2018 Scottish Enduro Series | Round 1 | Laggan Wolftrax Preview.

It was only last October that the Scottish Enduro Series wrapped up in the Highland Perthshire town of Dunkeld, bringing in over 300 riders and showcasing the incredible riding in the area.

Photos by Ross Bell unless stated.

The 2018 Scottish Enduro Series season kicks off at Laggan Wolftrax just West of Aviemore next month. While it might seem pretty far North, it’s easily accessible, just a short diversion from the A9. The tracks are always a superb mix of trail centre and some earthy natural trails.

The guys have been busy over the winter trail building by the looks of it, so there will no doubt be something new by the time racing kicks off there next month.

Here’s a quick reminder of where things are heading this year, get them in your diary and get entered before you’re disappointed:

Round 1 – Laggan Wolftrax – 14/4/2018 – 15/4/2018

Round 2 – Innerleithen – 19/5/2018 – 20/5/2018

Round 3 – Ae – 16/6/2018 – 17/6/2018

Round 4 – Dunoon – 28/7/2018 – 29/7/2018

Round 5 – Pitfichie – 15/9/2018 – 16/9/2018

Round 6 – Nevis Range Fort William – 13/10/2018 – 13/10/2018

We caught up with some of the Scottish Enduro Series regulars to see what they make of what’s to come in the 2018 Scottish Enduro Series.

First up is my new our newest edition to Team Wideopenmag, Christo Gallagher. Christo has been a regular on the SES scene for years. and smashed it to 3rd in the last year in Elite.

You had a pretty good 2017 season, what are you most looking forward to at this years Scottish Enduro Series?

The best part of the Scottish Enduro series is catching up with everyone. Get all the shredders together. Riding around in a big group is always a great laugh and makes getting round in the rain a breeze.

What’s your favourite trail at Laggan?

That’s a tough one, there are so many good trails! Racing the black trail centre is pretty exceptional, absolutely charging through the rock gardens, but the Laggan brown trails from are also amazing.

Who should we keep an eye on in your category?

Mike Clyne will no doubt have put in a solid shift in the Winter and Kyle Beattie the stokemaster is always the dangerman, so I’m looking forward to joining them round the race courses this year!

Which race venue will we see fill up the fastest?

No doubt Innerleithen will be full up pretty swiftly. With so many amazing trails, and so much population within an hours drive, I’m sure it’ll be an amazing one.

Any top tips for new riders to the series?

Don’t worry about your results, once you do a few you’ll get the hang of it. Make sure you have grippy tyres, this can really make all the difference between sliding on your face and shredding that turn. Make sure your brakes are working well, the trails can get steep and sketchy at Scottish Enduro Series races in places, so you want to make sure you can stop when you want.

Stewart McNee has been racing for years and is a face you’re bound to see at the SES. He’s always one to have a chat with and he’ll more than likely be representing the Dunoon Massive. He’s one of the guys that make the race happen in Dunoon so we’ve a lot to thank him for. It’s a venue that is evolving and getting better year after year. Here’s what Stewart had to say.

You‘ve been a regular at the races for years now, how was last years Scottish Enduro Series for you?

Last year was fun, I raced half the rounds on full suspension then the last few on my hardtail. There’s always an amazing atmosphere and group of people at the races.

Which race venue will we see fill up the fastest?

I’m looking forward to my home race again (hopefully in dry conditions) and the new end of season bash at Fort William.

Who should we keep an eye on in your category?

I’m looking forward to seeing who is coming into masters from senior to maybe mix it up a bit!

Have you got any local talent we should keep an eye on throughout the year?

Niamh Doherty has just signed for a team and I’d like to see her start to challenge the established women.

What’s your favourite trail at Laggan?

The brown side (opposite the trail centre tracks) is my favorite at Laggan, probably Tombstone.

Ben Cathro is a Scottish Vlogging sensation, he’s the real deal. He coaching, creates and is an all round good guy. He is also phenomenally fast on a bike and probably doesn’t need much of an introduction. As usual he had some short and to the point answers!

You had a pretty good 2017 season, what are you most looking forward to at this years Scottish Enduro Series?

Racing the DH track at Nevis on the little bike at the Continental Enduro.

What’s your favourite trail at Laggan?

Honey Monster.

Who should we keep an eye on in your category?

That Chris Hutchens is a dark horse.

Which race venue will we see fill up the fastest?

Innerleithen, there’s a lot of trail bikes in that valley.

Any top tips for new riders to the series?

Chill on the liaisons, there’s no rush.

Photo by Tommy Wilkinson/Descent-World.

 

In 2017 Louise Ferguson won the junior female category. She fought for the top step against Mikayla Parton on numerous occasions but clinched the overall title. 2018 sees her moving into the senior category and I’ve got suspicions that she will be a serious contender from the off. Joining the newly formed Descent-World team she’s clearly got some good support going forward. Good luck putting up with Tommy though!

You had a pretty good 2017 season, what are you most looking forward to at this years Scottish Enduro Series?

Riding the new trails hand picked by No Fuss and pre-race romantic Italian dinners with Mikayla Parton.

What’s your favourite trail at Laggan?

Honey monster takes the biscuit for me. It’s all natural, the turns are phenomenal and it’s one of the shorter trails. That’s not to say the others are not great too! The black is always a good challenge and you get a lot of riding out of the red but Honey Monster feels the best to ride.

Who should we keep an eye on in your category?

All the ladies! I just moved up to senior but there are a bunch of pinners throughout the categories. It’s pretty cool to see everyone progress from race to race and I’m sure everyone will be flying this year.

Which race venue will we see fill up the fastest?

Anyone that went to Pitfichie last year will surely be signed up already. It was one for the books. The trails were wild! Loved every one of them and can’t wait to head back there this year.

Any top tips for new riders to the series?

Just come and have fun, it’s too easy to worry about things at your first race. It’s all good craic at the end of the day so just relax and chat to folk.

Chris Hutchens has raced the SES since it’s first year, helped with developing the Pitfichie trails and clinched the Scottish series title twice in 2014 and 2016. A dark horse as Cathro put it.

What are you most looking forward to at this years Scottish Enduro Series?

I moved South at the end of last year for work and for me the best racing in the UK is in Scotland. It’s a great excuse to get back and race some familiar venues and catch up with all the friendly faces.

What’s your favourite trail at Laggan?

The black is long and physical so is up there but the challenge of the natural side is always good. I managed to crash at last years race on Honey Monster so I’ve got unfinished business!

Who should we keep an eye on in your category?

Christo is going to kill it this year. I wanted him on the team as he has worked hard for the passed few season and deserved some more support. I’m hoping I can help him find his full potential and have a good time riding together this year.

Which race venue will we see fill up the fastest?

I have some bias for Pitfichie as I put a fair bit of graft into getting the venue ready to race last year along with some of the other locals. I think it was probably one of the best races in the year so I’d recommend you enter this one.

Any top tips for new riders to the series?

Scope your lines, chat to everyone and anyone, drink coffee and set yourself some realistic expectations.

There’s some insight into the season, the first round and if you’re not familiar with the Scottish Enduro Series, a carrot on a stick. See you at the races.

Head over to No Fuss Events’ website to get your entries in for this year’s Scottish Enduro Series.


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