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The POC Scottish Enduro Series – Preview of Round 1

We are very excited to announce that Enduro-MTB will be the official media partner for the 2014 POC Scottish Enduro Series, bringing you the latest news, race reports and information from the long awaited series. In celebration, we popped up to Fort William to meet some of the No Fuss team and see what lay in store for the first round, and with the area being a hotbed of enduro talent we were soon joined by some rapid guest riders!

With the course still a closely guarded secret we are not going to give anything away, but rest assured, you are in for a treat! Even though we were only given a tiny preview, we had a great mornings riding and the photos say it all! Places are still available for Round 1 on the 22nd-23rd February so what are you waiting for? If you want to enjoy some of Scotlands best single track and join in the fun with over 200 others, get signed up here

The series will feature 5 rounds of riding in incredible locations!

The series will feature 6 rounds of riding in incredible locations!

Expect big smiles and lots of fun from round 1

Expect big smiles and lots of fun from round 1

The POC Scottish Enduro Series marks the long awaited collaboration of two established event orgainisers, Innerleithen MTB racing and No Fuss Events, bringing a series together spanning the length and breadth of Scotland. The series kicks off in the Nevis Range, home of the iconic WC downhill and XC courses, and a growing destination for enduro riding. The series then moves south where Rounds 2 and 5 will be held on the legendary trails above Innerleithen where the racing will be steep, challenging and probably hilarious.

Round 3 is a completely new event and is eagerly anticipated. Held at Laggan Wolftrax, known throughout Scotland for its challenging Black Trail, the venue has grown and grown and the local trail beavers have created some of the finest natural tracks you’ll find anywhere. The trails vary from fast and flowy, steep and rooty to downright gnarly – this location will definitely challenge any rider and leave you hungry for more! Round 4 will be another new event in Ae Forest, offering old skool tracks and plenty of Scottish roots! The series will draw to its exciting conclusion at the ‘must do’ Dudes Of Hazzard This Is Enduro Now! where the Dudes are sure to have something exciting planned.

The first round is said to include a nice mixture of both fast and flowing hardpack trails, and some exciting natural stages!

The first round is said to include a nice mixture of both fast and flowing hardpack trails, and some exciting natural stages!

Fort William is one of the most dramatic locations to ride a bike!

Fort William is one of the most dramatic locations to ride a bike!

Scotland has always had a habit of churning out super fast riders and there are likely to be some stars in the lineup, with legends of the old guard like Crawford Carrick Anderson, Richard Hamilton and Alastair Maclennan racing with new skool EWS riders like Joe Barnes, James Shirley, Gary Forrest and Katy Winton.

The overall series champion will be decided by points accrued from the best 4 rounds, and with the usual suspects busy with international race schedules, the series is wide open for some fresh faces to stand on the podiums! But it is not all about the top end racers, many recreational Scottish racers are really excited to have a chance to rank themselves against their riding buddies and the rest of Scotland.

Local rider James Shirley about to get airborne!

Local rider James Shirley about to get airborne!

Some stages are still to be cleared, this is proper enduro racing.

Some stages are still to be cleared, this is going to be proper enduro racing.

Stages will be tough, but there will be a easier lines taped in if you like to keep your wheels on the ground!  Whatever your level you will have a ball!

Stages will be tough, but there will be easier lines taped in if you like to keep your wheels on the ground (not so for Fiona!) Whatever your level you will have a ball!

Round 1 will be decided in the Leanachan Forest, standing in the shadow of the impressive mountain range that includes the highest mountain in the UK – Ben Nevis. Even though you never get too far from the race village, there is a wildness and remoteness rising out of the vibrant moss covered earth. With the early morning mist rising through the trees it is not hard to understand why this area is wrapped in mystery and stories of evil witches! We caught up with Fiona from No Fuss and a couple of guest riders, to check out what was in store for Round 1.

Many of the stages are still secret or being worked on, so we did not ride the full course itself, but Fiona gave us a sneek preview of some short sections of stage and we were blown away with the awesome riding. I rode here a few years back in the 24 hour Relentless24 race, but did not realise just how good the natural trails had become. The 4 race stages will be a mix of the best of the Witches Trails and some local gold, hand cut natural trails that will require either solid skills or a good sense of humour!

Maps of the stages won’t be released until the morning of the event, but these photos will give you a brief glimpse of what you may expect! It is going to be a fantastic weekend! There will be plenty of facilities too as the Nevis Range has long been hosting mountain biking events and is well set up with bike washes, showers and delicious hot food and drinks at the Pinemartin Cafe.

We were not allowed to  ride the stages, but expect some incredible new natural trails!

We were not allowed to ride the stages, but expect some incredible new natural trails!

Fiona from No-Fuss was there to show us what to expect!

Fiona from No-Fuss was there to show us what to expect!

The weather in Fort William in February could be interesting, at the moment conditions are great!

The weather in Fort William in February could be interesting, at the moment conditions are great!

Each of the rounds has been hand picked to offer something new, and don’t be put off by the ‘series’ title either, it is not just for the fastest riders! While each round will be designed to challenge the best of the sport, they will also be amazing fun for racers of any level! If you like to keep your wheels on the ground and just enjoy the best trails, in amazing scenery, and with the added bonus of having some competitive fun with your mates, then these are the events for you!

If you want to join the fun on the 22nd and 23rd of February, there are still places available here

We will be covering the series in its entirety, and you can follow the news, race reports and results here at Enduro-MTB! For more information check out the series website!

Words and Photos: Trev Worsey

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