Hutch’s EWS European Enduro Series, Fort William Preview.

Team Wideopenmag’s Chris Hutchens previews the final round of the 2018 Scottish Enduro Series which doubles up as a Continental Enduro Series round.

Fort William is the venue for the finale of the 2018 Scottish Enduro Series, a fitting location for the titles to be decided. What’s more, this race is a stop on the European Enduro Series, so expect to see some unfamiliar names battling for that title too.

Chris Hutchens takes a look at what you can expect from the race.

Photos by Ross Bell.

Scottish Enduro Series 2017: Round 1 – Fort William from Scottish Enduro Series on Vimeo.

As quick as the race season comes around each year it comes to an end. After five hard fought rounds the final round of 2018, doubled up as one of the European Continental Series rounds, heads to Fort Williams Nevis Range.

No Fuss Events has a real treat for rider this year over the two day event. Riders, prepare yourself for an epic. With big physical descents, lactic acid burning stage sprints and many hours in the saddle could this be the most ambitious Scottish Enduro Series round ever?

While we will have to wait until the 14th of October to fully find out here’s a quick preview of what we’re anticipating and how you can get some last minute preparation in. Maybe even just some mental preparation before embarking on the monster day that rumoured to face riders heading to one of the wettest parts of the UK.

I’ve not heard exactly the number of stages but my guess would be 4-5. What I have heard and seen through social media is that riders should expect a little rest heading up the hill. 15 minutes to put your feet up, watch other riders race down and the layer up before a little more elevation gain. Could we see the use of the Top Chief, the DH course of maybe both?

With the lower slopes of Aonach Mor providing a whole host of trails from graded XC descents to the ‘Dudes’ ruts I’m confident there will be three stages in the forests which lie in the shadow of Nevis Range.

Based on what I know I would prepare your bike for a battering. DH tyres are a must. A rear insert recommended. Stiffer suspension, probably. A full race, essential. Additional armour, I’d consider. A back protector, always a good idea anyway but even more so for this round.

Looking at the series points it looks like Lewis Buchannan will wrap up the Scottish title with our very own Wideopenmag rider, Christo G, unable to finish worst than 2nd. I’ve only managed 2 rounds so far this year and have one of my best mates weddings the night before in Huntly. Expect to see me squidding down the hill and enjoying a day riding rather than being in the mix.

Fort William will claim many, many more so factor that into your bike repairs post event. Michael Clyne and Callum Mccubbing will be battling out for 3rd in the series and these guys are hunger and both getting faster and more experienced with each round.

Kirsty McPhee looks like the series could be hers with two wins so far this year. With four to count from six then watch this category closely. Any one of the following ladies could take a podium spot; Louise Haggarty, Fiona Berry or Janey Kennedy. One missing name from the series standings is Katy Winton.

Will she make an appearance after her 3rd overall in the EWS this year, a phenomenal season by all accounts. I always think it’s great for the salaried riders in Scotland to support the national series so hopefully we will see her in attendance.

Local Louise Ferguson took the first race of the series and will no doubt be battling to bookend the series with another win. She’s unable to place in the series however.

There’s a whole host of other battles going on so check out the series results in here.

Full details on the final round of the 2018 Scottish Enduro Series can be found on No Fuss Events’ website here.