With the final round of the popular Scottish Enduro Series heading to Fort William this coming weekend will we see new champions crowned?
Team Wideopenmag’s Chris Hutchens takes a look at who might win and what riders may have install for the weekend at the Scottish Enduro Series finale in Fort William.
Firstly Fort William is one of the wettest places you can go in the UK. Races have been cancelled there in the past (not enduros thankfully) and the trails can get pretty sodden. Right now things are looking mixed with sun and rain expected but for October I think we can accept that.
After last years gondola and chair lift-accessed stages on the top of the mountain if my sources are correct then these won’t be included in the stages. I think probably for the better. Instead I’m expecting some of the classic endure stages on the lower slopes of Aonach Mor to be included with lots of ruts, rocky sections and a few physical pedals. The trails here are usually hard going on the body and require a serious level of composure to navigate down a few technical sections.
With the series wrapping things up for the year in Fort William how’s each category looking?
It’s been a dominant year for Jess Stone as she goes into the final round with the series win. No pressure here she can ride for the glory and enjoy the weekend. She’s won 3 of the 4 rounds with Katy Winton taking the last round win. In 2nd is a flying Fiona Berry.
It doesn’t look like she’ll be challenged either. 3rd place could be up for grabs either for Elsbeth Greenshields who only needs to turn up to get the points or Louise Ferguson who will need to grab a few extra points to jump in front of Elsbeth. Good racing all year from the senior females.
Well, I think it’s safe to say Joe Barnes has the series wrapped up. With home advantage this coming weekend and a leading margin of 550 points he’s unable to lose it. In fact the top 3 positions are all being fought by Fort William riders with Laclan Blair sitting 2nd in the series but likely to sit this one out due to injury. Leap-frogging him will be Liam Moynihan and James Shirley. 110 points separate them. It’s all to play for for 2nd and 3rd.
This category is flying right now and the final round should be a great race to decide the series winner. Fraser Kelly leads with a couple of podium spots but a chasing Calum Johnson is a threat. His two wins set him up well.
A strong performance in Fort William will see him take the series from Kelly. Third will be a battle between Daniel Easson and Jake Nicol. Even Dougie Thompson could secure 3rd in the series as he’s races a round less than those in front of him. I’m looking forward to this battle.
There are some fast junior women these days. It’s Claudia Forbes-Walker who sits in first just now with a 300 point lead on Polly Henderson. Polly is one round short of Claudia but has two race wins. Phoebe Gale sits joint 3rd with Kirsty Adam and will battle for 3rd in the series.
There’s a real battle happening here. Angus Hardie currently leads but Calum Mackie has one less round and if he turns up and puts in a good ride is likely to take the series win. Third is up in the air with multiple riders in with a chance of taking this spot.
It’s the i-Cycles boys who are battling things out in Masters. Jim Davidson or Lewis Cowe are battling for points with Nick Smart in 3rd. Right on his tale is Stuart Nicholson, another i-Cycles rider. What are they eating down in the borders?
Team Manball Enduro Racing’s Sally Evamy holds a solid lead ahead of Fiona Finnie and the ever present Roz Newman. Roz could however shake things up if she doesn’t have issues on the day and can take a podium spot.
Things will be interesting in Veteran. EWS regular Darran Scott leads however it’s Mike Ellington which will, with a good result wrap up the series. Third could go to a host of riders including Peter Shevlin or Mark Lamont.
Grand Veteran Male
With almost 40 riders in Grand Vets there’s no slowing down these boys. Richard Hay has had a good season and is in a good place to take the series. Matt Vezey and Simon Freeman are battling for 2nd and 3rd.
Super Grand Veteran Male
This could be another category that sees a late charge to the top of the table. Neil Young is in 3rd but has won all three races he’s turned up to, having missed Kinlochleven. With attendance at Fort William he’s likely to take over current leader Callum McKay and Bill Turner who sits in 3rd.
Almost a clean sweep this year Euan Thomson sit’s in 1st with 1950 points. Conan Finch currently in 2nd has a narrow lead in front of Ryan O’Donnell. There’s definitely a race for 2nd place here.