Report: Enduro 6

Report: Enduro 6

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Report: Enduro 6

2 May 2010, Catton Park
Report & Images: www.robcrayton.co.uk

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Rob Crayton reports from the Wiggle Enduro 6 Mountain Bike event, held at Catton Park, close to Burton-on-Trent over the May Bank Holiday weekend.

With riders competing in pairs and in solo categories, this traditional early season Enduro has a unique flavour all of its won and a simple format - cram in as many laps as you can in 6 hours riding round a 5 mile loop at Catton Park.

Rob Crayton's Image Slideshow


Running up to the event, there were some weather warnings that our dry and dusty trails were going to get wet which could cause problems for the riders - Catton Park has hosted some of the muddiest races this country has ever seen, but a dry spring did at least mean the venue was able to absorb some meteorological punishment. So, as the clouds gathered the day before, everyone had their fingers crossed as a big entry of over 500 riders began to arrive at the venue.

Brilliant sunshine as the riders line up for the start

If you're a fatalist, the move to a Bank Holiday weekend didn't really bode well, either. On Saturday night the wind picked up and the clouds surrounded the venue. Phone calls from friends and family not too far away reported thunder storms and heavy rain and it really didn't look good. But the wind pushed the clouds away all night and race day dawned dry. And the race's luck held out as things remained dry for the whole of Sunday, even if it was extremely cold. Most importantly, the ground was nice and solid which made riding conditions perfect.

They're off -  a short run gets things moving and spreads out the field

As the rider briefing at 9:30am approached, people got all their kit into their pits area and made their way to the start finish line for a run through of all the rules and rider guidelines. Enduro 6 is a "Park Ferme" event, meaning that once racing begins, riders are restricted to the course and pits and must stay there for the six hours. So, the pits area is "home" for the duration and riders equip their small allotted areas with tents, bike stands and all the food and water they require. Science in Sport also had a spot in the pit area and fuelled riders to the end with their electrolytes and carb drinks.

Wiggle sponsored the event and Wiggle riders dominated the pairs

An extended Le Mans style run of a couple of minutes helps to spread riders out before they enter the pits and collect their bikes and head out onto the course proper.

First through at the end of the first lap was Hope rider Dave Williams - he overtook some of the faster runners and came through in under 30 minutes and out to do another lap before passing over to his team mate. The Wiggle boys Williams and Simmons had set off at a slower pace but then started to pick it up - they then caught team Hope and took the lead - from then on they just ride clear to win the pairs by over four minutes, with Mountain Hardware UK second and Salsa third, with the Hope duo dropping back to fourth in the end

The famous bluebell wood was a in full bloom as the riders flashed down the course

Solo riders took the chance to fill up their pit area with food and drink ready to grab a bite and run off out on the bike for another lap. In the Elite Men's class, Wiggle rider Matt Page kept up the pace from the off to finish first with a huge 13 laps. Phil Morris also completed 13 laps, finishing just under 20 minutes down.

The Fun Men's race was won by Roy Davies, who had a healthy 7 minutes over runner up Mark Fidler, both finishing on 12 laps. The Fun women's winner was Rachel Evans, who had a close battle with Sarah Forbes. Forbes led early on and the pair were never more than a couple of minutes apart, with the winning margin less than two minutes.

The mixed pairs saw a huge 19 minute win for the Keswick Bikes team, with Pedalsport the only other team to match their 11 laps. The Women's pairs was a one-horse race, with the Mills and Gabriel pairing racking up 11 laps, three more than their closest rivals, the intriguingly named "Fluff and Groove"!

Course designer Ag should be congratulated on possibly the best course Catton Hall has ever seen with the fast bluebell woods descent, a couple of stinging short climbs and some very sinuous singletrack, which pushed riders to their fitness and skill limits.

The pits area with the self-contained areas for each rider and each pair full of kit, food andsome tents

The event as always had great facilities with flushing toilets, hot running showers and the best catering (Quaver catering). With food like hot pasta, Jacket potatoes, hot crusty baguettes and beef baps on tap, family members and spectators had more than enough to do as they cheered on riders. In-pit massage was supplied by Star Sports Therapy who were hands on helping to straighten out those cramping legs - they worked on a donation fee system.

Pat Adams shakes every rider by the hand at the end of his events - a very popular gesture, much appreciated by the riders

Speaking for the organisation team, we were all very happy that it was dry Bank Holiday weekend and that the Wiggle Enduro 6 hour was a huge success. Event organiser Patrick Adams couldn't have done any better - rumour has it he even paid for the weather to stay as it was too!