It was a wet and windy Saturday at BikePark Wales, but riders braved the weather and tackled the three stages on offer.
The mixture of trails along with the 'Mash-up' format allowed riders plenty of racing throughout the day, the three 'red' graded trails combined a mixture of jumps, roots and pedalling so that it would challenge everyone's abilities along with the addition of the rain and blistering wind. Stage 1 - Hotstepper
The shortest stage of the day, many peopled opted to do this stage first as it was a great warm up before the longer and more technical stages. Hotstepper (top) is quite flat but is easy to keep momentum throughout, the challenge to this trail is to remember where the sharp turns are between the flow berms and drop that make this trail fun in all conditions. Times were tight on this stage meaning that even pedal counted. Stage 2 - Watts Occurring
Pushing the boundaries, Watts Occurring was most peoples favourite stage of the day.
By far the most challenging stage, Watts Occurring is one of the newest additions to the Bikepark Wales hillside. Created to push peoples boundaries, it has several drops and technical terrain to catch out the most experienced rider. It was a great 'mash-up' stage as riders could scope the trail on their 1st run before gaining confidence to go faster and clear the obstacles and catch some airtime in the 2nd run. Many opted to the this stage last as it was short and an easy climb back up, perfect on a cold winters day. Stage 3 - Vicious Valley into Surfin Bird
This stage is no easy task in the dry, let along in the wet and windy weather. 'Vicious Valley' consists of many technical aspects such as root gardens, tight turns and a road gap at high speeds. Between each section was mostly a pedal and keeping momentum was the aim. A long uphill after the road gap meant that riders would need to stay off the brakes and keep the legs pumping.
Over the road and into 'Surfin Bird', a relatively new section that is short but sweet. The fast single track got quite slippery in the open and caught out plenty of riders that were tired after the long pedal. It was a great decent to have at the end of the stage and people had a grin on their face...after getting their breath back. Riders opted to do this stage at different times of the day, some did it first where some did it last, home town hero Leon Rosser was the only racer that could get under the three minute mark.
The race got stopped early due to extreme winds, safety has to be the main priority for Mini Enduro and Bikepark Wales, but riders still had a great time and everyone enjoyed their last race of the year. Leon Rosser made it a clean sweep in the mens winning all three stages, along with Katy Curd achieving the same in the women's category. Overall, the weather was not our our side but it added another challenge to what was an exiting day of racing.
Everyone at 'Mini Enduro' would like to thank everyone for their continuous support at the races and to everyone that makes it happen, we hope you have a great Christmas and New Year!
See you in 2019.
Video & Blog: Behind the Tape Productions
Photos: Katrina Barlett Photography