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PMBA Enduro Series final round, Grizedale

  •  Photography, Reportage

Last weekend saw the final round of the 2017 PMBA Enduro series. Where better to host the event than Grizedale forest in the heart of the English Lake District, an area of outstanding beauty, but also on some of the stages previously used during the National Enduro Champs earlier this year. Not only that, but also a big 2 day event.

Photo Adam Sherratt

Grizedale is set in a 24.5 km² area of woodland between Lakes Windermere and Coniston and is part of the Super 6 mountain bike trail centres in northern England. Grizedale, Gisburn, Whinlatter, Kielder, Hamsterley and Chopwell. Have you all ticked them off your list yet?

Leading up to the race the weather had been cruel. Race day saw clearer skies early on and the rain held off

The final round was also an essential race for those in with a chance of the series overall wins. This final round also attracted the greatest numbers of elite riders entering, 13 in total.

Ad Brayton sampling the PMBA Enduro Series and taking the win

This round consisted of 6 stages within Grizedale and Satterthwaite and covered an approximate distance of 20+ miles. The format of the weekend was simple. Practice all day Saturday and then race Sunday.

Stage 2 towards Satterthwaite, no shortage of puddles and mud. Photo Adam Sherratt

The stages were a mix of trail centre gravity defying bliss to superb purpose built singletrack with natural rocks, roots and mud thrown into the mix. Possibly the most talked about stage was stage 6, you either loathed or loved it. In better weather it’s a brilliant technical trail, but as is often the case with mountain biking, the weather plays a big role in the conditions. With fairly biblical rainfall leading up to the weekend the trails took a battering. Stage 6 turned into a mud bath. The final sprint to the finish became a sloppy and slippery comedy run, but not before some energy sapping mud pools and deep puddles along the way.

One minute he’s down (Cameron Rogers)

Next minute he’s up and avoiding the slop whilst airborne

The event was again seamlessly run and organised by Mike (Borderlines) and Kev (PMBA). With the weather threatening to ruin the party, the team worked tirelessly leading up to the event. Working closely with John from the Forestry Commission they managed to host another absolute belter of a race and managed to keep all stages up and running with a little tweaking here and there. The hub of the race was at the visitors centre where the riders could use the fine café and the superbly well equipped bike shop. Head over here to discover more about Grizedale MTB. A big shout out to Pat from the bike shop for the loan of the awesome Levo ebike to get me about the forest to cover the race this weekend.

So, down to business. The overall fastest rider across the 6 stages was Ad Brayton in 12:50.68 with Ian Austermuhle only 6.97s behind him. Stage for stage they were literally only seconds behind each other. Ian won the final stage by just under 5s, but this was not enough to steal the win. Third place was Callum Russell in 13:31.93. The top 4 fastest times of the day were the elite guys. Thomas Moore was the fastest non elite and won his own category 19-29 (sen) in 13:37.76. His closest rival was Damien Ledgerwood barely 6s behind him.

The elite mens finalists

Polly Henderson (U21) took the overall fastest time in the women’s race in 17:01.01 a staggering 5 mins faster than her fastest rival Abigail Lawton (U21). Sally Buckworth (40+) was the next overall fastest woman in 19:06.59 followed by Sian Dillon (21-39) in 19:51.65. For a complete run down of the results head over to roots and rain here. For a full rundown of the series winners head over here.

Polly Henderson, no stranger to standing in the middle of the podium stormed into first place on Sunday

Ian Austermuhle came in a close second place and was fastest down stage 6 on the day

First riders prepped and ready for the off

Searching for your name on the leader board

Stage 3 had a gathering of spectators…and riders taking a quick break

Ian Cation practicing stage 6 on the Saturday. The man and the gurn

There you have it, the final round has been and gone. That’s it, the conclusion to the PMBA’s 2017 series. The year they took on and delivered the amazing Datatag National Enduro Champs at Graythwaite and hosted races again at Gnar, Gisburn, Kirroughtree, Grizedale and Lee Quarry. To watch out for more news and action from the PMBA guys, head over here for more information. To view a run down of all the results over the year head over here

Here is a link to the official video.

A big shout out to all the sponsors.
Grizedale MTB
Sixth Element
Ride Slovenia
Kirkby Lonsdale Brewery
Saxx underwear

A huge thanks to Jerry Tatton who has brought you all the race action and reports alongside the DialledinUK photographers Adam Sherratt and Carol Solomon. More photos can be found on roots here or FaceBook here.

Do not forget, next weekend (Saturday) PMBA will be hosting the Hopetech women’s Enduro over at Gisburn forest.

As always, I’ll leave you some more images from the weekend.

Stage 1. Photo Adam Sherratt

Polly Henderson taking the win by a mile seen here on stage 2. Photo Adam Sherratt

Stage 3, gravity defying black trail

Tom Wilson taking the finals win, and also the overall series title, winning every race entered. Photo Adam Sherratt

Love it or hate it. Stage 6 took a weather battering, but had to stay for sheer entertainment

Mud bath

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