With the shock announcement from the British Enduro Series, you could be left thinking that the UK’s 2017 race season is as confused as its political situation. But fear not, there are still some incredible races happening up and down the country in 2017. Boasting everything from small grassroots fun fests to premium international enduros, the UK still has it all. We bring you 10 ‘must-do’ highlights from our editors to help you get your racing fix this season.
Macavalanche Mass Start Enduro
There are certain things that are unique to Scotland, Haggis for sure, Single Malt Whisky certainly and now the No-Fuss Macavalanche, an insane big mountain race that brings good times racing to the flanks of Glencoe Mountain Resort. If the idea of careening down an un-taped mountain side with some of scotland’s best riders on your tail gets you excited, then this is the race for you! The race features solo timed runs down two epic open mountain stages, before reaching a crescendo with a bonkers mass start race in the snow, all the way to the base of the mountain – there is nothing else like it in the UK!
The Muckmedden Eliminator
Whatever happened to Dual Slalom, where did it go? The format taps directly into the most basic and vivid of racing emotions, the hedonistic rush of excitement when your target is not a ticking clock, but a living breathing opponent charging hard right next to you. The Muckmedden Eliminator brings us a dose of competition, fun and good old fashioned racing. With a two up ‘fastest goes through’ format and plenty of laughs, it’s enough to bring out the inner child in all of us. Can you be champion, or will you be eliminated?
The Ard Rock Enduro (North Yorkshire)
With amazing open hillside views of beautiful North Yorkshire, plus a choice of a full-on five stage 45 k tough loop or easier separate day in the novice classes, this is a great unique race. Also now known as Britain’s biggest race/festival weekend with tons of stalls and a great night of live music and drinking,. The Ard Rock sells out to thousands of competitors in minutes every year, this a must do event, a real box ticker!
The DMR EX (Exmoor)
An intimate social affair down in the south-west of England, boasting three very tough days of 35-50 km of multi stage enduro racing with big climbs, but no transition limitations. This area is a real treat for those who like to see the “olde worlde” village life of rural Britain and fun natural stages with a bit of everything thrown in for good measure. This three day race sees competitors receive free camping, lovely home-cooked food, showers and entertainment for their entry money.
Shimano Tweedlove International Enduro
The Tweed Valley has some of the best trails in the UK, so when Tweedlove – the UK’s best event organisers – host an event, you know it’s going to be good! Last years Shimano Tweedlove International Enduro attracted over 600 racers to the ‘Valley of the bike people’, from world champions to first timers, the race was enjoyed by all. With two days of practice and one day of racing, you can be sure to get good value for money, and being inside the kid friendly Tweedlove festival it’s perfect destination for the whole family too.
POC Scottish Enduro Series, Dunkeld
The POC Scottish Enduro Series is Scotland’s premier enduro series, blending great destinations with faultless organisation. One round that stood out for us in 2016 was the race at Dunkeld, certainly one of the most technical we have seen in the UK. Just one look at the bonkers stages will show you why the likes of Joe Barnes and Lewis Buchanan are so damn fast. If you want to test your skill and nerve, or simply want to have a right old laugh with your buddies then there’s nothing better. Those of a nervous disposition need not apply!
Dyfi Forest British Enduro Series (Mid Wales)
Seen as the toughest, most technical of all the (now ex) British Enduro Series’s five locations, this will test the fittest and most skillful of riders, as competitors battle it out around the massive Dyfi Forest of Mid Wales. With two days of at least 50 k and 1500 mtrs of climbing, be prepared to put your body to the test and experience some of the most demanding of stages Wales has to offer up against the creme of the UK enduro crop.
The Manx 2 Day Enduro (Isle of Man)
Stretching the term “UK” a bit here, with The Isle of Man officially being it’s own state, but well worthy of a mention. Going to the IOM is like going back in time 30 years, no locked doors, friendly faces everywhere and an incredibly low crime rate! The trails dotted around the various natural plantations are just exquisite to ride, made with flow and fun being the top priority. With this small Manx island constantly offering glorious mountainous and sea views, the rewards for the long couple of days in the saddle are amazing and well worth the trip over to the fantastic isle.
Forest of Dean Mini Enduro (Forest of Dean)
Always a sell-out, The Mini Enduros are just what they say on the tin, a one-day 3-4 stage short enduro with practice in the morning and racing in the afternoon. This no-pressure type of racing is so chilled out and just such a fantastically social affair as riders can manage plenty of practice runs in the morning with the short transitions, plus they can opt for “unofficial” practice on the Saturday too if they want! The Forest of Dean offers so many different variants of it’s very popular (mostly natural) trails with fantastic facilities for the family and even Wild boars to look out for if you have a real keen eye!
Welsh Gravity Enduro “Mash-Up” Eastridge (Shropshire)
Another one-day only event at one the UK’s oldest of mountain biking locations in the beautiful hills of Shropshire (The Midlands). Eastridge isn’t a big hill, but its trails are known as being extremely enjoyable, but tricky and demanding on riders and bikes. Welsh Gravity Enduro’s “Mash-Up” race structure consists of all 3 or 4 stages being open all day (no prior practice) but as many runs on each as riders can manage throughout the day, with their fastest times on each stage to count to their overall result. With live timing in the race village, which is always a short pedal away, it makes for a great day of tactics and re-running for riders and lots of fun.
PMBA National Champs, Graythwaite
OK, so the eagle-eyed amongst you will have noticed that this list has now hit 11, but that stands as testament to the amount of great events happening all over the UK. Any mention of the UK enduro scene would not be complete without a PMBA race, a series that has been killing it when it comes to participation. In 2017, as well as a full exciting series, PMBA will also be hosting the UK’s National Championships. Over 3 days of practice and racing, the UK’s best racers will battle for the prestigious title of National Champion. Held in the Graythwaite estate, the epic day of racing will also see riders delve into the darkest corners of the Grizedale Forest. PMBA know how to put on a good show, and with over 55km of technical stages it’s sure to be a tough round. We cannot wait!
Read more: PMBA Website
Words: Trev Worsey, Jim Buchanan Photos: Trev Worsey, Isac Paddock, Doc Ward