Presented by DMR Bikes, The Ex is a brand new enduro on the British calendar and took place in Exmoor in South West England over the past weekend. Exmoor is a gem of a riding spot, it’s hugely underrated, but the organisers, Mike Wilkens and Paul Newman used their local knowledge to really showcase the best trails on offer and the quality of the riding is right up there with the best in the country. With three days of racing featuring 45km and upwards of 2,000m of descending per day, it was a tough but rewarding course, accessible and challenging in equal measure, a good test for bike handling skills and stamina. It’s clear from taking part in the event that a friendly, laid-back and chilled vibe was the order of the day - the organisers had managed to bottle the spirit of enduro racing.
What Exmoor lacks in vastness it makes up for in gradient. The hills are steep and gravity points are well-earned with some brutish climbs, but mercifully each day started with an uplift, a van ride up to Dunkery Beacon, the highest point on Exmoor. The trails were varied, everything from flat out and fast rocky chutes to root infested tree-lined singletrack with conditions ensuring the running was fast with no mud to contend with. The racing was close throughout the weekend for those taking it seriously, with Matthew De Villanueva (Badassbikes) taking the win in the open male class with an overall time of 36 minutes 18 seconds, and Liz Gath taking the open female win in a time of 48 minutes and 1 second. In the hardtail category, Paul Mackie (Zealous Bike Co.) held off close competition to win in 38 minutes 54 seconds.
"We had a great time at THE EX presented by DMRBIKES and it was great to see that so many people seem to love the trails as much as we do. I believe we have started a great new ’small’ event which will hopefully be around for years to come. We are already thinking of new trails and routes we can add to the event for 2017. Exciting times ahead,
" says Mike Wilkens, event organiser.
The EX enduro will be back in 2017, dates to be confirmed www.the-ex.co.uk
Photos by Roo Fowlerwww.the-ex.co.uk Results