The 2017 Gravity Enduro season kicked off at the weekend in Afan Valley in South Wales with round one of the Haibike
Welsh Gravity Enduro Mash Up Series, 256 racers descended upon Afan Glyncorrwyg for the season opener in some very wintery conditions! -6 windchill and snow (on the higher trails) was the order of the day so stage tactics and keeping warm were imperative.
Stage One 'The Black Run' Sponsored by Bird Cycleworks
The shortest stage of the day but also the one to be most wary of, starting off with some gentle flowing berms it soon picks up in speed and roughness culminating in a final rock garden straight! The early snow was dispensed with by the first riders and the grip levels were surprisingly high.
Stage Two 'The Rock' Sponsored by The Mountain Bike Chalet
A return after a 2-year break to this stage, It's called "The Rock" for a reason, there's lots of rock! many drops and technical sections awaited the riders after negotiating the flat out berms of the trees.
Stage Three 'Happy Life' Sponsored by Bird Cycleworks
We return again to "Happy Life" because it has everything a gravity enduro stage should have and is never the same twice! I've watched this stage evolve over the last 5 years to become a classic riders favourite.
Stage 4 "Jet Lag Reverse" Ebike stage Sponsored by Haibike
New for 2017 a specific Ebike stage, this one was an Uphill flow trail of some 8 minutes, almost trials-esque in places but not too technical that you could ride it all, skill and line choice were imperative to keep the flow and save time or just use the Haibike Xduro Dh Pro and bulldoze your way up!Fastest rider on the day was Leon Rosser riding for Bike Park Wales. (Special thanks to Leon for lending me his Go-pro for the day to capture the footage while doing my rounds)Fastest lady on the day was Megan James riding for T-Mo racing in the U18 category beating Elite Beck Cook time by less than a second!!The Fox 36 forks for 36th place were won by Paul Mackie riding for Bad Ass Bikes.The Mountain Bike Chalet Holiday for 72nd place was won by Mike Thickens riding for Led Wales.
And finally, it goes without saying, a massive thank you to all the marshals for standing out in some very harsh conditions, you're all amazing! without you these events do not happen! Thanks to Natural Resources Wales, Bob Campbell, Action Sports Timing for the ever reliable and accurate timing, Skyline Cycles for their hospitality, and the lovely Cafe staff for keeping us all fed. Lewis Bradley, Charlie Sparkes and Cai Grocott for all their help setting up the courses with me. And all you lovely riders! thank you for coming and supporting the series, See you all at round 2!
Thank you to all our sponsors:HaibikeBird CycleworksThe Mountain Bike ChaletMojo Suspension/FOXHope TechnologyMudhuggerRace-Co-CyclesPedalabikewawayPro Green MTB
For full results of the series and photos please follow the links below:
Full results HERE
Video: Lewis Bradley/Charlie Williams
Photo: Doc Ward Photography
Photo: Leon Jones Photography