Video: Bite-size enduro fun at last weekend’s Circus of Dirt Round 2

Last weekend was the excellent Circus of Dirt bite-size enduro at Newnham Park, put on by Rockets and Rascals and Spike Sports.

Felix Smith was trackside with the video camera and Matt Jones was on the hill racing. Here’s what Matt had to say:

“Pedal!” That’s what I was telling myself for 90% of a great day out at Newnham Park, it was a proper pedally enduro!

The excesses of Christmas were still on most people’s belly’s and the ‘haven’t ridden my mountain bike much’ chat was in the air! Last time I was here was for a 24hour solo mission and I came away with heat stroke. It was obvious that this wasn’t going to be a threat this time! There was ice in the carp park, snow on the hills and mud on the trails!


The format was really simple. Go and do a lap of the three well signed stages in the morning … and then after lunch (at the Rockets and Rascals pop-up cafe) go and do the lap again and be timed. All the stages were close to the event hub and the climbs were nice and short meaning people could nip out and do a stage then come back, refuel, keep warm and faff. It didn’t take long to get round all three stages and any fitness worries were lessened with short transitions. The stages themselves were where the pedalling was to be found with some serious grunting being required to kept the bike flowing over some sticky, tricky trails.


My 2p on ‘enduro’ is that to be a ‘proper enduro’ there should always be some sort of element of the race that involves endurance. You should be getting pretty ragged during the stages and have to hang on for dear life. The Circus of Dirt did a great job by my reckoning and although there weren’t timed transitions or long linking stages there were some seriously pedaly – but still mega fun – timed sections where crossed the line breathing hard!

Merida OneSixty Leaderboard 2023

After three great stages I managed to score 9th place which I was chuffed with. Fastest time of the day went to Tom Dunn and fastest female was Evie Lane who scored a really strong 64th overall. 3rd place Kris Caines gets our “one to watch” mention for riding fast, smooth and stylish on his XC bike.

The Circus was a really well organised but relaxed event. The winners got some nice goodies, randoms got spot prizes and results were handed out straight after racing.  Great day out.

Thanks as ever to my Sponsors, M Steel Cycles, Roll for the Soul, Tenn Outdoor, Weldtite, USE/Exposure. Cheers!

Cheers also to Felix for the video. Good work sir!

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