Race Report and Photos: Racing Returns to the UK at the Southern Enduro Champs 2020

Aug 17, 2020
by Nick Bentley  


Just like that, we are back! The end to a seemingly never-ending halt to racing in the UK due to the Coronavirus pandemic is over. However, with true British style this momentous occasion was greeted with mist and rain. Despite this classic British weather, over 250 riders flocked to compete at the beloved annual event and the Southern Enduro team did not disappoint laying out 10 stages over 2 days.


Day 1 was run on five brutal stages, challenging riders with slippery roots (thanks British weather!), fast chutes, loose berms and some road gaps thrown in for good measure. The weather conditions kept riders on their toes all the way to the final corner with plenty of egos taking a hit by sliding out within touching distance of the finishing line, leaving riders desperately trying to claw back precious seconds.

Being the first event since lockdown, many were nervous about safety measures, but the Southern Enduro crew, as always, surpassed expectations providing socially distanced camping pitches, clean facilities and a safe place to get your caffeine fix. Peace of mind all round which will hopefully pave the way for more UK based races to follow.

The Southern Enduro crew had the two metre social distancing well organised at the start of each stage

Gaps between riders were extended to 60 seconds and 2 metre social distancing put in place in the start queues, all ensured a safe event in the current climate.


This summed up the mood for the day with every just super happy to be back racing
This summed up the mood for the weekend with every rider just super happy to be back racing


Wyn found himself in the masters class without an elite category at this years race with everyone wanting to chase down the World Cup Pro-rider
Wyn found himself in the masters class without an elite category at this year's race, with everyone wanting to chase down the World Cup Pro-rider



Mist dark woods and sniper roots made the technical sections of the stages even harder
Mist, dark woods and sniper roots made the technical sections of the stages even harder.



Riders battled the conditions all day but by the afternoon everyone looked like they had been down at some point.

Smiles all round through the loam of Stage 5
Smiles all round through the loam of Stage 5.


Managing to not slide out on the last corner
Most riders managing to not slide out on the last corner

Was not so lucky to survive the last corner but was still mega happy to be back racing
Some however were not so lucky to survive the last corner, but were still mega happy to be back racing


Riders returned for the second day of excitement on Sunday with five stages including one remodeled stage and one new stage with previously unridden parts of the track. This fresh turf was soon bedded in as those riders who survived Day 1 threw themselves into the competitiveness with some squeaky-bum near misses and several heroic saves on the bike. Thankfully the rain mostly held off today but as the tracks became drier the grippy mud disappeared and loose loam came to surface. The changeable conditions and blind racing clearly didn’t daunt everyone with Becky Cook (Wight Mountain) 21:30:03 taking the fastest women of the weekend spot with Richard Tucker (KustomBikes) the fastest man overall with a time of 19:06:09.


Conditions improved through the day but the day of rain had turned the transition stages into sloppy clay bogs in places making already tiring transitions even tougher on the riders' legs. With restrictions in place on the number of spectators allowed it was good to see the riders getting behind each other and making up for the lack of people spectating.



It is really good to see the women's field growing almost on an event by event basis if your a woman who rides why not give a race a go it's never even half as scary as you think.




Becky Cook looked smooth all weekend and was the fastest woman of the weekend.




The veterans put on a good show all weekend these boys can still shred on a bike.




As always, there was a large field of masters and senior riders but with no elite field this year these classes sore weekend warriors rubbing shoulders with elite riders and even a full factory supported World Cup/EWS pro. This didn't seem to daunt any of the riders and if anything it made them all lift their game. The standard of riding was high from all the riders this weekend.





It was good to see all of the armed forces represented this weekend. As always the inter forces rivalry was out in force.


The fastest man of the day was Richard Tucker who just looked super smooth all weekend seemingly unfazed by the changing conditions throughout the weekend.







It is always amazing to see the hardtail riders take on enduro racing on hardtails however, this clearly wasn't enough of a challenge for Matt Lakin who cam in 3rd in the hardtail class on a hardtail with rigid forks.




Sadly no podiums this weekend due to the Covid-19 restrictions but the winners are below

Results
E-Bike

1st. Ben Baker
2nd. Oliver McKenna
3rd. Adam Ager

Female Vets 40+

1st. Maxine Filby
2nd. Jennifer Purcell


Female Master age 30-39

1st. Becky Cook
2nd. Katie Wakely
3rd. Anna Cipullo

Female Senior age 19-29

1st. Francie Arthur
2nd. Rhiannon Gunner
3rd. Adam Ager


Female under 18s

1st. Eme Cosh
2nd. Aoife Bakovic
3rd. Imogen Rabani

Super Veteran age 50+

1st. John Cobb
2nd. Johnathan Tarr
3rd. Mike Norman


Veteran age 40-49+

1st. Oliver Mckenna
2nd. Chris Blackmore
3rd. Simon Comer

Master age 30-39+

1st. Ross Hancock
2nd. Sam Shucksmith
3rd. Ash Mullane


Senior age 18-29

1st. Richard Tucker
2nd. Jono Jones
3rd. Luke Williams

Hardtails

1st. Linford Mill
2nd. Tom Dunn
3rd. Matt Lakin


under 14s

1st. Oscar Griffiths
2nd. George Cotsworth-Smith
3rd. Felix Griffiths

Fun

1st. Mark Robson
2nd. Jaibez Macriner
3rd. Wills Rawlins


Lastly a massive thanks and congratulations to the Southern Enduro team who put on an amazing event with can't have been easy to do in the current climate. So please do support them and maybe enter one or more of there future events.

https://southernenduro.co.uk/


39 Comments

  • 15 0
 I can't believe he didn't Wyn it
  • 20 0
 Wyn (Didn't win Masters) Masters
  • 4 0
 It maybe rigid, but it ain't frigid - such a fun bike to ride!... Stooge Cycles, progressive 29ers. This one is the Mk4.
  • 1 0
 It looks really fun. I want a go at some point.
  • 2 0
 I couldn't believe it when you came past me on Stage 4. Had to double take that it was a rigid! Top respect!
  • 1 0
 10 stages - sounds brutal. how many vert gain and overall miles/km? Wyn surely would have pumped up some of the elites..way to push hard to all. Fastest stage 10 for all categories - nice finish Wyn...
  • 2 0
 It's a short course for this one, we had to stick to the private land in the area this year due to CV19.
Over the 2 days:
10 stages
14miles
4400ft
All the stages were about 2mins long.
  • 1 0
 @SouthernEnduro: cool - thx. sounds fun for sure.
  • 1 0
 Awesome weekend guys thanks for the hard work organising! Yes I was one of those who crashed on the last corner, race day excitement got the better of me.
Are there any more photos available? @Mandownmedia
  • 2 0
 Hey I think there was a lot of egos destroyed on that last corner all the images are available on www.rootsandrain.com go check them out ????????
  • 1 0
 Not sure why it turned my thumbs up in to loads of question marks haha
  • 5 2
 I hear he's moved to the UK now? Will have to get used to roots and mud!!
  • 8 1
 No shortage of that here
  • 2 0
 Am i being blind? Or does it not mention anywhere the location of the race? other than UK?
  • 1 0
 it must have been pretty hard race, you can see so much tension on their faces. great pictures by the way.
  • 1 0
 I think the mud and roots took there toll through the weekend !! I’m glad you enjoy the photos !
  • 2 0
 Write-up didn't even mention where it took place...
  • 1 0
 It took place in the seaside town of Minehead in Somerset. I marshalled Sunday and there was some fantastic riding on show. Excellent event put on by Southern Enduro once again.
  • 2 0
 Minehead, south of Bristol along the coast it seems...
  • 1 0
 Yeah my bad! Trust me it’s a very long day when you put these thing together ! Can’t believe I missed that out though as the guys said it was in Minehead in the South West of the uk.
  • 1 0
 @Mandownmedia: Sorry if I came off as dismissive. Looks an absolute blast, nothing beats roots and mud for a challenge
  • 1 0
 @harriieee: haha no not at all I just can’t believe I forgot that !!
  • 1 0
 @Mandownmedia: Excellent write up and cracking photos! ????
  • 1 0
 What the hell is the 'Fun' classification??
  • 2 0
 A category for people whos taking part in enduro racing for the first or second time.
  • 1 0
 @kiksy: or "no chrono"?
  • 4 0
 Fun is a really important category. It gives first time races an opportunity to see what it's all about without to much pressure. They go at the end and do have to worry about holding anyone up too.
  • 3 0
 We call it the Clif Enduro Lite Class
  • 1 0
 @SouthernEnduro: It also gives people the opportunity to ride with their mates.
  • 1 0
 @kiksy: That is such a good idea.Brilliant!
  • 1 0
 Love the rigid fork. Probably a Stooge.
  • 1 0
 Certainly is - Mk4
  • 1 0
 Great write up and pictures @man_down_media
  • 2 0
 Thanks guys such a good event !! I can’t imagine how much work had to go in to get this on !!
  • 1 0
 Good to see those smiles!
  • 1 0
 my eyes also go like that when i double drop
  • 1 0
 So good!
  • 1 0
 Great pics.

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