This past weekend saw riders assemble at Innerleithen's famous 7stanes trails for round 1 of the 2013 Alpine Bikes Innerduro Series.
For those of you not familiar with the relatively new format of Enduro, here's a bit of info on how it works. Enduro is based on a stage race format, much in the same way as you would find in a car rally. Riders are timed over a number of stages during the course of the day, and the rider with the fastest cumulative time being the winner. Riders have to be at each stage start on time, so there isn't too much time to admire the scenery as they make their way between stages, or "transitions" as they are known. Enduro races are normally run over 2 days, with riders allowed to practice the course and fine their way around on day 1, with the races being held the following day.
Course conditions were going to the the talk of the weekend, as most of the trails had spent the previous 2 weeks covered in a blanket of snow and ice. The weather played ball most of the weekend, with the fairly cold temperatures keeping the course from cutting up to badly during practice on Saturday. Race organisers Innerleithen MTB Racing had put together a fantastic course, using a huge variety of trails ranging from steep, loose, twisty hand cut lines, to the solid hard-packed machine built trails that many XC riders will be familiar with if you have ridden the red 7stanes XC trail here.
Race day dawned and the weather had turned significantly warmer (a heady 8c or so!) which would keep the snow away atleast! The event had sold out well in advance of race day, where 180 riders took to the start of what would be 3 timed stages during the course of the day. Competition in all categories was pretty fierce!
In the womens category it was Helen Gaskell who took victory on stages 1 and 3 to win by exactly a minute overall from stage 2 winner Sarah Newman. Emma McRobb rounded off the podium in 3rd.
Moving onto the U-19 mens race, and Brodie Hood dominated proceedings here by winning all 3 stages, and in doing so also clocked the biggest winning margin of the day taking victory by over 3mins. Scott Lindsay came through in 2nd with Donald Rodgers 3rd.
In the veteran mens category, local rider Crawford Carrick-Anderson was another rider to scoop up all 3 stage wins and with it the victory by 2mins 36 seconds from 2nd placed Justin Grice, and Patrick Bruce in 3rd.
Finally Gary Forest, in another display of race skill took home all 3 stage wins in the Open Mens category in the fastest time of the day, completing the stages in a combined time of 22:08. Chris Buchan was 2nd and Calum McRitchie 3rd.
Rounds 2 will be pretty special as it is a day/night Enduro, with Round 3 resorting to the normal daytime Enduro format. Both are open now for entries and are filling up fast. For more information check out the website of race organisers Innerleithen MTB Racing.
See you for round 2!
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