Last weekend brought us the enduro race season in Scotland with the opening Scottish Enduro Series race taking place in Dunkeld. The big loop and fair elevation, combined with some seriously technical tracks made for a fun, if very physical, race.
Both Team Wideopenmag enduro rider Chris Hutchens and Wideopenmag’s web editor Pete Scullion were racing in some very challenging conditions. We’re stoked to report that Hutch came away with the team’s first enduro silverware of 2016 with a 3rd place in the Elite category behind Kenta Gallagher and overall winner Lewis Buchanan.
Taj and Jules from Flotec Suspension were the unsung heroes of the weekend, crafting us some hand-built loveliness to clatter our way down for two days. Their handiwork and a big dollop of rain on Friday night made many question whether they could indeed remember how to ride a bike.
Join Hutch as he gets chased down Stage 4 ‘The Crow’s Nest’ by Nash Masson.
The Scottish Series and Enduro racing calendar kicked off this past weekend. It was a slight shock to the system with some incredibly challenging stages. I had a lot of people ask if this compared to any of the EWS events. The short response was NO! The trails in Dunkeld were next level extreme! Taj and the team put in some serious man hours to carve out a sensational loop, possibly too much for a lot of riders and a hard one to race. I was goosed from practice, having too much fun and repeating a few of the stages with Wideopenmag’s web editor Mr Scullion!
Racing for the first time under the Wideopenmag banner was great and I was pleased to land a podium spot in third behind some real Scottish pinners, Lewis Buchanan and Kenta Gallagher. Great racing boys. It was awesome to see Stu Thomson and Alan Blyth in Masters rekindle some old rivalry. Stu just taking the win. Another incredible SES event done! Shout out to Jeff McLeary who went down hard on Sunday on the last stage, and Chris Ross who had to miss racing due to a hand injury. Heal up fast boys. See you in Fort William for round 2.
My first enduro race of the year, and first gravity-fed race since July last year, was a barrel of laughs. I was definitely there to simply have fun on some technical tracks while cruising about with some good friends. Stages 1, 2, and 3 were right up my street. Varying degrees of steep, rutted and muddy as hell. Just what I usually ride for fun. Stages 4 and 5 were clear-felled and open, with speeds much higher and some single line sections where speeds were even higher. Turns out I can ride the hard stuff quite well and the easier stuff pretty badly!
After winning practice on Saturday, I came an unsurprising, and uniquely consistent, mid-pack once the mud had settled on Sunday. Playing course sweeper for the organisers after stage 2 on race day, ensuring a clear course, made little difference to the end result.