Ken Ward and his team of helpers successfully staged the inaugural Thedford Pines Endro Challenge on Sunday. [January 7] Ward and his quad are a familiar sight at National Points Series and SAMS races throughout the summer. He also makes time to organise a regular Summer and 3 race Winter series in Norfolk /Suffolk each year.
Therefore it was no surprise with this expertise at hand he was able to provide competitors with a variety of terrain befitting their 15-mile circuits of the forest. Don’t be fooled into thinking that the area is flat and boring, quite the contrary. While lacking in hills of any substance, Ward and his helpers have scoured the forest to discover its secrets. Numerous bomb holes, some big enough to swallow a two storey building. Tight twisting single track over vast tracts of undulating land, so numerous I doubt whether there is another venue in the country that offers so much.
The Event offered riders, whether they are the serious racers, or those out for a more leisurely ride around the forest a choice of laps from three down to one – racers opting for the longer courses.
On a crisp clear winters day the first competitors assembled on the start line, from the gun they were off, initially on a wide fire road, this gave riders a chance to gain some order before they were launched into the first encounter with the single track. With there only let up being refills of High5 at the Feed Zone. Christopher Minter (Pedalon.co.uk) provided the fastest time over 3 laps in 2:51:43, followed 17 sec. later by Richard Wood (Phil Corey Cycles).
However Matt Scrase (Beyond Mountain Bikes) and Ben Paton (Anglia Sport) provided the closest racing in the 2 Lap race, at the end only two sec. separated them after just over two hours of racing. Joanna Crohill was the fastest woman. A further 35 riders completed the two-lap leisure ride. 15 riders completed the one lap Leisure ride, Chris Elliott being the quickest.
For those who missed the first Annual Thetford Pines Endro Challenge and want to sample first hand this amazing venue, but don’t want to wait till next year. Ken Ward has the two more rounds of his ERMA Winter Series: 28th January and 18th February, He is also hosting the first round of the National Points Series for the 3rd consecutive year on 24th & 25th March.
We’ve got the results. If you’d like to see them e-mail us and we’ll send you a copy.