Video & Race Report: Mini Enduro Round 1 - Afan Forest

Jun 14, 2021
by Nick Bentley  


The Haibike Mini Enduro series has been a firm riders favourite for years and it's easy to see why! The well organised event with a relaxed atmosphere makes it a place to race even when it isn't sunny, but it was this Sunday. The series has moved from it's normal home of the Forest of Dean to Wales' Afan Forest. The Mini Enduro series has been the place many riders have taken their first steps into Enduro racing in the UK. They are such important races, where first time riders can race along side some of the UK's fastest Elite Enduro racers and still have fun. If you want to try racing for the first time check out the Haibike Mini Enduro series, you won't be disappointed!

At this round there were 4 stages for the riders to ride as many times as they wanted within the 5 hour window of the mash up format.

The trails started out in the bike park with 2 stages that were smooth and fast flowing incorporating some of the bike park. Stages 3 and 4 were a long climb up passed the legendary Afan 4x track and up into the forest. This was a big climb but came with a big reward as stage 3 riders were treated to a long, twisting, dry and dusty Welsh single trail which left riders grinning from ear to ear by the end.

Stage 4, however, was a more serious challenge with the end of the stage being made up of the technical black graded trail 'Six Feet Under' which kept even the Elite riders on their toes.

Its True what they say Wales never fails Afan Forest truly is a beautiful place to ride a bike racing or otherwise
It's true what they say, Wales never fails. Afan Forest truly is a beautiful place to ride a bike, racing or otherwise!

This way to the racing.
This way to the racing.

always good to see the race tape back out this year.
Always good to see the race tape back out this year.

Its been a while since the start beeps had echoed around the welsh countryside. E-BIKE WARNING Dominic Morgan powing out of the start on his way to 2nd in the E-Bike feild. Im sure I don t need to repeat the ebike statement if in doubt see above.
It's been a while since the start beeps had echoed around the Welsh countryside. E-BIKE WARNING! Dominic Morgan powering out of the start on his way to 2nd in the E-Bike field. Any E-Bikes found to be modified or chipped meant disqualification for it's rider and as always E-Bikes only raced other E-Bikes.

Rowena Duffield one of the many women out racing today the mini enduros are perfect for rider making there way in racing or for anyone looking to race in a laid back atmosphere.
Rowena Duffield: one of the many women out racing today. The Mini Enduros are perfect for riders making their way in racing or for anyone looking to race in a laid back atmosphere.


In the 30-39 men s field Joe Taylor took home the win.
In the 30-39 Men's field Joe Taylor took home the win.

Leo Frater with the win in the 13-17 field its amazing to see these kids ride they just get faster and faster in fact Leo posted the 7th fastest time of the day in the whole men s feild.
Leo Frater with the win in the 13-17 field. It's amazing to see these kids ride, they just get faster and faster - in fact Leo posted the 7th fastest time of the day in the whole men's field.

Edward Jones enjoying stage 3 s twists and turns.
Edward Jones enjoying stage 3's twists and turns.

Is there anywhere better than twistign welsh single track on a sunny summers day. Cai Grocott was clearly enjoying it taking home second in the elite men s field.
Is there anywhere better than twisting Welsh single track on a sunny summers day? Cai Grocott was clearly enjoying it taking home second in the Elite Men's field.

Todd Buchanan of pinned TV fame had a funday out riding with is dad.
Todd Buchanan of Pinned TV fame had a fun day out riding with his dad.

Speaking of Todd s Dad not a bad day out for Pinned Tv s Jim Buchanan who took 3rd in the E-Bike field Sorry i forgot E-BIKE WARNING Do i need to say it again Any E-Bikes found to be modified or chipped ment disqualification for its rider and as always E-Bikes only raced other E-Bikes.
Speaking of Todd's Dad, not a bad day out for Pinned TV's Jim Buchanan who took 3rd in the E-Bike field. Sorry I forgot E-BIKE WARNING! Do I need to say it again? Any E-Bikes found to be modified or chipped meant disqualification for it's rider and as always E-Bikes only raced other E-Bikes.

E-BIKE WARNING I ll just leave the next bit here Any E-Bikes found to be modified or chipped ment disqualification for its rider and as always E-Bikes only raced other E-Bikes. Alex Hoole was out having a blast on his ebike despite his serious face.
E-BIKE WARNING! I'll just leave the next bit here! Any E-Bikes found to be modified or chipped meant disqualification for it's rider and as always E-Bikes only raced other E-Bikes. Alex Hoole was out having a blast on his ebike despite his serious face.

Anthony Lewis took the win in the 40-49 mens field even with dropping his chain literally seconds after this shot. The mash up format really works in this situation. if you have the legs and the lungs to his the climb back up to the start of the stage you can as long as you get at least one run on each stage before the time limit of the end of the race.
Anthony Lewis took the win in the 40-49 Men's field even with dropping his chain literally seconds after this shot. The mash up format really works in this situation. If you have the legs and the lungs to redo the climb back up to the start of the stage you can hit the stage again, as long as you get at least one run on each stage before the time limit of the end of the race.

Who says its always raining in Wales it was 26 degrees all race day and the trials where running fast and loose However that didn t stop Rachel Draper splashing her way though the only puddle on the stages today.
Who says it's always raining in Wales? It was 26 degrees all race day and the trails were running fast and loose. However, that didn't stop Rachel Draper splashing her way though the only puddle on the stages today.

Damian Groves not fazed by the change from the red trail to the black graded 6ft under trail.
Damian Groves' not fazed by the change from the red trail to the black graded 'Six Feet Under' trail.

Cannondale s Rhiannon Gunner took home the win in the 18-29 womens field.
Cannondale's Rhiannon Gunner took home the win in the 18-29 Women's field.

Corinna Brisbourne taking the straight line over the rocks.
Corinna Brisbourne taking the straight line over the rocks.

Its not a uk enduro with out some mad men on hardtails Martin Emmerton was king of those mad men taking the win in the mens hard tail field.
It's not a UK Enduro without some mad men on hardtails. Martin Emmerton was king of those mad men taking the win in the Men's Hardtail field.

Fikretcan Ciftci keeping his eyes fixed on the loose root infested trail ahead.
Fikretcan Ciftci keeping his eyes fixed on the loose root infested trail ahead.

Lawrence Jones keeping it pinned on his way to 4th in the 30-39 field.
Lawrence Jones keeping it pinned on his way to 4th in the 30-39 field.

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Haibike Mini Enduro Round 1 - Afan, 2021 Highlights thanks to @Behindthetapeproductions

Afan Forest in the sun is a site to behold.
Afan Forest in the sun is a site to behold.

Lindsay Hanley making her way though the lose dry conditions at the end of stage 4.
Kelly Frost making her way through the loose dry conditions at the end of stage 4.

The views at Afan are always stunning not that the riders had time to look at them.
The views at Afan are always stunning, not that the riders had time to look at them.

Declan Marsden using all the width of the rack on stage 1. a solid days racing got Declan a 3rd in the 18-29 mens feild.
Declan Marsden using all the width of the track on stage 1. A solid days racing got Declan a 3rd in the 18-29 Men's field.

Emily Ashwood with the 2nd today in the elite womens field
Emily Ashwood with the 2nd today in the Elite Women's field

Stage 1 was a flat out sprint fest with not alot of elevation change.
Stage 1 was a flat out sprint fest with not alot of elevation change.

Suns out party shirt out for Anthony Birch-Hurst
Suns out, party shirt out for Anthony Birch-Hurst

Katie Wakely sending it on stage 2 and finishing 2nd in the women s elite field.
Katie Wakely sending it on stage 2 and finishing 2nd in the Women's Elite field.

Richard Colman hitting the roots on stage 3.
Richard Colman hitting the roots on stage 3.

Hope Factory Racings Ffion James swapped here XC bike from last week to her Enduro bike and was the fastest woman of the day and the elite women s winner.
Hope Factory Racings Ffion James swapped her XC bike from last week to her Enduro bike and was the fastest woman of the day and the Elite Women's winner.

the fastest man of the day and the elite men s winner was Leigh Johnson.
The fastest man of the day and the Elite Men's winner was Leigh Johnson.

Noah Tiley one of the many juniors racing these kids did not stop I ve never seen so many laps put in. .
Noah Tiley one of the many juniors racing these kids did not stop, I've never seen so many laps put in.

Theo Richards was out putting in the laps and loving life all day
Theo Richards was out putting in the laps and loving life all day

Lucy Vass out having a good time on her bike itn the Fun womens field.
Lucy Vass out having a good time on her bike in the Fun Womens field.

Archie Box finished 3rd in the elite men s field. unfortunately an mechanical put an end to the Dirtworks team riders hunt for for precious seconds on stage 4 at the end of the day.
Archie Box finished 3rd in the Elite Men's field. Unfortunately a mechanical put an end to the Dirtworks team riders hunt for precious seconds on stage 4 at the end of the day.

E-BIKE WARNING Liz Greaves making her way through some classic welsh single track on stage 3. Any E-Bikes found to be modified or chipped ment disqualification for its rider and as always E-Bikes only raced other E-Bikes.
E-BIKE WARNING!!! Liz Greaves making her way through some classic Welsh single track on stage 3. I'm sure I don't need to repeat the ebike statement if in doubt see above.

Andrew Titley laughing his way to 2nd in the 40-49 men s field these old boys can ride for sure
Andrew Titley laughing his way to 2nd in the 40-49 Men's field these old boys can ride for sure!

Redhill Extremes Matt Pugh out having fun racing and pulling funny faces as he goes.
Redhill Extreme's Matt Pugh out having fun racing and pulling funny faces as he goes.

Stage 4 finished on the black graded trail 6ft under meaning in the loose fast conditions this was a sign the all the riders were realived to see. that is untill they realised that the end of stage 4 was the lowest point of the race stages meaning onre long climb in 26 degree heat lay ahead of them from here.
Stage 4 finished on the black graded trail 'Six Feet Under' meaning in the loose, fast conditions this was a sign the all the riders were relieved to see. That is until they realised that the end of stage 4 was the lowest point of the race stages meaning one long climb in 26 degree heat lay ahead of them from here.

Credit has to go to the team at the Haibike Mini Enduro for putting on a really well run event in a tough climate for event organisers .




11 Comments

  • 1 0
 Ace day, great stages, awesome write up and snaps. Rad to be back between the tapes. Massive thanks to all the marshals, first aiders, event staff and photographers, must have been a struggle in that heat roll on the next one
  • 3 0
 genuinly interested. How many, if any moded ebikes where found?
  • 4 0
 None were found to be cheating of the chipped bikes we checked. Times on the stages are monitored in the timing softwear during the day and it flags up any unexpected times. If someone was cheating they were pretty slow.
  • 1 0
 @nakedracing: cheers for the reply, good to know!
plenty of chipped ebikes round our way
  • 3 0
 @nojzilla: yep it’s a hell of problem just ALL organisers to check and ban them not openly encourage people to race them. Just putts genuine riders off racing them.
  • 1 0
 It was great to be back racing again, I did crap but I had a lot of fun being crap lol
  • 1 0
 Good fun stages....please come closer to the Midlands
  • 1 0
 Tidy!
  • 1 1
 I wouldn't mind knowing that either. I stopped racing e bikes as it was obvious that there was a lot of chipped bikes and organisers were doing nothing about it.
  • 1 0
 Wish I couldve gone!
  • 1 0
 wish i could of gone but couldn't get their but the team I'm apart of did quite well





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