Keen for some great enduro racing and socializing, during September? This is the event that has it all.

Entries for one of the UK’s most exclusive enduro events will open on 6 March, but you can now preregister.

The Merida EX enduro – presented by Shimano STEPS – is scheduled for 16-18 September and will again be hosted around the Minehead area and feature only 80 riders.

With 20 timed stages spread over three days of riding, competitors will not lack for singletrack shredding opportunities.

Read more: the best enduro mountain bikes 

Remember your lights – for enduro by night

Organisers of the Merida EX enduro will be balancing six- to eight special stages a day, with no trail reconnaissance allowed. This will guarantee truly blind racing, in the original spirit of enduro riding.

Riders can anticipate pedalling for 35- to 45km per day on the Merida EX, and prepare themselves for 1500- to 2300m of climbing, too. These are the calibre of enduro route stats that should get interested riders prioritising both fitness and skills training, come summer.

The popular night stages that featured last year will return this September. Organisers have also promised an optional ‘Raceface Enduro Time Trail’ for those early arrivals on the Thursday preceding the event. It will open up one of the race stages for some pure practice runs – that won’t influence the overall event timesheets.

Of course there will be tea – at the Merida EX

Beyond exceptional riding, the Merida EX enduro offers excellent hospitality, too. Riders can expect terrific locally sourced food and drink from the Exmoor area. And yes, the enduro vintage tea stop will be functional.

At £375 the Merida EX enduro offers an abundance of rarely ridden trails, all your core breakfast, lunch and dinner nutrition and a complimentary onsite bar. You’ll also receive an event journey as part of that entry fee, and there are Yoga classes to help riders keep limber for those technical descents.

Are you bringing an e-bike? Organisers will have available charging facilities to ensure you don’t run out of pedalling-assistance from that mid-drive motor.