Racing -

POC Scottish Enduro Series | Round 2 Ae Report and Video

Scotland’s greatest philosopher once stated that “There are two seasons in Scotland – Winter and July”, and tradition dictates that enduro racing in the knuckle end of the UK normally involves getting loose in large quantities of mud. However – after a cracking first round, the POC Scottish Enduro Series moved over to Ae forest, and the team must have worked some witchcraft as the sun was shining bright and the trails were running dry and dusty.

Scottish Enduro Series 2015: Round 2 – Ae Forest from Scottish Enduro Series on Vimeo.

Looking around the paddock it was clear how popular the series had become, not only were the familiar faces present but there were many first timers keen to check out the new Lite category (a slightly shortened loop). The event had attracted riders of all abilities, bold colours and sharp kit identified the band of factory racers that had popped over to throw down at the pointy end. EWS superstars and Cube Action team riders Greg Callaghan and Scott Laughland were sure to be pushing each other, and Mark Scott would be after the win too. Endura Bergamont Factory rider Katy Winton was in deadly form so it would be a good battle with last year’s champion Roz Newman.

There are more years of WC DH experience here than most DH races.
There are more years of WC DH experience here than most DH races.
Ben Cathro doing what he does best, gooning about
Ben Cathro doing what he does best, gooning about
The women of Scottish enduro, a lot of skill here
The women of Scottish enduro, a lot of skill here

With quality cake and coffee on site and the sun baking down on the decking, it was a great carnival atmosphere. With a drawn out field, many of the early arrivals hiked up onto the Stage One to cheer and heckle the elite riders as they put down their best times.

Stage One was a good introduction to the day, a long section of hand cut Scottish gold that started out high over Ae where the views were amazing. After a quick dib it was straight into it through a rock garden, excitement and over enthusiasm caught a few out here. After a couple of rocky chutes, it was all full gas down the open ridge line until a 90 degree right hander gave many a rude awakening. In the bone dry conditions, grip was amazing and it was delirious fun as riders hung on down the series of steep plummets with catch berms and off-camber tree lined action.

Dropping into Stage One, epic views and great trails
Dropping into Stage One, epic views and great trails
Flat out in the wide open, this traverse was so fast, with a hairpin at the end
Flat out in the wide open, this traverse was so fast, with a hairpin at the end
Mark Scott is always happy to boost one
Mark Scott is always happy to boost one

One corner in particular was catching a few riders out, a fast pop out of a bomb-hole that looked to go left but actually snuck right. A hard charging Ben Cathro fired out of the bomb-hole, before exploding all over the trail in a tangle of 9 foot limbs. This is where Cube Action Team rider Greg Callaghan showed his experience and form, keeping it in his pants to take the win by 4 seconds. Fellow EWS racers Mark Scott and Scotty Laughland were not far behind and pushing hard. In the women’s race Endura Bergamont Factory Team Rider Katy Winton set the tone for the day, taking a clear win.

Katy Winton is queen, someone get her a crown
Katy Winton is queen, someone get her a crown
Threading the needle, this tree was polished smooth
Threading the needle, this tree was polished smooth
Steep chutes were always followed with catch berms, braaap.
Steep chutes were always followed with catch berms, braaap.

Stage Two could not have been more different, after a big old pedal to the other side of the trail centre this stage was all about power in the pistons. Taking in some of the great trail centre, speed and power were everything here as racers had to keep up on the pedals to take the win. In practice many had found it over-pedaly, but most agreed that when turning it up to 11 on race day the extra speed made it flow well. Greg Callahan showed he had plenty of gas in the tank and furthered his lead by another 4 seconds. Xtreme MTB Coach Sam Flockhart was also on fine form and took second place. Everyone knew Katy Winton would be fast on this stage and she smoked it by 16 seconds.

Everyone loved getting loose in the sunshine
Everyone loved getting loose in the sunshine
Racing was intense, everyone was giving it 100%
Racing was intense, everyone was giving it 100%
Loose and dusty, Scottish riders were fishes out of water!
Loose and dusty, Scottish riders were fishes out of water!

Stages Three and Four were again some fresh cut devilishness, from flat off camber turns where everyone had the ‘safety foot out’ to throw up some roost (or dabbing and flailing), to almost pitch dark forest turns. This was good times riding at its best, dusty dry trails and racing full speed over the emerald forest floor. Greg and Katy again were on fire and cleaned up the results table. Sam Flockhart had a big one on Stage Four and had to get the multitool out to straighten his bars (and still finished with a 13th place in the Elites).

Legend Stevie Stanway gets his head down
Legend Stevie Stanway gets his head down
Lewis Kirkwood walking the grip tightrope
Lewis Kirkwood walking the grip tightrope
The worlds coolest dad goes full moto - it's all in the grin!
The worlds coolest dad goes full moto – it’s all in the grin!
Crawfy sending one on a trail centre section
Crawfy sending one on a trail centre section

So rolling into Stage Five, Greg and Katy had pulled out a comfortable lead, but it was still all to play for. After a flat out sprint into some big old berms, the trail dived into the woods, and lo and behold there was finally some mud. I am not sure if the SES wheel-barrowed it in, but it was great to see a wriggly, rooty, muddy section to get racers excited. Numerous sniper roots lay in wait to turn bikes upside down, and plenty of riders fired out of the stage wearing mud packs. After the final plummet of doom to the dibbers, once racers caught their breath they were full of excitement and all agreed it had been a great day. Greg and Katy had both taken the wins and the overalls – but the big shout out needs to go to Crawford Carrick Anderson who was on course to sneak onto the elite podium and show the young bucks ‘what for’. However a front puncture halfway down saw him lose valuable seconds as he squirmed flat out to the finish.

Greg Callaghan, unrelentingly fast
Greg Callaghan, unrelentingly fast
This guy has been rocking that Genesis hardtail for years, the lads got the minerals
This guy has been rocking that Genesis hardtail for years, the lads got the minerals
A bit of mud to keep it real
A bit of mud to keep it real
Dropping into something altogether more spicy on Stage Five
Dropping into something altogether more spicy on Stage Five
Remember don't be a dobber with your dibber
Remember don’t be a dobber with your dibber

The atmosphere throughout the day was jubilant – racing in the sunshine in Scotland is just the best, transitions become enjoyable and the pace of the day slows down. Some racers even popped into the café mid race for a coffee and cake in the sunshine. It had been a big day (over 40km and 1200m of climbing), and once again credit must go the organisers for selecting a course that could push the best riders in the world, while providing a great introduction for those keen to start out in the sport. The SES has created not only a great series that showcases Scottish riding in a spectacular fashion, but also a welcoming family keen to embrace new riders. The next round is in Glenlivit and it sounds fantastic, if you have always wanted to give enduro a go, there has never been a better time – get signed up.

The next round is Glenlivit on the 13th – 14th of June, you can sign up on the Scottish Enduro Series website.

Show me your best side I said!
Show me your best side I said!
This is racing in the sunshine, perfect end to a great day
This is racing in the sunshine, perfect end to a great day
Time to wash the dust off,  a vacuum cleaner would have been just as good
Time to wash the dust off, a vacuum cleaner would have been just as good
Ah, if I had not crashed 32 times I may have won
Ah, if I had not crashed 32 times I may have won
We are stoked to be working with the SES
We are stoked to be working with the SES
The enduro dream team, the Callaghwintons  are unstoppable
The enduro dream team, the Callaghwintons are unstoppable

Results

Full results can be downloaded from here

For rider pictures of the event check out Roots and Rain to see all the photos here

Hardtail Category Podium, 1st Dave McLean, 2nd Greig Walker, 3rd John Crawford
Hardtail Category Podium, 1st Dave McLean, 2nd Greig Walker, 3rd John Crawford
Veteran Women's Category Podium, 1st Liz Peacock, 2nd Julia Ferguson, 3rd Sandra Drummond
Veteran Women’s Category Podium, 1st Liz Peacock, 2nd Julia Ferguson, 3rd Sandra Drummond
Senior Women's Category Podium, 1st Katy Winton, 2nd Roz Newman, 3rd Gill Davies
Senior Women’s Category Podium, 1st Katy Winton, 2nd Roz Newman, 3rd Gill Davies
Junior Women's Category Podium, 1st Elena Melton
Junior Women’s Category Podium, 1st Elena Melton
Vet Men's Category Podium, 1st Crawford Carrick Anderson, 2nd Dan Greenwood, 3rd Mark Horner. The big question is what's left to teach crawfy, it will be a tough gig for Sick Skilz
Vet Men’s Category Podium, 1st Crawford Carrick Anderson, 2nd Dan Greenwood, 3rd Mark Horner. The big question is what’s left to teach crawfy, it will be a tough gig for Sick Skills
Elite Category Podium, 1st Greg Callaghan, 2nd Mark Scott, 3rd Scott Laughland. A factory team domination
Elite Category Podium, 1st Greg Callaghan, 2nd Mark Scott, 3rd Scott Laughland. A factory team domination
Junior Podium, 1st Frazer McCubbing, 2nd Greg Jolliffe, 3rd Ruaidhri Forrester
Junior Podium, 1st Frazer McCubbing, 2nd Greg Jolliffe, 3rd Ruaidhri Forrester
Senior Men's Category Podium, 1st Callum McCubbing, 2nd Liam McLaughlin, 3rd Gregor Notman
Senior Men’s Category Podium, 1st Callum McCubbing, 2nd Liam McLaughlin, 3rd Gregor Notman
Masters Category Podium, 1st Bruce McCleary, 2nd Chris Ross, 3rd Michael Clyne Had this been an arm wrestling contest the results may be been different.
Masters Category Podium, 1st Bruce McCleary, 2nd Chris Ross, 3rd Michael Clyne
Had this been an arm wrestling contest the results may have been different.
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Words and photos: Trev Worsey