Team Wideopenmag headed to Somerset for the third round of the 2019 BEMBA British National Enduro Series in Minehead.
words by Christo Gallagher / photos by Dave Price
While not sporting the biggest hills the team at Southern Enduro made sure that the short British National Enduro Series stages packed plenty of punch.
When the dust had settled, Team Wideopenmag’s Christo Gallagher would slot neatly into second place in senior, making his title chase all the stronger and Chris Hutchens, still finding his speed after recovering from injury landed a fourth in masters.
The third round of the British National Enduro Series came not long after the second round in Graythwaite. The venue for the weekend would be Minehead in Somerset in the South West of England.
A picturesque seaside town in some beautiful English countryside. With the weather being great leading up to the event, it was looking like it was going to be an amazing race on dry trails.
The event organisers at Southern Enduro put on a great event with one of the fastest sign on queues this year, which was great. Although running the mash up and British round on the same weekend does leave a few issues with not enough time to practice the stages in the morning and having to wait until 4pm to be able to practice them again.
Southern Enduro put on 7 amazing stages. They might have been short, but that just led to them being more physically intense and any mistakes would really cost you the race. Stage 2 had a steep tricky section, which would challenge many riders in practice and ruin a few peoples chances of a good result on the Sunday.
Race day was looking like it may or may not rain, with news from those travelling in from an hour or so away that it was heavy rain up until they reached Minehead not making for a promising day of dry weather. However, besides a short bit of drizzle, the trails stayed completely dry and in amazing condition.
In the women’s overall race we would see EWS racer Becky Cook take a convincing win with a time of 15 minutes and 16 seconds over Helen Gaskell in second and Katie Wakely in third.
In the senior men’s race it would be Whyte Bike’s Sam Shucksmith taking his first win of the year with a time of 13 minutes and 44 seconds over myself (Christo from Team Wideopenmag) and Ross Hancock in third.
It would be Reece Langhorn in the masters category that took the second fastest time of the day behind Sam Shucksmith making the top three men split over age categories, should there be an elite category at the British National Enduro Series?
Team Wideopenmag’s Chris Hutchens, still coming back from injury finished a respectable fourth in the masters category. Chris is looking to build back some more speed over the next few races.
Southern Enduro put on an amazing event in Minehead, with minimal issues. Maybe the day should’ve started at 8am for the first riders to be set off, so that those with a long journey home could get home at a reasonable time, but besides that I can’t think of much they could have done better.
The next round of the BEMBA British National Enduro Series heads to the opposite end of the UK to Kinlochleven. The Scottish Enduro Series will be hosting this round and the terrain couldn’t be further from the opposite, we’ll be looking at raw open hillside and long stages. We can’t wait.
Check out all our other BEMBA British National Enduro videos, reports and features here.