Posted on

Welsh Gravity Enduro, Dyfi

Stage finish Welsh Gravity Enduro Dyfi

A year after the British Enduro Series at Dyfi, Welsh Gravity Enduro pitched up camp and brought another enduro race to the doors of Machynllech. But this wasn’t a standard enduro race, Charlie (Welsh Gravity enduro organiser) had pulled out all the stops and had made this race not only an EWS qualifying round, but also put the title of welsh national enduro champion up for grabs.

Still wanting to accommodate to all types of riders, the Welsh Gravity Enduro put on two categories; the Sport category where the riders would do a smaller 32km loop riding only 3 stages and the Open category pushing riders to their limits with tight transition times aimed at preparing riders for EWS transitions and over 45km of pedalling over 5 stages.

Featuring 5 women’s categories and 19 women racing, there was a great atmosphere among the girls as they ventured out to tackle the tracks ahead of them. A surprise for everyone at the enduro was the appearance of downhill world champion Rachel Atherton, who had decided to give her new Trek Fuel X a try at a whole new world of enduro racing. Could this be the start of another winning streak?

The weekend began in damp conditions, with the occasional glimpse of the sun giving the riders some hope of the dry and dusty tracks that were there just a few days before. By midday on Saturday, most of the riders had convoyed over to the other side of Machynlleth where stages 2-4 were situated and had begun the grueling climb to the top. Given the early morning rain, the majority of the tracks were running slick, leaving the riders struggling to keep rubber side down.

Come race day riders wished for drier tracks and grippier terrain and their prayers had paid off with sun greeting the riders as they headed off for a long day in the saddle.

With the sun came some drier ground which was much needed and appreciated for stage 2, however it was stage 3 that caught people off guard on race day as some of the riders found themselves constantly crashing their way down the track, attempting to weave in between the trees without knocking their handlebars and experiencing mechanicals. Once making it through the timing gate the girls were happy to have a quick break before heading up to stage 4’s ‘Climax’ trail.

The Climax trail is one of the tracks with the most flow. With hard packed ground and plenty of places to get your wheels airborne, it was a track where the riders could really run wild on, if they weren’t distracted by the views over the surrounding hills.

Don Skene rider Katie Wakely took the win in the elite women’s category.

Nicki Moore took the lead in the 30+ womens category, closely followed by 2nd place Lucy Follett just 11 seconds behind.

Young rider Caja Parks took the win in the U19 women’s category.

Rachel Atherton continued with her winning streak and took first place in the Sport category by over 4 minutes.

Elite women

Rank Bib Name Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3 Stage 4 Stage 5 Total Time Diff
1  227  Katie WAKELY  3:24.929 (2)  3:55.559 (1)  2:54.656 (1)  4:10.461 (1)  3:16.523 (1)  17:42.128
2  228  Emma WAREHAM  3:24.379 (1)  3:59.047 (2)  2:59.434 (2)  4:15.473 (2)  3:28.457 (2)  18:06.790  24.662s
3  225  Claire BENNETT  3:40.828 (3)  4:07.879 (3)  3:14.457 (3)  4:31.293 (3)  3:45.375 (3)  19:19.832  1:37.704
4  229  Sophie HALHEAD  3:45.207 (4)  4:31.394 (4)  4:27.902 (5)  4:42.531 (4)  4:16.570 (4)  21:43.604  4:01.476
5  226  Melanie ALEXANDER  4:21.011 (5)  5:12.215 (5)  4:05.250 (4)  4:53.183 (5)  5:40.996 (5)  24:12.655  6:30.527

U19 women

Rank Bib Name Stage 1  Stage 2 Stage 3 Stage 4 Stage 5 Total Time Diff
1 224 Caja PARKES 4:09.390 (1) 5:20.574 (1) 4:17.762 (1) 27:07.457 (1) 4:51.106 (1) 45:46.289

19-29 women

Rank Bib Name Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3 Stage 4 Stage 5 Total Time Diff
1 219 Francie ARTHUR  3:37.512 (1)  4:18.656 (1)  3:33.937 (1)  4:32.852 (1)  3:36.817 (1)  19:39.774
2  221  Becky JORDAN  3:52.981 (2)  4:47.027 (2)  3:52.390 (4) 4:45.746 (3)  4:07.785 (2)  21:25.929  1:46.155
3  222  Rebecca PARKER  4:09.067 (4)  4:54.313 (4)  3:46.722 (3)  4:44.777 (2)  4:10.223 (3)  21:45.102  2:05.328
4  223  Jess ENLUND  4:06.460 (3)  4:49.168 (3)  3:42.195 (2)  5:08.039 (4)  4:11.898 (4)  21:57.760  2:17.986
5  220  Laura GRIFFITHS  4:22.863 (5) 5:25.531 (5)  4:22.965 (5)  5:38.930 (5)  4:58.187 (6)  24:48.476  5:08.702
6  255  Emily WALLACE  4:50.371 (6)  6:23.351 (6)  5:31.496 (6)  5:59.067 (6)  4:42.633 (5)  27:26.918  7:47.144

30+ women

Rank Bib Name Stage 1  Stage 2 Stage 3 Stage 4 Stage 5 Total Time Diff
1  216  Nicki MOORE  3:41.766 (1)  4:17.308 (1)  3:26.875 (2)  4:40.156 (2)  3:59.602 (1)  20:05.707
2  213  Lucy FOLLETT  3:54.465 (2)  4:27.996 (2)  3:19.082 (1)  4:32.586 (1)  4:03.102 (3)  20:17.231  11.524s
3  218  Jennifer RENNIE  3:57.750 (3)  4:44.195 (3)  3:27.484 (3)  4:48.531 (3)  4:01.192 (2)  20:59.152  53.445s
4  217  Helen WAINWRIGHT  4:02.766 (4)  5:38.570 (4)  4:17.137 (4)  4:49.160 (4)  4:58.004 (4)  23:45.637  43:39.930

Sport women

Rank Bib Name Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3 Stage 4 Stage 5 Total Time Diff
1  253  Rachel ATHERTON 3:04.277 (1) 3:59.101 (1) 2:58.809 (1) 10:02.187
2  212  Katherine GOODEY  4:26.977 (2)  4:54.558 (2)  5:04.488 (3)  14:26.023  4:23.836
3  214  Leanne HIER  4:39.098 (3)  5:26.090 (3)  4:42.844 (2)  14:48.032  4:45.845

Words and photos Samantha Saskia Dugon @saskiadugon unless stated otherwise