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Endura Whyte Vallelujah Race.

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  •  Enduro, Reportage

5VAL0311

Just 2 years ago this view wasn’t possible as you were deep in the Cadmuir forest, tree felling has opened up a nice view but offers no shelter to the weather. @linton_photo

Words and Photography: Ian Linton | Credit: @linton_photo | Additional Photography JWDTphotography

It seemed such a shame that the nice dry weather the valley had been bathed in for the last fortnight hadn’t dragged itself over the Easter weekend. I think seeing as the Met Office now name all these “storms” that hit our shores, I’d reckon they should’ve named this one “Storm Vallelujah” The weekend was definitely a battle against the conditions, bit like last years event but worse!! Even though it was a tough weekend’s racing everybody I spoke to at the end all said it was grim out there but the trails were awesome. Yeah there were a few comments about the uphill bits, there always are but that’s “Enduro” The format this weekend was to run 2 stages in Glentress, stage 1 was from the mast down into zorro, then the long climb back out of the valley bottom to the start of stage 2. This was to be the classic Zoom or Bust down the walkers path to the forte then down to the bottom of Janets Brae. Stages 3 and 4 were run over the other side of the valley on Cadmuir. Stage 3 was a climb from the fire road up into the quarry then down the back of the hill in a tight tree lined trail. A climb back up to the top of the hill and the old classic dh trail was stage 4. Due to forestry work the trail had to be redone in places with a sweet little switch back section just after the top fire road. After this pretty much the same as always been. A twist saw you having to go back to Glentress for stage 5 where you rode a little part of the well know bomb hole that is used in the G7 race, from there you rode a little of the walkers paths then cut across a fresh bit to the climb into Falla Brae. About half way down you had a tricky right hander after the root huck, this part snuck up on you and took you over to the bottom of the G7 trail again and out into a horrible pedal across the field before dropping down into a slalom finish over the stream and down to a welcome dibber point and your done.

christo_gallagher

Stage 1 was a blast down from the mast into “Zorro” a fantastic trail with awesome views down the valley, don’t take the views in too much when riding the tight switch backs as you’ll be upside down in the heather before you know it, been there. @linton_photo

montage3

Some faces you might know, without them these awesome races wouldn’t happen – clockwise the main man himself Mr Tweedlove Neil Dalgleish, next is your ex EWS MC and valley legend Jamie Birks talking to currently unsponsored Junior winner Calum Grant. Next up is Mrs Tweedlove Fiona Dalgleish and former intern and now full-time Tweedlover Rhian Anthony. @linton_photo

Vallelejah race st4-1

Yeah that’s an easter bunny up there at the start of stage 5. I’m sure his ears were a little soggy by the end of the day. Photo – JWDTphotography

calum_grant

Junior winner today was Calum Grant who not only won his class but also bagged the second fastest time of the day, on wait for it, 26″ wheels. Somebody out there give this lad some kind of sponsorship deal. @linton_photo

montage2

Clockwise it’s “life behind bars” then some happy riders heading to stage 1. Fast as and local trail building legend Richard Hamilton, seems he deserved getting the fast as sticker as he won the 50+ class by 20 secs. Next was the morning after the night before, carnage awaited the folk turning up on Saturday morning as the wind on Friday night wrecked almost everybody’s easy ups. Registration was moved to GT visitors centre. @linton_photo

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Middle section of stage 4’s classic DH trail at Cadmuir, the tight rooty corners were a difficult challenge after the heavy rain. @linton_photo

euan_hamilton

The back side of Cadmuir is where stage 3 was, here Euan Hamilton drops of the fire road after the quarry into the sweet flowing yet tight keep you on your toes kinda trail. @linton_photo

dick_hamilton

A race report without a panshot, never. Trail building legend in the valley Richard Hamilton took the 50+ category win by 20 seconds over Paul Barrett justifying his fast as sticker, 1/20th for the geeks. @linto_photo

montage5

Clockwise it’s happy faces riding up to the next stage in the rain. Big thumbs up from 40+ winner Sarah Mulligan after doing battle with the 2 stages at Cadmuir. We start them young here in the Valley as soon as the kids can walk there onto balance bikes. One half of the Heriot All Stars team Ross Hilton could hardly see by the end of stage 4. @linton_photo

5VAL0245

The top of Cadmuir in driving rain and gusty winds is no place to be, throw in dozens of sniper roots and it’s super hard work. @linton_photo

addy_pope

After dropping down of the switch backs on Zorro you have a blast along this fast bit of trail with loads of tricky little bus stops that can throw you you a curve ball if you don’t keep the concentration levels high. Here’s Addy Pope doing just that in the dark gloomy conditions on Sunday morning. @linton_photo

ben_balfour

Nobody outside the valley will know this young ripper, he’s 14 and called Ben Balfour. I can honestly say he was looking faster than most riders that went past me all weekend. This resulted in him missing out on the junior podium by 1 second, how cruel is that. Even though that was the case he was stoked that he’d done so well and you can bet you’ll be hearing his name again. @linton_photo

hodge

Last bit on stage 1 is a sweet bit of flowing trail that was built a few years back for the first EWS race that was held here. There’s a tricky drop off in the middle shown here by veteran rider Martin Hodgson. @linton_photo

montage4

Clockwise it’s a local saying that every salmon that goes up the river to spawn that 2 go back down, one good point of going to Cadmuir from Glentress is that you could stop off at Forsyth’s for a macaroni pie or 2. Or you could also have a look at the local market stalls 50 mtrs up the road and get one of Osso’s fantastic pie’s and sausage/bacon rolls. The sheep were wondering what on earth was going on and not bothered in the slightest about the weather. @linton_photo

trev

Zoom or Bust at bar drag corner we all love it, always worth a shot if there’s a race on or a product to shoot. Here’s Trev trying his best in practice. @linton_photo

howie

Be rude not to have another panshot, here’s Craig Howie trying his luck at dragging his bar on Zoom or Bust, don’t ever seem to get many shots of Craig so this is a rare one. For the geeks it’s 1/25th. @linton_photo

martyn_brookes

Whyte elite rider Martyn Brookes hucks himself down into the bomb hole on stage 5 in mid rain storm, finished 4th on the day and fairly happy. @linton_photo

montage1

Clockwise Craig Howie is happy to finish in one piece and gets a chocolate egg as a prise. Half the Whyte team seem happy to finish. Thomas Mitchell had a bit of a mare this weekend, blew a rear shock on stage 1, struggled down stage 2 and managed to borrow another replacement shock. Managed to complete stages 3, 4, and 5 and finished with what would’ve been a podium. He fessed up to Neil about changing parts mid race and took the DSQ on the chin so props to him for his honesty. Stephen Stanway and Brian Ramsay over the moon at finishing. @linton_photo

podium

Here’s your senior podium from the weekend 1st – Christopher Gallagher 2nd – Drew Carters 3rd – James Dickons. @linton_photo

christo_stage5

Senior winner this weekend was Christo Gallagher with a solid result to kick off his chances of the triple crown over all. Caught here on stage 5. @linton_photo

Vallelejah practice st4-2

Young Whyte bikes rider Peter Loyd put in a solid weekends riding to get 5th place behind his team mate Martyn. Peter is coming back from shoulder surgery and speaking to him on Sunday felt that it was holding up fine and pleased with the result. Photo – JWDTphotography

Finally I think it’s worth mentioning the hard work that goes into running an event like this so a big shout out to the Tweedlove crew and a massive thank you to the marshals that stood out in the horrific conditions over the weekend, unsung hero’s.

All the results and loads of photo’s from the event can be found on the Roots and Rain website as always, and if you want to keep up with what the guy’s at Tweedlove are up to checkout there website


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