Not long now until the PMBA Enduro Series heads West across the Welsh border to Llangollen. On the weekend of the 10th and 11th of August 2019 the PMBA will be hosting their first ever Enduro in the Welsh hills at one of the most exciting downhill venues in the UK. Out side of racing events, you're normally only allow to ride these trails if you are a "One Giant Leap" club member, a bargain at only £20/year; or at one of the regular weekend uplifts. The downhill trails at Llangollen have been carved out of the hillside and carefully crafted into some of the finest tracks you can find by the One Giant Leap team. The main ethos is to build and develop tracks that are accessible for all, regardless of ability. All the tracks are challenging that have been built here, but, like the PMBA Enduro events, the main emphasis has been on fun, for riders from beginners to elites alike.
There's a pretty incredible vintage feel to Llangollen, with its famous steep tracks hosting Downhill races since 2009, and not small races. Hosting the national champs twice in 2011 & 2015, and a national downhill (BDS) round every year from 2009-2017. The list of racers who have won here is a real who's who of downhillers. Josh Bryceland, Danny Hart, Matt Walker, Brenden Fairclough, Gee & Rachael Atherton, Katy Curd, Manon Carpenter, Tahnee Seagrave and even the 1st lady of Enduro Tracey Moseley, who won the National DH Champs here in 2011 before switching to enduro during the 2012 season.
The DialledinUK boys (Jerry and Adam) met up with some PMBA regular racers and the man behind the PMBA, Kev Duckworth, to have a ride around the venue. You don't have to be a genius to realise that neither Adam nor I are seasoned racers, but more comfortable behind the lens! Did we survive our exploration of the trails. Hell yeah!
PMBA Enduro are expecting 400 riders during the weekend, and this looks to be the biggest event held at Llangollen. PMBA Enduro clearly have a vision for establishing a thriving enduro scene on this amazing hillside. With new lines being developed and some small climb sprint sections being put in to remove the benefit of any full on downhill mountain bikes that enter, this looks to be an amazing venue for enduro racing.
So here is what to expect from the weekend. Firstly, this will be a mash up race. There will be 3 stages, (1) Esquilo, (2) Main Line and (3) The Steeps. All of the stages have rollable features and also B lines available. The format of the race is a mash up. So no practice on the Sunday, just ride the 3 stages in any order you like, as many times as your body and legs will allow you to do the 30 minute pedal to the top. Your fastest times then become your final result. There will be practice possible on the Saturday and all stages will be open with marshals and medics available. To practice on Saturday there will be a small fee of £10. This will be to cover the costs including medics and marshal costs. Once those costs are covered, any additional money will be made as a donation to the North West Air Ambulance Charity as part of the 2019 #RootingForCallum
Here is the timetable for the weekend.
Friday afternoon free camping opens. There will be drinking water and portable loos available.
Saturday practice all day, only the 3 race stages open, marshals and medics on the hill, to ensure utmost rider safety.
Saturday evening, Kirkby Lonsdale brewery bottle bar, £2.50/bottle.
Sunday racing all day from 9.30am to 4.30pm with podiums planned for 5.00pm, mashup format, full runs only.
It's important to note that there will be no uplifting on either the Saturday or the Sunday, this will result in an immediate disqualification. There is no permission to run uplift as the lanes around the area are narrow, PMBA Enduro will have to be strict on this rule.
When we explored the venue it was raining heavily and all the stages still ran very well. There's a mix of steep sections with berms, drops and jumps. Some forgiving flatter sections and the all too familiar PMBA uphill sprints. If you have not yet signed up, then there are only limited places left. Be warned, every single PMBA Enduro round so far has sold out, with significant waiting lists occurring at every round too. Head over to PMBA
to sign up or get more information. To keep up to date with the PMBA, head over to their FaceBook
The PMBA and DialledinUK look forward to seeing you all at Llangollen in a few weeks times.