Descent World – Scottish Mountain Biking | Film Production | Photos | Adventure Stories

PMBA Round 3 – Kirroughtree

  •  Enduro, Photography, Reportage

Sunday saw another top PMBA enduro race at Kirroughtree.

Kev himself dropping into a fresh cut section with the backdrop of Scotland

Round 3 of the series at Kirroughtree is the furtherest north the series goes, a forest so far north they cross the borders into Scotland’s Dumfies and Galloway.

Once again a Sunday race turned more into a weekend of bikes, camping, beers and a great atmosphere. With many riders arriving on the Saturday to have a look at the trails and get some sneaky practice in.

Saturday night, it’s all about bikes, beers, BBQs and camping

After a look at the trails on the Saturday, you gotta get your steed prepped for race day

Kirroughtree forms part of what is known as the 7stanes. 7 trail centres of mountain biking heaven. The 7stanes are claimed to be world-class mountain biking trail centres and they span the south of Scotland. It’s fair to say that they have a very varied array of trail centres and attract riders from all over the UK.

Stage 4 and the red route provided fast flow but also rocky Kirroughtree bedrock to negotiate

This particular centre has superb facilities which include showers, superb cafe (The full “English” large Breakfast is legendary), a well equipped and friendly bike shop (Brakepad) and visitor centre. It’s really no surprise that people turned up on the Saturday to make a weekend of this race. It’s just a shame the weather was mixed, but by no means the worst thrown at the PMBA series this year. We won’t mention the midgies, who some of the locals referred to as having “Metal Teeth!!)

Sally Fletcher taking a fall on stage 1 in practice, but then took a great win in the women’s open (Photo Adam Sherratt)

Enough fluff, and down to the racing. Sunday was about racing some of the best fresh cut trails out there. Kirroughtree isn’t the biggest hill in the series but the loam is first class. 50% of the race stages were through fresh cut trails and a big shout out to the Breakpad Bike shop who had done an awesome job. In all there were 5 stages across an approximate 13 mile loop.

Stage 2 was short but sweet. Sean Luke giving it some turnbar style as he drops out of the woods into the open (Photo Carol Solomon)

Stage 1 (hematoma) got the riders straight into the action with slime, mud, loam and steep sections with a natural drop to contend with.

Stage 1 and sneaky practices. The fastest line was straight over the top! (Photo Adam Sherratt)

Stage 2 (halitosis) with a transition of deep loch sized puddles, was by far the shortest stage, but didn’t let up. It provided the riders with more mud, wooden drops and a muddy steep shoot with rocks thrown in, one rider quoted “I stopped to practice the rocky section for sometime to get my lines dialled in”

Tom Mellows dialling in his line through the steep muddy rocky shoot (Photo Adam Sherratt)

Stage 3 (asthma attack) and back to another lengthy stage, was pretty brutal. The top section through soft loam that involved lung busting peddling and over the KSdrop and fire road crossing. Messing up the KSdrop section had the hecklers (sorry, rider encouragers) entertained and vocal. Through the woods and down to the bottom to be greeted by a rock garden that needed real focus.

Katie Purvis taking the direct line over the KSdrop

Stage 4 (doon hill) was initially natural trail, then into the Kirroughtree red trail centre, fast and flowy with the legendary bedrock sections to hop over.

Olly Graham negotiating the exposed Kirroughtree bedrocks on stage 4

Finally stage 5 (snap chat), possibly the stage I heard most riders talking about was again fast and flowy, with a fire road crossing into a steeper fresh cut trail that changed quite significantly over the weekend with over 230 riders practicing and racing it.

In the fresh cut trail, wood drops to keep the riders alert and focused (Photo Adam Sherratt)

Hard on the peddles on stage 5

The overall fastest rider was in the Elite category, Josh Hurley in an amazing 11:21.58, and this was his second time winning the elite race at Kirroughtree. Second fastest was Callum McCubbing in 11:38.20 and third fastest and winning his category was Bruce McCleary in 11:46.23. The top three fastest times was a close fought battle. Great to also see a Vet in the top ten fastest times of the day (8th fastest) and winning his category was Martyn Alderson in 12:11.93. The overall fastest in the women’s race was Polly Henderson (U21s) in a superb 14:02.43 and someway ahead of the field. Sally Buckworth (40+) took the second fastest women’s place in 15:30.58 and third place, local girl Sam Hill (40+) in 17:40.07. For a full rundown of all the results and categories, head over to roots and rain here.

So that’s it for Kirroughtree, the next race in the PMBA calendar is at Gnar Bikepark, super fast short stages with jumps, drops and gravity. Head over here for more information on the official Facebook page. To get your entries in head over to their official website here.

Fraser Wilson heading sideways down stage 2 (Photo Carol Solomon)

All the race results and photos can be viewed at roots here.

Did you make the cut? Whitenosugar have again provided an amazing video of the day, so grab a beer and have a watch here. (NB. Right click and open in new tab/window)

Finally, a big shout out to the Breakpad bike shop for the loan of an ebike, which had me zipping about the forest and sampling the mud, loam and superb fresh cut trails. Check out their Facebook page here.

Heres a couple more images from DialledinUK, we are JWDTphotography (Jerry Tatton), Adam Sherratt and Carol Solomon.

Cat Hart (@girlwithasingletrackmind) showing no fear in front of the rowdy crowd

Hopping over the rocks to keep the pace and flow

Dark and mossy Scottish woods. So atmospheric!

Once you’re back at base, it’s all about watching the others finishing after you. Your work is done, it’s just a waiting game

The first rider down stage 4, taking the fastest line. Airborne

That’s all from Kirroughtree, see you at Gnarr

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