Race Report: One Giant Leap Enduro - Llangollen, UK

Jun 21, 2021 at 15:42
by Nick Bentley  


With the ever changing landscape of Covid restrictions and events being put under ever increasing pressure, now is not a time any normal person would think of putting together an Enduro race in just 14 days. To top that off, this race had a slightly different format to other enduro races just to add a bit more complexity (more on that later) but it's fair to say Si Paton is not any normal person. Like we mentioned, as soon as there was a green light to go racing in Wales, Si was off planning this event at One Giant Leap, Llangollen. With only 14 days to make it all happen, it's no surprise that Si was up burning the midnight oil making sure number-boards, medals and the one million other little things that add up to making an event like this a success.

One Giant Leap, Llangollen is a stunning venue for any race and was due to hold a round of the UK National Downhill Series this year if Covid hadn't stopped this from happening. That shows you just how tough the trails are here. This is a full on downhill uplift venue making this Enduro not one for the faint hearted. The racing would take place for the most part over 3 stages, with a 4th stage hosting a downhill style Top 100 Shoot-out for the fastest 100 riders across all categories of the day. This lead to some interesting racing during the mash up style blind morning session with riders checking where they stood in regards to the afternoon showpiece, with more than one rider heading out at 14:30 trying to squeeze their way into the Shoot-out.

This is an interesting concept as it mixes Blind Enduro racing over 3 tough stages with the excitement of one run, Do or Die DH racing, and it seemed to go over really well with the riders.

Like I said this race was pulled together in no time at all, not that you would have noticed with everything running so smoothly all day, which is no surprise as the man at the helm also runs the UK's biggest mountain bike festival the Malverns Classic. However, I think the success of this event was not just down to Si and his event management skills, it was down to the atmosphere that was created. This was an event put on by riders for riders with the principle sponsor Graham Upton, along with Si himself, and 2 of the team for Action Sports Timing who provided the live timing for the day and all actually racing on the day themselves. This kind of atmosphere is not something you can fake, it's either there or it's not.

To that note it's also worth mentioning how amazing the riders were who competed at the Cannondale Enduro, not just with their antics on the track but off it too. There was no litter left at all come pack up time, not even one bag nothing which is amazing to say and the way it should be. Also, when it came time to pack up for the day everyone mucked in, the Men's Elite winner included with Ad Brayton carrying safety barriers from the finish arena still wearing his medal at the end of the day.

Credit has to go to Si and his team for all their hard work. Si did mention there is something else big in the works which we will just have to see what that is!


Thankfully the early forcast of rain disapired and dispite soem light drissle in the moring race day was dry. I know its hard to belive it being wales and all
Thankfully the early forecast of rain disappeared and, despite some light drizzle in the morning, race day was dry. I know it's hard to believe it being Wales and all

alll the talk in the pitts was about tyre pressures and the rocks that lay waighting on the stages read to just rewin your day with a flat
All the talk in the pitts was about tyre pressures and the rocks that lay waiting on the stages ready to just ruin your day with a flat

plenty of dust on bikes today.
Plenty of dust on bikes today.

the riders who chose to use the DH bikes like Thomas Hawkins had a long walk to the top of the climb.
The riders who chose to use the DH bikes, like Thomas Hawkins, had a long walk to the top of the climb.

you know its not been a good run when you come down covered in mud and your fork is round the wrong way. a tough day on the hill for Vit Onodi who sadly didn t manage to finish all 3 stages but does get man points for sending it to flat with his forks the wrong way round
You know it's not been a good run when you come down covered in mud and your fork is the wrong way round. Looked like a tough day on the hill for Vit Onodi who sadly didn't manage to finish all 3 stages but does get man points for sending it to flat with his forks the wrong way round!

Elite women s winner Corinna Brisbourne sending it in to the the end of stage one. this was where so many riders sliped up with the damp of cambler right hand corner clamed many egos and sent riders back up to the top to try again
Elite women's winner Corinna Brisbourne sending it in to the the end of stage one. This was where so many riders slipped up with the damp, off-camber, right hand corner claimed many egos and sent riders back up to the top to try again

Marshells are so often forgotten at races everyone is so concentated on there racing to notice them but with out these people giving up there time to help run these events raceing just wouldnt happen at any level. On behalf of everyone raceing thank you to each of the marshals form this weekend.
Marshals are so often forgotten at races, everyone is so concentrated on their racing to notice them but without these people giving up their time to help run these events. Racing just wouldn't happen at any level. On behalf of everyone racing thank you to each of the Marshals from this weekend.

Some how dispite running the event being the Comentator and proberbly wearign 6 other hats Si Paton managed to get in a lap of the 3 stages and even get on to the podium with a second in the 50 men s race on a downhill bike. with a venue like LLangollen riding a downhill bike was a viable option the climb is brutal up to the stage starts with many riders haveing to push at least one of there climbs to the top there really wasnt much penalty to rideing a DH bike
Somehow despite running the event, being the Commentator and probably wearing 6 other hats, Si Paton managed to get in a lap of the 3 stages and even get on to the podium with a second in the 50+ men's race on a downhill bike. With a venue like Llangollen, riding a downhill bike was a viable option. The climb is brutal up to the start of the stages with many riders having to push at least one of their climbs to the top, there really wasn't much penalty to riding a DH bike

Davi Roberts from Action sports timing manged 5th in the Mens Ebike field as well as running live timing all day for the race top effort also good to see Davi back racing after a massive crash recently racing 4x.
Davi Roberts from Action Sports Timing managed 5th in the Men's E-bike field as well as running live timing all day for the race top effort! Also good to see Davi back racing after a massive crash recently racing 4x.

after the sad news of Gee s crash filming there was soem good news for Athition racing with Dominic Platt taking the win in the 14-16 year old field. even more impressive considering the quality of the riders present Dominic to 9th place in the 100 and a 9th fastest time over all to. not a bad weekends racing for the young rider.
After the sad news of Gee's crash filming there was some good news for Atherton Racing with Dominic Platt taking the win in the 14-16 year old field. Even more impressive considering the quality of the riders present, Dominic to 9th place in the 100 and a 9th fastest time over all, not a bad weekends racing for the young rider.

Top weekend for Ad Brayton not only taking the win in the Elite Men's field, but also taking the win in the Top 100 Shoot-out and recordinging the fastest time of the day over the 3 stages.

Graham Upton not only there repersenting the title sponsers Cannondale as there sports marketing manger but also out racing his bike and having fun to.
Graham Upton not only there representing the title sponsors Cannondale as their Sports Marketing Manager but also out racing his bike and having fun too.

Stage one zig zaged down the Llangollen hill side then down through the trees and out in to the finihs arena. the over night rain dapened down some of the dust making
Stage one zig zagged down the Llangollen hill side then down through the trees and out in to the finish arena. The overnight rain dampened down some of the dust.

Molly james out racing and representing the Navy this weekend. molly was bussing to be back racing before hitting the trails. and with a second place finish in the 19-29 womens field she was still buzzing after to..
Molly James out racing and representing the Navy this weekend. Molly was buzzing to be back racing before hitting the trails and with a second place finish in the 19-29 women's field she was still buzzing after too.

Andrew Lehmann carving his way through the top section of the squirrel trail which made up stage 2 for the race.
Andrew Lehman carving his way through the top section of the Squirrel Trail which made up stage 2 for the race.

Anna Cipullo out working her way through stage 2. Despite her whooping and clearly enjoying her days riding not quite the result the Cannondale Muc-Off Rider was hoping for just missing out on the podium in 4th.
Anna Cipullo out working her way through stage 2. Despite her whooping and clearly enjoying her days riding, not quite the result the Cannondale Muc-Off Rider was hoping for, just missing out on the podium in 4th.

over night rain made the trails run supper grippy and fast on race day.
Overnight rain made the trails run super grippy and fast on race day.

Dan Bishop heading to the classic Llangollen triple drops on his super 100 run a top weekend for Dan after taking the win in the men s 50 field
Dan Bishop heading to the classic Llangollen triple drops on his Top 100 run. A top weekend for Dan after taking the win in the Men's 50+ field

its very hard to Beat the Veiws form the track at Llangollen not that the riders had any time to enjoy them.
It's very hard to beat the views from the track at Llangollen, not that the riders had any time to enjoy them.

I think Dan Farley spoted a penny between the rocks on the super 100 stage wedged between some rocks and decided to take a closer look.
I think Dan Farley spotted a penny between the rocks on the Top 100 stage wedged between some rocks and decided to take a closer look.
Fortuntly Dan was just winned and was able to get up and finish is run.
Fortunately Dan was just winded and was able to get up and finish is run.

Next stop the finish arena
Next stop the finish arena

A good weekend of Riley Scott with a second in the Elite Men's Field and a second in the Top 100.

Joshua Lancett-Edwards chose to ride his Dh bike for the race seems to have worked quite well for the SR suntor rider who finished 3rd in the 14-16 boys field.
Joshua Lancett-Edwards chose to ride his DH bike for the race seems to have worked quite well for the SR Suntour One Vision rider who finished 3rd in the 14-16 boys field.

Oscar powell takeing home 2nd today in the 19-29 mens feild. a top result for someone whos entusiasm is so infectious t really is hard to find another rider who has as much fin on there bike as oscar
Oscar Powell taking home second today in the 19-29 Men's field. A top result for someone whose enthusiasm is so infectious it really is hard to find another rider who has as much fun on their bike as Oscar

A 1st place todday in the Msters field for Bradlie Shields a fantastic result for the dirtworks team rider even more so considering he is currently riding with a heverly ingjured wrist.
A 1st place today in the Master's field for Bradley Shields, a fantastic result for the Dirtworks team rider picking up a wrist injury part way through his race runs.

the race arena looked impressive from up on the hill.
The race arena looked impressive from up on the hill.

Corinna Brisbourne on the send again this time off of the classic ride portugal trail fence jump.
Corinna Brisbourne on the send again, this time off of the classic Ride Portugal trail fence jump.

A change to the normal racing line on stage 2 caught out so many riders today normaly racing at Llangollen on this trail would have sent the riders off the drop to the right of Oliver Smith in this picture. insted there was a fresh cut off peast rooty shoot cut in for the riders to enjoy.
A change to the normal racing line on stage 2 caught out so many riders today. Normally racing at Llangollen, this trail would have sent the riders off the drop to the right of Oliver Smith in this picture.Instead there was a fresh cut off-piste, rooty chute cut in for the riders to enjoy.

Mike Jones keeping it pinned through the afore mentioned shoot. it was a mixed day for the Nukeproof rider with a 5th place in the mens elite feild but taking the 3rd spot on the podium in the supper 100 shoot out.
Mike Jones keeping it pinned through the aforementioned chute. It was a mixed day for the Nukeproof rider with a 5th place in the Men's Elite field but taking the 3rd spot on the podium in the Top 100.

it really was like a juggle though the brecon in the mid section of stage 2
It really was like a jungle through the brecon in the mid-section of stage 2

Ieuan Jones sending it. this really isn t a big jump more of a roller before a right hand bearm on the ride portugal staage not that that was a issue for Ieuan.
Ieuan Jones sending it. This really isn't a big jump, more of a roller, before a right hand berm on the Ride Portugal stage. Not that that was an issue for Ieuan.

Owen Mapleson keeping it pinned on the upper exposed section of stage 2.
Owen Mapleson keeping it pinned on the upper exposed section of stage 2.
James Vaughan Carving his way around the ride Portugal stage
James Vaughan carving his way around the Ride Portugal stage

Nyle Cresswell with his eyes firmly on the track ahead.
Nyle Cresswell with his eyes firmly on the track ahead.

Due to Covid restrictions changing at the french border Sam Dale was unable to travel out the the EWS the loss was the Cannondale Enduros gain with Sam adding to already talent filled mens elite field. with Sam finishing up in 7th in the mend elite feild
Due to Covid restrictions changing at the French border, Sam Dale was unable to travel out the the EWS. The loss was the Cannondale Enduro's gain with Sam adding to already talent filled Men's Elite field. With Sam finishing up in 7th in the Men's Elite field

Glen Coe Looked on it all day changing hard as always.
Glen Coe looked on it all day riding with his usual exuberant riding style.

Becci Skelton with the honour of ridding the number one plate and carging hard as always. we asked Becci what she thought of the event and the top 100 showdown and she had this to say It was great to have Si back in the directors seat Uk racing has definitely missed his energy and attention to detail. The addition of a top 100 finals DH style race was pretty sick made it feel like you got a bit of a 2 for 1 and we love a bargain Shame a few of us girls narrowly missed out on it but it s deffo motivation to get off the brakes
Becci Skelton with the honour of riding the number one plate and charging hard as always. We asked Becci what she thought of the event and the Top 100 shoot-out and she had this to say: “It was great to have Si back in the directors seat, UK racing has definitely missed his energy and attention to detail. The addition of a Top 100 finals DH style race was pretty sick, made it feel like you got a bit of a 2 for 1, and we love a bargain! Shame a few of us girls narrowly missed out on it, but it’s deffo motivation to get off the brakes!”

plenty of armed service riders out sending whihc is alwaysz amazing to see Emily Smith on her way to 2nd in the 30-39 field
Plenty of Armed Service riders out sending it, which is always amazing to see. Emily Smith on her way to 2nd in the 30-39 field

Damian Groves giving his Ohlins suspension a work out with a send off the stepdown on the ride portugal stage
Damian Groves giving his Ohlins Suspension a workout with a send off the stepdown on the Ride Portugal stage

the stepdown on ride portugal looks like your jumping off the edge of the world and in to the Llangollen scenery
The stepdown on Ride Portugal looks like you're jumping off the edge of the World and into the Llangollen scenery

Sam Cofano was charging hard all day and coming away with 10th in the 19-29 field and 36th in the Top 100 Shoot-out. Interestingly if you check out the oil-slick paintjob of Sam s Cannondale it bears a striking resemblance to the image released on Cannondale s social media of the new Jekyll. I remember thinking as Sam charged passed that s a strange looking Cannondale Habit he s riding but thought no more of it.
Sam Cofano was charging hard all day and coming away with 10th in the 19-29 field and 36th in the Top 100 Shoot-out. Interestingly, if you check out the oil-slick paintjob of Sam's Cannondale it bears a striking resemblance to the image released on Cannondale's social media of the new Jekyll. I remember thinking, as Sam charged passed, that's a strange looking Cannondale Habit he's riding but thought no more of it.
It wasn t until I was reviewing images for this article that I came Sam Cofano laying the bike out in his usual stylish manner and it s clear to see the similarity in the oil-slick paint work is no coincidence. This is no Cannondale Habit could this be a pre-production Jekyll . . .
It wasn't until I was reviewing images for this article that I came Sam Cofano laying the bike out in his usual, stylish manner and it's clear to see the similarity in the oil-slick paint work is no coincidence. This is no Cannondale Habit, could this be a pre-production Jekyll . . .?

Leo Frater took 2nd in the 14-16 boys field and then going on to take 8th in the super 100 shoot out. a amazing ride form such a young rider but if you can do stoppies round tight switchbacks with your tounge out rhen anythign is possible
Leo Frater took 2nd in the 14-16 boys field and then going on to take 8th in the Top 100 Shoot-out. An amazing ride from such a young rider but if you can do stoppies round tight switchbacks with your tongue out, then anything is possible!

Calum Hard making light work of the lose bone dry mid section of stage two that looks more like a jungle than north wales.
Callum Hard making light work of the loose, bone-dry mid-section of stage two that looks more like a jungle than North Wales.

After taking 5th in in the 14-16 field Thomas Hawkins got to put the big bike to good use and let it loose on the top 100 shoot out maybe a little to loose with Thomas placing 80th out of the 100 fastest riders still considering the company he was in not a bad effort by the young man.
After taking 5th in the 14-16 field, Thomas Hawkins got to put the big bike to good use and let it loose on the Top 100 Shoot-out. Maybe a little too loose with Thomas placing 80th out of the 100 fastest riders, still considering the company he was in not a bad effort by the young man.

Richard Thomas takeing his shot at the super 100 shootout. this stage had not been ridden by many of the riders and the loose conditions just before the woods really keep them on there toes.
Richard Thomas taking his shot at the Top 100. This stage had not been ridden by many of the riders and the loose conditions just before the woods really kept them on their toes.

Ollie Mant getting it sideways on his way in to a tight switchback on stage 4.
Ollie Mant getting it sideways on his way in to a tight switchback on stage 4.

another forces rider this tiem Emily Smith celebrating her 2nd place finish in the women s 30-39 field with her son its always good to see family s out racing.
Emily Smith celebrating her 2nd place finish in the Women's 30-39 field with her son, it's always good to see families out racing.

Graham Upton was handing out the medals for first place. in this case Sian Dillon who won in the womens 19-29 field.
Graham Upton was handing out the medals for first place. In this case Sian Dillon who won in the Womens 19-29 field.
Andy Ward from Viris eyewear also handing out medals on the podiums
Andy Ward from Viris eyewear also handing out medals on the podiums

the plan was to make this look like Ad was sat in the Pinkbike hotseat but i suspect that it wouldnt have fooled anyone even more so becasue Ad was the last man down the hill in the super 100 final.
The plan was to make this look like Ad was sat in the Pinkbike hot-seat but I suspected it wouldn't have fooled anyone, even more so because Ad was the last man down the hill in the Top 100 final.

The Elite womens winner Corinna Brisbourne chilling out in the Pinkbike hotseat.
The Elite Women's winner Corinna Brisbourne chilling out in the Pinkbike hotseat.

big shout out to the action sports timing team. not only did 2 out of the 3 of there staff attchaly race in the event but they also provided live timing so all the riders could see via scanning the QR code who was where in each catagory and who was in or out of the top 100 shoot out.
Big shout out to the Action Sport's Timing team. Not only did 2 out of the 3 of their staff actually race in the event, but they also provided live timing so all the riders could see via scanning the QR code who was where in each category including who was in or out of the Top 100 Shoot-out.




18 Comments

  • 7 0
 Raise your hand if you ate shit in the ravine section at the bottom of Ride Portugal ‍♂️. LOVED this event and the track, I’ll be back in August for PMBA and get my revenge I hope!
  • 3 0
 Nice, that looked like a "sweet as" event.
Pictures were unreal and the weather joined in too!
makes me want to ge of my ass and grab my bike!!
Congrats to the race organiser/s
  • 4 0
 Agreed, it's been a few years since I last did a race but this gets me excited to enter another one!
  • 2 0
 Awesome report, awesome photos. I would love to do a few races this year. Probably won’t - maybe next year. The shots here are getting me itchy though.
  • 2 0
 I really enjoyed the stages, intimidating but good fun getting down in one piece. Brilliant event We'll done si and your team, one of the best I've rode
  • 1 0
 Heard good things about this race from various entrants. No silly uphill bits in the stages, plenty of tech n flow, well organised. more like this and I'm in back into racing. Well done to the organisers.
  • 2 1
 awesome event! loved racing stage 4 blind at the end of the day in a big ol downhill race. felt like a "normal" event, with regards to covid n that. Top work
  • 2 0
 supper fun event, very well organised. tracks were prime. climb was brutal tho ahah.
  • 2 0
 What an event! The tracks were steep the vibe was chilled and the laps were fun! Cool write up too
  • 1 0
 Great event, well organised with minimal stress and fuss. The tracks were steep and made it great for testing rider, bike against the welsh landscape.
  • 2 0
 Probably the most chilled event I've ever done, hats off to all involved in making it happen.
  • 1 0
 Awesome fun race, thanks to Si and his team plus all the marshals for making this possible, nice write up too. Well in Grandad for the win.
  • 2 0
 Great event! Excellent trails! Can't wait to go back.
  • 2 0
 Great event setting the standard for Llangollen
  • 1 1
 Great event, definitely a fan of the mash up style, makes it more chilled and fun not having to worry about times to get to stages etc
  • 1 0
 Such a cool event, wish we lived closer to the hills so the family could get involved!
  • 1 0
 Lack of party shirts. Sad times.
  • 1 0
 Awesome event - well managed, and a great vibe

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