It’s not so much that the dust is settling but the clods of mud rolling to a halt, the weekend has been dry but dark Scottish woodland holds water and secrets that many riders struggled to fathom. Survival seemed to be a recurring theme here in the borders and the experience of calling this Isle home definitely made a difference.
At the end of day one it was clear that the riders normally finding themselves in amongst the top ten were pushed aside by those who knew how to keep it wide open through trails that were the exact opposite.
That was the men, the Women’s field followed a more consistent pattern based on the digits from the last few race sheets but it was Moseley took her downhill history to the hill. Anne-Caroline Chausson is a master of bike racing but this environment wasn’t hers for the taking, speed and flow eluded her. Along with many other riders she tried to chase the eventual 45s lead Tracy built throughout the weekend.
Katy Winton was clearly at home on these tracks and she was happy to finish out the top ten ahead of Helen Gaskell. All in all we were well represented with 10 riders of the top 25 hailing from the UK and Ireland.
Here’s the top 25.
The Men was where the mix ups happened, great to see the score cards shuffled around and many of today’s results will give confidence to many riders heading to Valloire for the next race.
The young guns fired down the Tweed Valley this weekend and threw open the top spots for the 2nd round of the Enduro World Series. Nico Lau was solid, solid and fast. He put the times in over all 8 stages to push ahead with a gap of over 10 seconds from the second placed Justin Loev. Having moved over to Enduro racing Justin is concentrating full time with the Trek Factory team and it seems to be working out. Aboard a new carbon 29er (that was banned from static photos, otherwise we would have a shot) he really made it count on the second day of racing pulling 6 places back with a 4-2-2-2 on day 2.
Going in as a favourite for many Graves had a nightmare on day one. Two crashes the on the first stage with the slower speeds on narrow trails not suiting the hold it wide style of the Australian racer. Always a man to take positives he was chuffed with a win on the last stage of the weekend with a vow to ride as many tight slippery tracks as he can whilst in the area this week.
Maes pulled back into 7th with some flat out riding after finishing 23rd on day one. How did he manage it? He must have a nitro switch or something because two thirds a fifth and a win brought him back into the top ten to finish the weekend on a high note.
Joe Barnes will drive back to Fort William with a well deserved grin on his face, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 8th on day two on the back of finishing 8th on Saturday landed the young Scot where a Scottish racer belongs. He said he was used to the style of tracks and didn’t have to push hard to make the times he did, keeping the rubber in the ruts was the answer.
A few more riders from these shores are worth a mention too, Gary Forrest (fuelled by lasagne pies) took 10th and he couldn’t have been happier. Irishmen Greg Callaghan took an amazing 8th place and he will be riding high on that going into Valloire.
Here’s the top 25
We will be dropping the second day’s race edit tomorrow morning and we also have a bumper race weekend gallery from Ben Winder too so keep an eye out for that little lot.
All in all the race has been incredible, the Tweedlove organisation have done a brilliant job and the stages have been a world class challenge that any rider can get stuck into. We are heading to Fort William for the downhill next weekend but before that our recap edit will drop on Wednesday. If you want to check out the videos we have done so far then hit the links below.