Phil Allum from the MB Swindon Race Team was up at Baskerville Hall in Clyro for the final round of the Mondraker Enduro Series 2015. So stop what you are doing for 5 minutes, go make a brew and read what he has to say.
We headed off to the 5th and final round of the Mondraker Enduro Series, this final round being held at Baskerville Hall, Clyro, near Hay-on-wye. This was the location of the Dragon Downhill series from the late 90s and early 2000s, so should be just the ticket.
There had been a steady stream of photos from the organisers leading up to race weekend, the most interesting ones showing us a proper rock garden and others of a set of stone steps that were to be used at the finish of one of the stages. The photos did not do them justice. The rock garden was full of football sized slabs, covered with trickling water that made it nice and slippery. Add in some tasty drops along the way and we had a proper scary gully run.
From the start it became apparent that all the stages were on the same hillside, some barely 2 or 3 metres apart. This made it great for the spectators, who came out in force for heckling duties on the Sunday. It also meant that you could ride one stage and push up alongside the next to see what to expect.
Saturday’s format followed previous rounds: a few hours’ practice on stages 1 to 4 then timed runs in the afternoon on those 4 stages. We rode round in a small group of 5 (James Scott, Sandy Stewart, Matt Snelling, Chris Keeble-Smith and myself) all having spills here and there, thankfully none serious. But having a good laugh trying to get down the runs in a clean fashion – which, given the drizzle that had engulfed us for most of the day – was pretty difficult.
On Sunday we had nine timed runs to complete: stages 1 to 5, then stages 2 to 5 again. Conditions were good, as we were blessed with some blue sky for once. Such a contrast to the previous day!
We were also joined by club member Phil Clark, who was competing in his first ever Enduro. For me the day started pretty badly, with a few tumbles on the first couple of stages, but then got back into the flow of things. James, Sandy and Phil all had their own moments here and there, Sandy unfortunately snapping his rear mech on stage 2. Rather than going singlespeed, he decided to go chainless for a couple of runs, which was great to watch! James managed to hit a tree flat out on stage 9, but thankfully the tree was fine.
Bashing down the stone staircase into the arena area to finish the final run was pretty cool, having never raced a flight of steps before. Masses of spectators, cowbells and airhorns adding to the atmosphere dramatically. So glad I didn’t stack it with so many people waiting with camera phones at the ready for any carnage!
So that was it, the 2015 Mondraker Enduro Series was over. Clocking out, it was time to compare times and see where we ended up in the grand scheme of things. Somehow, after 2 days and 13 timed runs, me and James Scott ended up with identical times! Which put us joint 6th in Master category. Sandy, having gone chainless for a couple of runs, actually completed one of the stages only 8 seconds behind me, which is scary because I had to put quite a few cranks in coming out of corners to get things going, so he must have been carrying so much speed!
Big kudos for Phil Clark, who smashed his first enduro, picking one of the more difficult, technically challenging enduros to start with. Good man!
So the series results for Phil Allum look like this:
Round 1 = Coed Trallwm, 6th in Masters
Round 2 = Coed Trallwm, 12th in Masters
Round 3 = Crychan Forest, DNF (had to leave early!)
Round 4 = Coed Trallwm, 4th in Masters
Round 5 = Baskerville Hall, 6th in Masters
At the time of writing final series positions have not been released.
Big thanks to our sponsors for keeping the dream alive. Without their support, none of this would be possible.
Red kite Events www.redkiteevents.co.uk
Hargroves cycles www.hargrovescycles.co.uk
High 5 sports nutrition www.highfive.co.uk
Seal Skinz www.sealskinz.com