The weekend of the 26th and 27th of May was the third round of the Fetish Gravity Enduro at Hamsterly Forest. The weather was amazing when I arrived on the Saturday morning, with the pits bustling and everyone getting hyped up to go out riding for the day.
Stanton Bikes rider Mitch Ingley had already been out and came back with a massive smile on his face so I knew it was going to be a good weekend for him. In the Stanton Bikes ee-z-up was the shiny new DJ bike proto, getting lots of attention at all (and a few hippity hop 360s from Mitch).
Practise went mint, every section I found Mitch on he looked pinned, big smile on his face and most importantly smooth! I saw person after person on their tricked out full sussers, but no one was as quiet as Mitch (not even being biased), the hardtail proved to suit this track, which was either hardpack, or nice and rough and natural, it seemed to just flow over it all.
After practise came seeding runs, held on stage 5 which was (from what I saw) the most suited to the Slackline, with flowy hardpack sufaces with some smooth jumps and berms. Mitch came down in a 4:15, putting around 8-9 seconds on the next hardtail and placing good in the pack of seniors. Sadly though, as the elites came down there was a problem with the timing, leading to times being amended and eventually dropped, meaning he would have to smash it the Sunday!
Sunday morning was just as nice at Saturday, even more people it the pits gave it a nice atmosphere. Mitch headed out to stage one and came down with a 2:46 and found out he had a puncture on the way up to stage two. After a swift change and a flat out sprint to the top, he just made it for stage 2 start. Where I was stood there was an awkward little compression, if you went in it, there was rocks and deep ruts, but to the left was a smooth(er) line, of people hitting the rut I think 50% plus lost a lot of time, either washing out, catching on the rock or ejecting over the front, but Mitch came down no problem, keeping it smooth. Section three was fast, no problems there, coming down in 2:48.
Section 4 was a full, balls out downhill run, a really awkward 180 degree corner about half way down looked like it went straight on, really strange! The top section was rough, and bottom rooty with a nasty rooty steep chute at the bottom, a little jump too which Dan Atherton threw a sick whip off. Finally 5 came around and even after riding for 2 hours in the scorching heat Mitch bettered his seeding time by 3 seconds with a 4:12. This put him overall 31st of 74, a good result saying he was one of just a handful on hardtails.