The second round of the Alpine Winter Series took place on Saturday with an exciting race format not often seen in the UK.
Following the huge success of Round 1 last month, Innerleithen MTB Racing brought us a Day/Night Enduro in Traquair Forest, Innerleithen. The format involved riders making their way around the forest with two special timed stages. The same stages were then ridden again once darkness had fallen – riders using lights on their handlebars and sometimes their helmets to illuminate the track ahead. The cumulative time for the four stages would determine the winner.
Veteran winner, Crawford Carrick Anderson. Photo IanLinton.com
Conditions for the day delivered everything we expect from a Scottish Winter, with stunning sunshine and blue skies broken by the occasional snow flurry accompanied by a chilling wind. Special Stage 1 started with a fast descent from Plora Rig over loamy ground interspersed with roots and rocks to keep the riders attention. A short climb on a forest road led to a tight, technical section that spat the riders into a quarry at the bottom of Taniel Hill.
Riders then climbed gently through the forest and back to Plora Rig for the start of Special Stage 2. This stage took in various sections of some of Innerleithen’s finest downhill trails as riders made their way down the hill for a big finish through the bombhole into the arena at the bottom of the forest.
After a break to take on board fluids and hot food, the riders set up their lights and headed up the hill to do it all over again in the dark.
Seniors Winner Gary Forrest. Photo: IanLinton.com
Leading the way with the fastest time of the day (20’19”) was Crawford Carrick-Anderson (Ibis/POC/Crank Brothers) with Angela Coates (The Development/Fox) taking the ladies win (36’27”).
Full results on www.rootsandrain.com
Duncan Nisbet of Innerleithen MTB Racing said after the event; “The Enduro race format is very popular with riders as was proved again this weekend with another event sold out. The feedback from the first two rounds has been extremely positive and we aim to take that into the final round next month”.
Special thanks go to Alpine Bikes for sponsoring the event and supplying prizes, all the marshals and volunteers without whom the event wouldn’t have happened and to Steve at i-cycles for the course design.
Round 3 of the Alpine Winter Series takes place on the weekend of 3rd/4th March and is a traditional downhill event with uplift. This event also attracts British Cycling ranking points.
Further information, full results and details on how to enter future events can be found on the Innerleithen MTB Racing website at: www.innerleithenmtbracing.com