2015 One Industries Mini Enduro – Round 2 – Forest of Dean

For round two Ollie Hooper is reporting from Forest of Dean – a DRY Forest of Dean!

The Mini Enduro Series is always a great race for experienced riders seeking a challenge and riders who are just getting into racing. The Mini Enduro Series is brilliant for people seeking a chilled out weekend racing, whilst having that competitive edge between mates. Another sell out event saw it return to the famous Forest of Dean, a haven for mountain bikers riding anything from easy family cycle routes to full on DH tracks which has seen DH legends such as Danny Hart and Manon Carpenter race on.

WOM. LR5-3340

Another stunning weekends racing in the sun with bone dry trails was a great antidote to the normal ankle deep bog which the Forest of Dean unleashes on the Mini Enduro Series. These conditions made the trails run super quick and tight races between the top guys and girls in every category.

The trails were a great mix of pedalling and tech which was a great fitness test for the top guys before heading off to the first round of the national series in a fortnights time.

Stage 1 – Everyones favourite stage. The top section started off on one of the old DH trails before dropping into some really nice flowy jumps and onto a variation of Corkscrew. After dropping onto the middle fire road the trail then dropped into one of the newest DH tracks (bottle opener). Consisting of off camber roots and drifty corners, the trail flowed really nice before dropping into the bottom section with small drop offs and even more roots!!

WOM. LR5-4180

Stage 2 – One of the most pedally stages, this took riders over to a side of the forest that I haven’t explored before. A new top section started with a short pedal before weaving in and out of trees which made it very difficult to carry your speed. The stage then dropped onto the new section of the free miners trail going around long berms before going into the older section with roots everywhere making it very hard to get on the pedals.

WOM. LR5-4061

Stage 3 – Used in the previous Mini Enduro this was my favourite stage of the whole loop. After a sprint out of the start gate, the trail dropped into switch backs which were so dry making it super fast and flowy. After a short uphill it then went into the same section used for the last race, a steep chute with a few line choices. The bottom section was super fast with small ruts that you had to try and keep up right on and carry your speed out of.

After chilling for a little and chatting to a few mates it seemed like everyone had a really good day riding their bikes.

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Stage 4 – Not everyones favourite stage but a great fitness test. Starting off with single track this traversed across the hill with a few climbs making it super physical. After the single track, the trail dropped onto an old fire road which scared me a little because of the speeds you could reach. A small climb and a sharp left hander saw you into the finish.

WOM. LR5-4179

Local Boy Joe Adsett narrowly missing out on a podium finish in his first year senior “It’s a great vibe at the mini’s and you almost forget you’re racing. The tracks were super fast and flowed all the way down which made for super close racing. All my runs were pretty decent apart from stage one when I had a crash which cost me a podium”

Racing went really well for me. I felt that I handled the technical sections really well and I felt that I coped on the pedalling. After getting to the bottom of stage 1, quite a few of the guys in my category had a crash so to come away with a clean run was an achievement and I felt that I could be on for a podium.

WOM. LR5-4285

Stage 2 also went really well, I stayed on the pedals the whole way down and had a clean run down to the bottom. As stage 3 was my favourite stage I wanted to do well on this stage. I nailed the top and the middle section but as I was coming into the bottom section I went a little quick into one of the corners which was blown out. Unfortunately I crashed here, and after picking my bike up I carried on into the finish. Stage 4 also went well, but being one of the most pedally stages it was never going to be my favourite stage but I felt that it went well.

WOM. LR5-3476

Bad Ass Bikes and Intense rider Jack Sowden was looking smooth all weekend and was rewarded with his first ever podium and win in the enduro scene. “Well the race was awesome, felt pinned, kept it smooth and rubber side down. I really enjoyed the trails, especially stages 1 and 3, dry, natural, rooty and with a fair bit of pedalling. To say I’m happy with the win is an understatement, its my first race of 2015 and the first with my new team so to come away with a win was the perfect start to the season for me!”

After chilling for a little and chatting to a few mates it seemed like everyone had a really good day riding their bikes. Once we had got the result I found that I was 6th closely followed by friend and racing buddy Harry Sowden. 6th place was exactly what I wanted but I wasn’t too far behind the winner Jack Sowden.

For results check out Roots and Rain and a HUGE thank you to Big Mac Photography for the quality shots you see here – get on over to their Facebook page to find yours Head over to minienduro.tv for more info.


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