Dan Atherton and Tracy Moseley win UK Gravity Enduro rd1 at Afan Forest 2013: Results

Rd1 of the UK Gravity Enduro series went down at a cold and muddy Afan Forest bike park. Five stages, 20miles, 2500/3000 ft of vertical climb, 300ish riders and not one, but two burger vans.

Dan Atherton and Tracy Moseley went easy on the burgers and heavy on the pedals as they claimed the top spot on the UK Gravity Enduro box at rd1 Afan Forest.

Here’s the Enduro bullet points:

RD 1 of the UK Gravity Enduro was based at the Afan Bike Park, you know the one with the plastic camel.

Weather: Dry but bloody cold.
Stages: 5.
Wheel sizes: A mixture.
Venue: Afan Bike Park.
Facilites: Toilets/showers/bike wash/cafe/plastic camel/burger vans*2/chimera (wood burning stove thing)/helicopter.

Practice on Saturday, then seeding on stage 5 set the orders for Sundays race.

Sunday. 9.30 start for the girls. From the start a 40min-ish pedal up the fireroad to the aptly named Windy Point for stage one. Icy winds accompanied by the eerie howl of the wind turbines set the early mood. Not sure how many actually practiced this stage on Saturday since it was so far out but this section was fun (well for for me being a travelling marshal, maybe not sprinting against the clock). A 3 minute-plus fast and flowy trail through the conifers on the frozen rocky ground.

Dan Atherton hauling down the Afan 4x section on Stage 5 to claim the rd1 win.
Dan Atherton hauling down the Afan 4x section on Stage 5 to claim the rd1 win.

20 minute blast back down the fireroad to Stage 2, the Graveyard. Knocking on for four minutes, I think you could call this one “nadgery”, a couple of techy rock corners to get through and some short climbs, all about keeping your flow here.

On to stage 3 with the shortest transition time, 15mins, but easily doable. Stage 3 began with the swooping, flowy berms of the Zig Zags trail, before a short fireroad sprint leading you in to the bottom section of the infamous Wall. Probably the best stage of them all. Fast, rocky, technical. Nearly 7 minutes for the Elite riders.

Enduro map
Here be dragons. Stage one was out on a limb, the other 4 were all close to the main parking/finish arena. No need to carry a map with you though, it was all marked out for you.

A climb then a push then a climb took you up to the newly built Afan Bike Park trails for the start of stage 4. This is where things got slightly messy. The stage deviated from the surface trail after a minute or so into a freshly cut section, which due to the amount of rain that had fallen, morphed into axle deep gloop. Front mudguards that had worked wonders up till then became jammed solid with thick wheel locking mud. Cyclocross running skills came in handy here. Shame, would have been a flier in the dry.

A long old climb back up passed the finish arena to the final stage. The sub zero temperature was freezing the mud on your bike as well as gear cables/mechs at this point. The start took you through some frozen ruts and flowing corners then up a short fireroad climb and onto another boggy singletrack section before spitting you out at the top of the Afan 4x track within sniffing distance of the finish, cup of tea and burger van.

All in all maybe one of the most physical Enduros for some. Mid week rain and the Artic weather on the day made riders dig deep for strength. But at the finish there were still a lot of smiles all round.
Rd 2 at Innerleithen promises to be more gravity oriented with a bigger grin factor.

Dan Atherton, Neil Donoghue and Sam Flanagan.
Dan Atherton, Neil Donoghue and Sam Flanagan.

afanelitemenresults

Elite Men’s results

Affy's GT Force in DIY 650b mode with custom drop outs and a 650b Fox 34 fork.
Affy’s GT Force in DIY 650b mode with custom drop outs and a 650b Fox 34 fork.
2nd place Neil Donoghue
2nd place Neil Donoghue on the Santa Cruz Tallboy LTc

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Elite Women’s results

T-Mo, Helen Gaskell, Cheri Mills.
T-Mo, Helen Gaskell, Cheri Mills.
T Mo, low and fast on her way to a convincing win at UK Gravity Enduro rd1 Afan Forest.
T Mo, low and fast on her way to a convincing win at UK Gravity Enduro rd1 Afan Forest.

More news, results, photos and video coming soon!

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  1. Mark

    No Joe Barnes I see, has the ban actually been confirmed yet?

    1. Evan

      Why would Barnes be banned?

      1. paulhaysom

        Woah there nelly! To get this nipped in the bud pronto, it was confirmed in the press release that it was a French rider that got banned.

    2. Leon

      Wasnt it karim armour ? ( spelling )

  2. Ioan Parry

    Ban? Can’t find any word of this on the net, what’s the craic with Barnesy??

    1. INternet

      There is no story.

  3. joecantello

    Really good to see Dan Atherton on top of the podium. Looks like he’s found his niche in the sport.

  4. Ron Horse

    Dan takes it on 650B, was never in doubt. That Tall Boy is the wonkiest looking bike I’ve seen in a while, did he borrow it from a passing granny out doing her shopping?

  5. Mark

    Had two separate people mention to me that he was banned from UKGE events after various incidents last year. I asked on the FB page and got no response one way or the other, now there’s no sign of him at rnd1? That seems odd anyway, why wouldn’t Canyon want him racing there?

    The “French Rider” is totally separate

  6. bling bling

    No idea who it was – but there was an elite uk rider caught taking short cuts last year on one of the UKGE events (on the transitions stages- not the actual timed sections).

    1. Mark

      There was more than one elite caught cutting the course on a timed stage at Hamsterley

  7. Digger

    Didn’t Joe Barnes just win an Enduro event in Scotland?

    Should people be allowed to race in the same categories on totally different sized wheels?

    1. Hancock

      Yes, why not?
      .
      The only time wheel size is ever an issue is when the manufacturers start bending the UCI’s ear. If it was a bunch of shed-builders winning races on 29ers you can bet within a year the UCI would have defined a ‘mountain bike’ as having 26in wheels (Think Graeme Obree). Such rules just make it too complicated and put barriers on entry for us commoners.
      .
      But thankfully that’s not happening, so run what you’ve brung and the pros will still beat you!

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