You can tell a lot from the stars. Astrologers use them to predict the future, and to determine (or make up) horoscopes. I’ve never drawn much truth from horoscopes, though on the odd occasion I’ve glanced at my star sign in the Metro on my way to work, I’ve been mildly worried by their knack of sounding spot on.
Nothing could have predicted how Dusk ‘till Dawn would have gone though. Even Mystic Meg and her crystal ball would have had a job predicting the 600 riders, which despite weather forecasts for lots of rain, still turned up at Thetford Forest. Those 600 riders couldn’t have guessed that it would be a perfect night for racing either – dry, cold and a clear sky, perfect.
Now in its fifth year, Dusk ’till Dawn is proving more popular year on year. If you’ve not ridden there before, is a great location. It’s one of the few courses on the enduro calendar that has a majority towards singletrack, with much of the 9.2 miles being criss-crossing, banking and shimmy-inducing singletrack. The area is defined by the lack of elevation, though a couple of sharp inclines still took their toll on tired legs. Taking their toll on bums were the bumpy singletrack in the latter stages of the course, hard to ride smoothly when your arms and legs are falling off and your back is in bits, so its even more impressive when you look at the results.
282 teams were split into 128 soloists, 57 pairs and 97 teams. Fastest solo men, with 16 laps, was Andrew Westwell (Blazing Saddles) with Adrian Scott (Freeridespain.com/Numplumz) and rory Hitchens (USE Exposure Lights) both a lap down. In the Women solo class, Jenn Hopkins (Minx/Kona) took the win from Meggie Bichard (Red Kite) and Wendy Cashmore, both of which were two laps down on Hopkins.
The Men pairs race was a hard fought one. Four teams finished on 17 laps, but Paul Davies and Patrick Schalbetter (Team Sagem) were too fast for both Matthew Wex and James Cooper (Army Cycling Union) and Philip Peacock and James Carpenter (Cakes R Us). Despite a few stomach issues for one half the bikemagic.com team, David Arthur and Gary Jennings managed an 11th, with 15 laps. We’ll be back next year, only this time we’ll be better prepared…
The team Men was convincingly won by Whyte Racing UK (Luke Smith/Steve Heading/James Taylor/Billy Whenham), though they were kept honest by the Fat Birds CC and Beyond Enduro 2006. Team Women, though a slimmer field, still raced hard. Thetford Racing Chicks (Sara Flatt/Anna Buick/Debbie Green/Dawn Derbyshire) clocked up 13 laps. There was even a tandem class, though just one brave couple took up the challenge. We were impressed they even piloted a tandem around some of the twister bits, but they did, and with four laps took the win.
Full results at Thetford MTB Racing.