PRESS RELEASE: PMBA Enduro
2019 has seen some difficult times for the enduro scene and MTB festival-type weekends. With severely unpredictable weather literally all year round, Tweedlove held their nerve during their Transcenduro weekend and with adverse weather cancelling the Malverns Classic and Ardrock, it has to be said the Hope PMBA Enduro has had some luck in 2019. That's not to say they've not had hardships, the final round at Grizedale was a near wash out in 2019, but again the organiser held his nerve and the weather held off for the race. Despite the wet trails, the riders were completely stoked at the end of the race and the euphoria lasted for several days after the event. This was job done for the series finale. Who remembers the Beast from the East back in March 2018 when the PMBA Enduro's first round was cancelled?
2019 has been an outstanding year for the series, with record numbers and every round selling out with waiting lists and desperate racers trying to get tickets weeks leading up to the races. Where many enduro races are one-off events around a festival feeling weekend, there's still a thirst for a race series, especially the Hope PMBA Enduro Series. Personally, we at DialledinUK believe this is down to the organiser introducing a new venue to the series at Llangollen, but also the normally off-limits estate of Graythwaite. Then you can put into the mix the fact that there was an EWS qualifier in there and one of the British National Enduro series rounds. This keeps riders interests up and the thirst for trying something more challenging and fresh. Let's face it, with a tag line of "Enduro for all" they really mean this. From grassroots events like the first round at Gisburn and the family-orientated round at Kirroughtree to the epics at Graythwaite and Llangollen, you can't really argue with that tagline. Let's face it, this is the only single series that runs events in England, Scotland and Wales. You'll also notice promotion of young riders too, with young racers being allowed to race whilst accompanied by a chaperone, and new for 2019 was the free children's race at Kirroughtree. This free race is expanding in 2020, with rounds at Gisburn and Kirroughtree introducing tiny racers to the scene and we at DialledinUK will be providing free photos for those families wanting some memorabilia. Entries go live this Saturday - 16th November at 9.00 am
We anticipate that the first rounds will sell out in minutes, so do not delay. Follow the Hope PMBA Enduro website
and get ready to keep hitting refresh. Gisburn sold out in less than an hour last year. To follow updates and news on the series head over to their website
or FaceBook Pages
. If you want to experience an EWS qualifier, there could be 2 in this series next year, but this has yet to be confirmed, so keep checking their pages. 2020 is looking to be another sell-out series with further increases in numbers, such is the thirst to get in on this ever increasingly popular race series. This sure is one of the most anticipated UK wide series for 2020.
29th March 2020
As is tradition the series opens at Gisburn forest, starting as close to Easter as they can. A great enduro to ease you into the series. Popular with novice racers to experience the enduro format. What you should expect are trail centre stages along with a selection of off-piste sections. This is a 1-day event, with a free kids single-stage mashup on Saturday (DialledinUK will be there to provide a free photo album, with parental consent opt-out). Last year this event sold out in just 50 minutes, so if you want in you’ll need to be ready 9 am sharp to get in! This is a 1-day event.Here's the video highlights for Gisburn
2nd and 3rd May 2020
This is the big one, a private estate with 100% off-piste trails held over 2 days. The Hope PMBA Enduro had great feedback from 2019 and they are sure looking forward to doing it all again in 2020. It's their favourite venue, with a great race arena and epic views.
This is a proper lakeland venue, even the transitions are tough (but not timed) you should expect push-ups to the start of stages. Camping is included within the picturesque grounds of Graythwaite Estate, this is a great weekend away. This round has some of the very best views of the whole series, in fact, some of the best views available in the lake district. The team spend a lot of time on trail prep for this event, despite 5 previous years of stages. Also, you need to expect "flying" into the spectacular finish arena, with camping, catering, showers, water & marquee with bar thanks to Kirkby Lonsdale Brewery. Priced at £75 it may be the most expensive event but the trails, views and facilities are worth splashing out on.
But be warned, this is NOT a grassroots round, it's tough and not suitable for a first enduro. Steep trails, a 4-5 hour loop and many stages. Having said that, I was able to complete the stages on my reccy ride, but not at race pace that's for sure!
Held on Sat/Sun May 2nd/3rd but you can relax and camp over Sunday evening before heading home on Monday morning if you wish.Here's the video highlights for Graythwaite
LEE QUARRY AND HAVOK BIKE PARK
20th and 21st June 2020
Round 3 of the series on a midsummer’s weekend, the big loop includes a moorland transfer taking you over to the ever-popular stages they have at Havok Bike Park. A big loop of around 23 miles pushes this event to the 2-day format of practice Saturday and race Sunday. They PMBA Enduro guys are working hard to introduce a new stage to this loop. They have also moved the race HQ into Stubbylee Park, with the camping while keeping Futures Park for day-parking. This new HQ will enable them to put on extra facilities like showers* and an evening bar as well as being just a better HQ.Here's the video highlights for Lee and Havok
8th and 9th August
Llangollen, or more correctly One Giant Leap Llangollen will host round 4 of the series. A new venue for the series in 2019, they have supercharged it from 3 to 5 stages for 2020. This is one of the leading DH venues in the country, and they'll be turning it into an Enduro venue for the weekend. They will have some newly built sections enabling them to run multiple lines at the same time. The team have lots of trail building to do to add 2 stages to the 3 they used in 2019, and up the stakes, as it's a BNES round in 2020 and rumour has it a possible EWS qualifier (announced Jan 2020). It's got a great camping field, especially for mid-August, it should be stunning weather to match the stunning scenery. £75 including parking/camping/showers this event will get all the “epic” extra’s they normally just have at Graythwaite. That's it, you heard it here first, possible EWS qualifier and a second "Epic" to the series!Video highlights from Llangollen are here
6th September 2020
Kirroughtree, this is the “family round” with great camping facilities, permanent showers and toilets and a course that’s just pure fun. They even have a free kids race on Saturday that we covered in 2019 with more free photos to capture the young stars for their parents. What this venue lacks in elevation it makes up for in loam & bedrock. Each year they return to find that the team from the Breakpad bike shop have built amazing new stages with virgin loam. The series still reuse some of the classics, mixing trail and off-piste sections for a selection that can be enjoyed by all, the stoke meter is always high here.
A grassroots round that the fastest can also enjoy, it has everything an enduro should have and has become an unmissable round of the PMBA Enduro series with many calling it their favourite.
Often racers will bring the whole family, as the idyllic camping area and permanent brick shower/toilet block gives a holiday vibe; enhanced by the smells from many BBQ’s in the evening. Late in the year, September is not overly problematic with the midges either – but still, come prepared!Kirroughtree video highlights
4th October 2020
Grizedale has been a stalwart of the series since they started in 2014, it's a great venue, with big stages and big elevation; technical stages are the norm here; expect it to be the toughest of the 1-day events, priced to include car parking for race day. Off-piste trails with rocks and mud make this a good test of bikes and riders alike. 1-day event: £55 including parking. (No camping available)
No camping at this round, but we at DialledinUK always stay at Grizedale Campsite
about 2 miles down the road. It's a basic campsite, but very well priced and they sell firewood and have a fantastic farm shop to refuel those carbs and recovery proteins!
Parking is INCLUDED in the entry fee at the request of FC Grizedale.
Sign on is usually outside Grizedale MTB, a well-stocked and super friendly bike shop.Final round Grizedale video highlights
will see you all next year, good luck with entries, remember, set your alarms for this Saturday 8.30 am, get a coffee and get online!
Huge thanks to WhiteNoSugar and HDDN media for their round videos.
Words by PMBA Enduro's Kev Duckworth and JWDTphotography
Photos by DialledinUK (Adam Sherratt and Jerry Tatton)