2017 Scottish Enduro Series | Round 1 Preview.

Careers have been launched, champions crowned and hard losses digested. There’s few venues in the world which have created so many stories and tales, both on and off the race tracks, quite like Fort William.

Fort William. The Legend. Our Fort Bill! With tightly fought downhill events to the long game of a 24-hour events the venue seems to be able to provide a platform for any discipline involving a knobbled tyre.

Team Wideopenmag’s enduro rider Chris Hutchens bring us his insight into the opening round of the 2017 Scottish Enduro Series in Fort William.

Opening moves.

On the 11th and 12th of March the first round of the Scottish Enduro Series kicks off it’s 2017 campaign. Previous years have seen deep ruts, even hike a bike and a taste of the downhill track. This is a venue to push your skills but deliver a heap of fun.

So what should you expect this year? Entries to Round 1 are now full, it is looking as if the Scottish Enduro Series will be the sellout series for 2017.

The Tracks.

Whilst we’ve not be notified of any of the tracks to be used, which is only fair to ensure a level playing field, we’ve used our detective knowledge and social media hints to predict a few expected inclusions.

On the 2nd /3rd of February, No Fuss Events were pictured opening the new Emmy’s Bridge in Leanachan Forest. This reopens the Blue Crane trail that was once a popular trail. Access was sadly lost a number of years ago. Through a pilot project between No Fuss Events, Nevis Range, West Highland Wheelers and Foresty Commission Scotland access has now been reinstated. This pilot project could be an important step for Scottish mountain biking and enduro going forward.

Rumours are that there won’t be a hike-a-bike to the red route this year, although the smile on Frazer and Spooks faces advised us that we should pack to be prepared for all conditions. Who know’s what might be included! The lack of snow so far this year could mean a late winter dump. Here’s hoping for the ski resorts but maybe not for racing.

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That’s all the intel’ we have right now but expect some new trails, a mix of both trail centre and incredible single track.

What to bring.

Racing in Scotland in March can be glorious but we’re in Fort William, one of the wettest places in the UK, so on that basis I’d advise packing plenty of warm clothes and waterproofs. If you’re packing a full face then check out Rich Thomas’ tips for setting up your lid for wet weather, here.

You’re maybe wondering what tyres to run. The Wideopenmag team will be packing Continental Der Barons for the weekend, something with plenty of grip and good in the mud. This is the perfect time of the year to run these front and back. Depending on the amount of trail centre used though there might be a switch to a Der Kaiser on the back to get that extra rolling speed.

We’d recommend a tyre which clears mud out front though!

Food and Accommodation.

Prior to every round this year we’ll be highlighting a few deals which have been offered by local businesses in the area. Let’s be honest, us Scots love a bargain!

The Moorings Hotel is offering a good deal on accommodation and they will be hosting and enduro pub quiz on Saturday evening, with great bar and an even better bar, it is the place to be on Saturday night.

Conclusions.

We’re getting excited for the first race of the season. Our bikes for the year have turned up and we can’t wait to hang out with all the racers at the SES events this year. Enjoy the next few weeks training, dig deep for the event and the results will come! Our final words of wisdom are to get some rut riding practice in. We’re all to aware of what a riders from Fort William enjoy building and riding.

You can check out all the details for the up coming 2017 Scottish Enduro Series over on their website. Relive all the action from the 2016 season in Glen Thomson’s highlight reel here.

Keep an eye on Wideopenmag for our race reports from the 6-round series.


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