INNERLEITHEN MTB RACING AND ALPINE BIKES INNERDURO SERIES 2013 ROUND 2 – DAY AND NIGHT
Words: Duncan Nisbet
Photos: Ian Linton
The second round of the Alpine Bikes sponsored 2013 Innerduro Series took place on Saturday 2nd March at Forestry Commission Scotland’s 7stanes Innerleithen mountain bike trails at Traquair Forest. The event, organised by Innerleithen MTB Racing, was again completely sold out weeks in advance as some of the best Enduro riders from across Europe descended on Innerleithen for this exciting style of mountain bike racing. Riders followed a course to the top of the forest before riding two special timed stages over technical rooty and rocky terrain, with a climb back to the top between stages. Following a rest period as the sun set, riders then repeated the route in the dark (with the aid of lights!). The cumulative time for the predominantly downhill stages would determine the winner.
Competition was expected to be fierce among the 170 or so riders, with World Enduro Series riders Joe Barnes and Katy Winton joined by previous Trans-Provence winner Dan Darwood, Elite World Cup downhiller Jack Reading and mountain bike legend Crawford Carrick-Anderson.
The course really had something for everyone. A real mix of manmade and hand cut trails, flat sections, steep sections and even the odd climb. As usual at Innerleithen, there were roots, rocks, drops, jumps and very tight sections through the trees that proved tricky for those with wide bars.
Following the mud-fest of Round 1, the weather Gods were kind to organisers and competitors as clear blue skies and sunshine led to balmy conditions for practice and daylight racing. Warm enough for Joe Barnes to ride the first stage topless following an incident with a tree.
Once darkness fell, the temperature also dropped, but stayed relatively mild for the time of year. By 2pm, the marshals were in place, there was a feed station at the top of the hill to keep the riders energised and the photographers and spectators were selecting their vantage points for the day and night entertainment.
Stage 1/3 followed the Cresta Run for the top third, before a loamy transition into 39 Steps. The route then linked onto the old XC route – descending the traditional climb. This section wasn’t technical, but tested the riders’ ability to take on flat turns at speed. The final section dropped riders onto the old motorway and round the bombhole for some off- camber fun into the fast and furious finish. A quick breather and time to swap stories with riding buddies, then a gentle ride back to the top for the next stage.
Stage 2/4 headed down the Wall and round the gap jump into the Tunnel for a fun blast down to the Luge. A quick sprint along the forest road led into the classic Deerhunter and Cresta before a steep and rooty blast to the finish with little room for error.
Innerleithen MTB Racing’s Duncan Nisbet said after the event; “Following the sell-out first round, we are delighted to see this round also sold out. The final round on the weekend of 30th and 31st March looks like selling out too, so we must be doing something right.
The weather for this round was unbelievably good and the tracks were running extremely well. I’d like to thank all the riders, marshals and organisers for making this such a successful series. Thanks also to our sponsors Alpine Bikes for supporting this local series.”
In the Ladies race, local star and Enduro World Series rider Katy Winton took the win by over 3 minutes from Fiona Beattie, with Sophie Buckingham taking third.
1st Katy Winton 28’ 18”
2nd Fiona Beattie 31’ 54”
3rd Sophie Buckingham 33’ 26”
In the Junior category, Lachlan Blair took the win by under 30 seconds from Drew Carters, with Stuart Wilcox taking third.
1st Lachlan Blair 23’ 37”
2nd Drew Carters 24’ 03”
3rd Stuart Wilcox 24’ 50”
In the Veteran category Crawford Carrick-Anderson took the win with Justin Grice in second and Simon Sharp in third.
1st Crawford Carrick-Anderson 22’ 27”
2nd Justin Grice 23’ 11”
3rd Simon Sharp 26’ 55”
And so to the Seniors category. Enduro World Series rider Joe Barnes took the win with the fastest overall time of the day with Jack Reading taking second and Alex Stock in third.
Full results and photos are available at: http://www.innerleithenmtbracing.com/
Many thanks to Alpine Bikes for sponsoring the series and to all the marshals and volunteers that makes the event possible. Thanks also to the competitors for supporting our event – we hope to see you for the rest of the series.
Round 3 is a standard Enduro on the weekend of 30th/31st March.
Further information and details on how to enter can be found on the Innerleithen MTB Racing website at: http://www.innerleithenmtbracing.com