Check out some primo mudbath attack. Grizedale was a fine way to end another successful season of the Hope-PMBA Enduro series. Well done to all involved!
Last weekend was the final round of this year’s Hope-PMBA Enduro series. This was the 5th round of the series but PMBA did also host the Enduro National Champs at Grizedale Forest earlier this year. Round 5 of the PMBA saw an impressive number of ELite riders taking part, with local hero Adam Brayton taking the win in Elite Men.
This final PMBA was a two day affair with Saturday being practice the day and Sunday being the timed racing day.’Practice’ is perhaps rather a grand term; there weren’t many folk doing repeated runs or even sessioning sections on the Saturday. The sheer magnitude of the route didn’t lend itself to repeated riding.
The full distance of the route was around 20 miles. 20 miles in the Lake District is a lot. And doing the route two days on the trot is an achievement in itself never mind actually trying to race the thing. Hats off to everybody who managed to get around the whole thing, twice.
And we haven’t even mentioned the weather yet. Let’s just say, it wasn’t dry. The Saturday was the worst weathered day with patches of drizzle and a generally chilly temperature. Sunday was rain-free but the conditions had been set by then.
There were six racing stages in total. Whilst some of the tracks were on firmer, armoured surfaces, the main meals of the racing took place on steep and rooty woodland tracks that could best be described as “challenging”. The two most talked about stages were Stage 4 and Stage 6.
Stage 4 (“Viking”) was epic in both length and in nature. Its 1.4km length is unusual for a British enduro stage and when combined with an average gradient of 15% it really makes for quite an experience. Burning legs, aching feet, buzzing forearms, loads of near-crashes and plenty more. If it takes Adam Brayton three and half minutes to get down, you know it’s a biggie.
Stage 6 (“Blind Mice”) was somewhat controversial – there were rumours of it not being used due to the conditions – and whilst most riders struggled on its mixture of steepness, wrist-thick roots, wheel-swallowing holes and general wholesale unpredictability, by the finish line (the comedy filth-bath finish line) pretty much everyone thought it was strangely in-keeping with the rest of the day; difficult and slippy.
All-in-all, the Grizedale race was a fine way to end another successful of the Hope-PMBA Enduro series. Well done to all involved.
Between this series and the return of the UK Gravity Enduro races, 2018 looks set to be a landmark year for British enduro racing. In a time when the UK downhill race scene is looking decidedly worse for wear, it’s interesting to see what happens to enduro.
Whitenosugar Productions: “300+ riders made the trip to Grizedale Forest for the 5th round of the Hope/PMBA enduro series. The rain held off on race day and the tracks were running fast and loose for a great end to the season. Music by Sisteray.”