British Enduro Series Cancelled for 2017

Jan 5, 2017 at 4:18
by Pinkbike Staff  

Cannondale British Enduro Series

In a statement released earlier today on the British Enduro Series Facebook page, Si Paton announced that due to a number of circumstances the series would be cancelled for the upcoming season:

bigquotes It is with great regret to inform you that the 2017 BES is to be cancelled due to a number of factors.

The series was a great success in many ways, riders benefited from; Live Timing, 7k cash in prize money, Free Race Support from Shimano, SRAM, Hope Technology, Crankbrothers, onsite retailer Tred-Shop and GT85 with their Bike Wash, Air Hoses and Lube Station and a large media presence. The downfall was the number of riders entering, as low as 120 at Afan round 3. We appreciate the series was diluted with UK Enduro taking a slice of the riders and when that folded we offered all of their riders a free entry to the BES but even that never really worked.

We were all geared up for a successful 2017 season but with the recent loss of a few key sponsors that we have been unable to replace and very low rider entry numbers to date. Then note the series, unfortunately, lost a lot of money last year and the time constraints involved in the running of the series. The stress and pressure that has delivered as you can imagine has sent my personal family life beyond breaking point, which I need to repair being the father of two young children.

It was a real pleasure to meet all of the riders last year at the events and I am deeply saddened that I have failed to deliver to you. I would like to highlight the work done by the British Enduro Series team and marshals that delivered last season. Their commitment, hard work and unwavering attention to detail, allowed us to safely and successfully deliver the events. All riders currently entered will be refunded in full including the online booking fees. Active Network the online payment company will refund everyone directly for both the race fee and booking fee in two separate transactions. Anyone who took out Booking Protect will also be refunded in full. Please note this will take several days to be completed.

Yours in Sport.
- Si Paton

More news to follow.


MENTIONS: @si-paton

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83 Comments

  • + 204
 Before the trolls hit hard....thats a shame for the racers but a honest press release and respect for that Smile all the best si with everything! It took some balls to give right reasons for cancelling and not some bull shit.good on you.
  • + 103
 Can't blame a man for putting his family first. Si's been doing wonders for UK MTB for years.
  • + 14
 @icklerachy couldn't agree more.

I'm gutted as i had booked a few, but for the reasons listed, and that he planned the cancellation and will be issuing full refunds - how can we complain.

Other companies (no names) would have simply folded and disappeared with the money.......!

Its a huge shame, but fully respect the reasons.
  • + 17
 Authenticity and transparency for the win. #respect
  • - 3
 We remember a time when races were put on with next to no funding now we live in a society where its based on money and sponsors to get things up and running not pure passion for the sport where everyone puts in including riders, mechanics and anyone who loves this shit.
  • + 5
 @chaosoner: That is fine for the occasional local race but this was for the UK National series, meant to be a premier event.

Si has ran the BDS (DH) series for years and as its a full time occupation himself and team must make a living, how else is the mortgage paid?

I am sure we will see smaller enduro races in the UK that are almost as you describe but even that wont happen if entry numbers are so low, think of the costs like medics, insurance, course construction and taping, marshalling, toilets, security (yes really)

It is a real shame to hear, Si doesnt need to be so honest though, a race isnt a charity and his family life is personal, all we need to know is that nobody is entering and the sponsors have gone.

Lets hope 2018 brings something together, pretty poor show for Enduro racing though which was supposedly so popular.
  • + 45
 Interesting that Pinkbike seems to have removed "Brexit is hitting the marketing budgets hard" from the official press release...
  • + 5
 Yep, even Bikeradar were able to quote honestly:
"We were all geared up for a successful 2017 season but with the recent loss of a few key sponsors that we have been unable to replace (Brexit is hitting the marketing budgets hard)..."
  • - 9
flag zorba73 (Jan 5, 2017 at 18:58) (Below Threshold)
 Maybe 'Brexit' wasn't to blame. Seems like 'Brexit' gets conveniently blamed for everything that goes wrong or fails now. It's refreshing when people stand up and state facts when something doesn't go to plan, which is exactly what Si done. Fair play.
  • + 15
 @zorba73: You misunderstand, Si did blame Brexit in his original statement, Pinkbike removed it.
  • + 10
 wow, that's shocking. I'd like to hear the editorial decision for this @pinkbike.
  • + 3
 Thanks, Obama...
  • + 0
 @ReformedRoadie: haha, nicely done
  • + 2
 @zorba73: I agree Brexit does get thrown about a lot here. Wish they would just get on with it.
  • + 24
 Being involved with a race dh series has really highlighted how much of a struggle it is to keep these races running.

Every event we need anywhere between 20 to 30 volunteers.

Every month we need a minimum of 5 people on the committee to run everything and no-one receives a penny for it - the people involved are all working full time so its insane that the series even runs. I have been on ours for 4+ years and keep trying to leave but noone is willing to step up. This rest of the committee have been here much longer than me and are in the same boat.

To give people an idea of the cash involved:

DH events we break even... barely. (We dont pay any volunteers or receive any profits - it all goes back to the club).

Enduro events are our cash cow. We can make anywhere between 10 to 30k on these events.

However what people need to recognise is that those profits entirely rely on volunteers - not one penny gets given to any person for work done. If we had to pay the 20 - 30 volunteers they could each get $1,000 for the weekend which for the hours involved and stress is simply not worth it. And this would leave nothing for the people putting it all on the line.

I have to wonder if a club style mechanic would be better suited for a UK enduro series - sure its hard finding volunteers but you are not putting the sole pressure in one or two individuals like Si who risk losing their house if it all goes to pot.

If anyone has any questions about racing clubs and how they are run let me know and i will try ask them as best i can, otherwise please think of the post when you are complaining about the lack of races being run.

Well done to Si for everything he has done - I cant imagine the stress of trying to run a series for profits : (
  • + 25
 I should add that perhaps the UK should consider the same method that MTBA do over here in Australia.

Lease out the National Enduro series to all the separate countries DH race series organisers (NI, SCO, ENG, WAL)

That way each DH series gets to hold one enduro event a year, and its nothing but pure cashflow into each race series.

Buy one timing equipment and share it. No uplift costs. Money back into the clubs and trails...
  • + 5
 @speedyjonzalas: you've just earned yourself a follower
  • + 2
 @speedyjonzalas: nice idea,

the www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=grassroots%20enduro%20series grassroots enduro series in Southern Ireland is operatig on that basis, will be one shared timing system/website etc but the events will be ran by clubs
  • + 4
 That's roughly how the EWS came to life right?

Just need that all important person/team willing to step into the roll...

There's 2 successful welsh Series, a few in England that i'm aware off and a Scottish. Unsure of Ni...
But if every promoter was willing to host a "British" round keeping the prices inline with what is working for them now that's it sorted right??

Easy haha
  • + 1
 @willaasss: I'd be willing to do this. But I havent got the foggiest where to start
  • + 1
 @speedyjonzalas: that's piggyback series
  • + 2
 this sounds like something that BEMBA (British Enduro Mountain Bike Association) should be able to organise. Or at least it should be organised through them maybe by a team of volunteers willing to put in the time.

The same format that the EWS use could be implemented where they seem to effectively cherry pick existing events to make up an international series. As mentioned there are enough great events in the UK to make up a solid national series.

My suggested approach:
- BEMBA call for volunteers to make up national organising team
- BEMBA national organising team call for suggestions from prospective racers - I think racers should get a say in their own national series and so sending out a questionnaire type form to collate ideas would go down well and ensure a good format first time round (e.g. adding a national series category to all events similar to how some events have 'pro' and 'fun' categories)
- BEMBA national organising team pick national events from those series who want to be involved
- National series website setup and updated each round
  • + 2
 @Cefn: shavings... right...

First thing id do if it was me would be to contact Si and Steve Parr. They've both run the series for the past few years. They've both bowed out mind so whether they'd be willing to pass on any info is their own business, Neither need to or are obliged too..

Second, do some research on all the regional series and contact all that you think would work.

If anyone actually says yes your going to need a meeting with all parties, they will obvs know how to run an event get permission to use land, pay for land, have their own timing contracts, safety and so on, i'm sure there's lots more that goes on than anyone who hasn't run one thinks about.

You'll need to decide whether to set up new stand alone events or use a round of the already set up series's that goes towards an overall series. What kind of trails these are going to be run on...

Then there's the whole British cycling federation...

And you'd need to create a company i'd imagine to handle money and sponsorship issues so everything's legal...

I imagine the list is endless... haha
  • + 1
 @willaasss: an endless list and neither previous owners obliged to hand over info and tbh after that statement I wouldn't want to ask. So I'll stay not knowing where to start.
  • + 13
 I'm no racer, by any means, so naturally this doesn't bother me in the slightest. However, it is refreshing to see a statement made that smells like the truth. Rather than being vague about 'local concerns' or some other equally dispondent tripe. Big up the man hope he can get his family sorted.
  • + 6
 A real shame a lot of competition from other series out there these days, though, the price was high but for a decent 2 day event it was pretty fair I thought. A national series needs to be just a step down from EWS, that means long technical stages, big transitions too, trail centre stages just dont cut it, which means a dig team putting in the man hours throughout the year to get the venues ready. It also needs to be national, races spread accross the country. It has to be really good to justify all that expense of traveling, especialy as fuel prices are now rising. A lot of input from local series under BEMBA, especially as BC have walked away- they got HSBC sponsorship for BDS!
  • + 1
 Having competed in both the BES at AE forest last year, and the EWS in Ireland, i would have to say I found the BES much more challenging... Whether that is because of the format you have to race, with practice 3 stages, then race same 3 stages in the afternoon...? Perhaps thats why the BES is struggling for entries, with a different race format?
  • + 8
 enduro was a fad.
Its all about free riding nowWink
  • + 4
 Nowt but respect for a press release, honest statement and one as soon as it could be given into the new year/season.

Committing early doors to races takes commitment as although one race at £70+ is pricey, it sounds like what is needed is multiple commitments to make sure the series is financially viable (understandably!). That either means you need to be committed or sponsored to do that and, given that entries opened so close to Christmas, I doubt there were many that could do that.

Ard Rock being the exception, the only other series I have seen sell out is the Mini DH which is a grass roots type event. I fully respect anyone trying to put on a national level enduro event but can't help but think that the inevitable paraphernalia that was needed to MAKE IT a national event meant it needed too much time, effort, commitment and cost to make it work.

Ultimately I think that the desire for racing on terrain other than established trails and trail centres means that the work, permission and cost associated with digging up (literally) new courses has taken its toll. Its a viscous cycle as Strava means you can race for free at a trail centre, so why pay money to actually race, whereas people want to race on harder, faster, newer trails but don't want to fork out the (relatively small) expense for doing so.

I don't think UK enduro is dead, just (still) finding its identity.
  • + 4
 Top Enduro racing in Northern Ireland (and South), run by a great team of trail builders. 5 confirmed races throughout the season. Timing chips, sponsors, brilliant tracks, and great craic. Get yourselves over on the ferry for the weekend and you will NOT be disappointed!

Disappointing for the British series being cancelled but always important to remember there are humans behind these events, people are quick to complain and not support.
  • + 4
 So no national level series for the guys who don't live in Scotland now that both UK and British enduro series have gone? That's a shame. Was hoping to race some of these this coming season as I am getting a little bored of the stages in the Welsh gravity. As said though, thanks for the honest press release and good luck in the future.
  • + 3
 Can't point on what's wrong with Enduro racing in the UK, some events seem to be hugely popular (ardrock) and on the other hand we see these series dropping like flies, look at Dyfi, the venue could easily be on the EWS calendar but you can't find more than 150 people to go and race there, such a shame...
  • + 1
 It strikes me that they could have a British Enduro series by awarding series points in collaboration with the most popular independent yearly events (such as the Ard Rock for instance). That way there could be a unified series with an overall winner for the year, making the most of an already established network of events.
  • + 2
 Also, fair play to Si, no one is in any doubt about how much he does for mountain bike racing in the UK, nothing but respect.
  • + 3
 Real shame but an honest statement.Family first Simon.

Surely downhill race weekends could have a mini enduro event?.. everything's set up,insurance,timing,toilets etc.
Just do a two day afternoon round where you practice on the Saturday then race Sunday.
Spectators get to watch dh in the day and enduro in the eve.... Dhuro series ????

Oh and win the lotto.
  • + 2
 This is unfortunate news, I'm surprised each years number of entries were not expected to rise enough for it to work, can see it being a mammoth task organising a big race series.

My thoughts are what's really needed is small local races not necessarily "Enduro" or DH a halfway house sort of thing that don't try to be big events, the mountain bike equivalent of the weekly roadies time trials. What would be wrong with say Aston hill or Swinley doing a summer two weekly small scale race, tape off one trail for an hour (30 entries, 2 minute intervals) no proper timing equipment except a radio and a stop watch. Man at each end of the course, riders go from on the hour every two mins. An hour and job done, events like that are easy as you just take turns being timer or marshal. Club members pay £3 and get preference to race non members £5 if there are spare places. That's how roadies manage to have weekly club time trials. A lot more people would get into proper big scale racing if there were more fun races about like that so see how they fair. Lots of people are just to intimidated by the 'race scene' to actually enter races.
  • + 1
 Love this idea! Just a evening, one stage "miniDH" event. Could even do a couple laps and then its a "miniEnduro"! Wink

I guess one issue is insurance, that would bump up the cost straight away? Totally agree that it would help get more people to give it a go.
  • + 1
 @kiksy: Having been an Enduro/DH mountain bike race series committee member I can tell you it is insurance that is hard to get organised. 3 years ago it was easy, plenty of options, then I think in 2015 there were a few large claims and since then the insurance companies have been burnt and don't want to know. It's now very specialised and much more expensive.
  • + 1
 @philstone: this is probably the root cause of all of the problems. Insurers are a*sholes.
  • + 2
 absolute shame they recently announced that you could get entry to EWS on the back of your BES results so i wonder what will happen to that now. An idea would be to have one of each independents enduro series around the country to host one British round each..
  • + 1
 Haha I just commented pretty much the same thing in reply to another comment about 2 comments up before I got to yours... nevertheless, that makes sense!
  • + 4
 Look on the bright side. There's HSBC British Downhill Series, HSBC British 4X, Scottish Downhill, Scottish Enduro Series... plenty of racing for 2017.
  • + 8
 Top racing north of the border
  • + 8
 @enduroFactory: Yeh man. The SDA guys do a phenomenal job.
  • + 7
 @thestigmk1: I second that - they even keep bog roll at the top if you need a pre-race pressure-relieving shit. And they keep it fun. What more can you ask for?
  • + 3
 @pbuser2759: Does it come with vegan bum butter?
  • + 1
 @MMOF: ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
  • + 1
 I looked into organising an event (totally unrelated to bikes) and got the shock of my life when the insurance quote came through. No idea what the insurance would have been but from my experience I bet it was the thick end of £10,000 for a weekend event.
  • + 1
 This is a real press release. Si shows he is a real person who lives a real life that he cares about outside of the BES. It's all very unfortunate obviously, but like others have said, the honesty he offers up here is far better to see rather than the vague, neutral statements we often see from media representatives. Good on ya.
  • + 1
 Time for some bike companies to invest. The LBS can also get involved along with cycling clubs but the bike companies and component companies should start attending these local events too. Interbike is a flop for most bike manufacturers as they spend hundreds of thousands for this event and do not get the public involved. I have spoken to a few and they no longer attend as they find it a waste of $$. They do demo days but no reason these cannot be at these sorts of events. Perhaps they could use those $$$ to sponsor the local series events and even show up with some bikes to showcase. These are your customers.

Si, spend time and work on your personal and family life and with enough social pressure, the bike manufacturers, etc. may get involved and even help lower the cost of entry for the riders. Reach out to them and their marketing teams and let them know what you're doing. Hopefully, they will listen and become part of this series. I take it that some of those companies that are no longer sponsoring may have been these companies but seriously,. they need to invest in these events.
  • + 2
 Big respect the Si and the other organizers. It's a real shame it's had to fold. I do hope a national series of the same standard can be set up and sustained. Family always comes first....
  • + 1
 That's a real shame for people wanting to race at a top level in the UK, The series looked to be heading to some top venues this year so pretty gutted! Can see people scrambling for the Scottish series now! Will Steve Parr make a return??
  • + 1
 only the organisers called it elite and top level, doesn't mean it was.
  • + 1
 @poah: Doesn't sound like you'd race anyway because you're too tight to pay £60 entry fee for a two day event! Even though there's marshals to pay for and a load more other costs involved that we wouldn't know about! Also it was the top series in the UK, when it was run as the UKGE you had all the top UK elite riders racing, Dan Atherton, Donny, Greg Callaghan, Mark Scott the list goes on, just take a look on roots and rain from few past years result sheets! A lot of those boys undoubtedly focused their efforts more on the EWS now, so maybe the numbers have dwindled a bit. As for the insurance thing, Steve Parr had to enforce that rule and full face helmet to make the series work that year, and i'm sure that was scrapped last year when Si took over running the British Enduro! Like @Kimbers said the UK series should be top level racing on tracks that are going to challenge people, (not race a trail centre red route climb backwards) help them to progress and to use as stepping stone to the EWS if that's where they want to go! if not there are plenty of gras roots one day series people can enter to get them into the swing of enduro! I for one am gutted the series in being cancelled, it's a real shame but family comes first in any situation so good luck to Si. i'll be trying to get an entry for a couple of the SES rounds and happily pay £60 entry fee, those guys seem like they've got it sussed up there for enduro!
  • + 1
 I don't "race" because of the cost and the fact that I can ride the courses for free when I want. I've also got little interest in racing against the clock as well, thats not what I ride for.

race fee was £75 for the 2 day event plus travel plus accomodation so yes if thats the case I'm too tight to spend that amount of money.

costs come first according to that release, they couldn't get the number of people to cover the cost/make profit, the family comment came second.
  • + 2
 Real shame for a U.K. Enduro series to have to cancel, massive respect to Si for all he's done a thankless task no doubt with many more moaners/whiners than people thankful for his efforts.
  • + 1
 not surprised, too expensive and far too much to travel for a lot of people. I could easily travel to all the SES races if I wanted to but even that is £60 for an entry which is too much for my monthly pocket sadly.
  • + 4
 @poah Welsh gravity enduro series this year is £45, for 1 day of racing on 3 stages. British enduro was £75 for 2 days of racing over 6 stages. Seems to be a fair price considering?
  • + 0
 its still only 6 stages and 2 days means more out lay cash to race the whole thing. Cost just isn't the entry fee. Their insurance rule was also stupid and people where put off with the FF requirment too. There were complaints about the elitist attitude of the organisers and the lack of variation in some of the stages year to year.
  • + 3
 @danmr: £75 takes the piss. Look at the continent, 3 days at Passportes for €80 including food and uplifts, 1 week megavalanche €75 the same for mountain of hell. Is it any wonder why they couldn't get more to sign up?
  • + 4
 @yeti-monster: I cannot comment on how French events cost so little comparatively, but in the UK to run an event for the price these teams of guys do is phenomenal.
As mentioned above the checklist of things required to run an event is immense and all these things cost significant amount of money.
The people running the events are not rolling in cash and laughing at the punters, they are working their bollox off day in day out to plan, organise and run the event weeks, months and sometimes a year ahead. On the actual event weekend the level of work undertaken goes through the roof - EU working time directive managers would have heart failure if they saw the hours these people put in over a weekend.
So do not bitch about the cost of UK events compared to Europe when you do not understand what it costs and the effort it takes to organise and run one of these events.
  • + 0
 @soulrider75: The continental model has the backing of the local community so are able to run at cost as it brings in business for restaurant's, bars etc. They look at the holistic approach.
I bitch as I am involved in grass roots racing charging £15 per race......with chip timing, marshalling, race control and prizes.
I'm not against business making a profit, just pointing out why people don't sign up at that price.
  • + 4
 Bummer but respect for Si for his efforts
  • + 1
 Big shame, the only reason I couldn't race was the time commitments. To be anywhere near competitive I'd need the friday off, and its just something I could not do. Such a shame Si. Respect for your efforts like.
  • + 1
 I get the feeling that it is harder to hold races in the UK than in most other countries. Too much red tape probably hence why most uk races are shite trail centre nonsense (excluding Scotland).
  • + 0
 No longer supporting any British bike companies, distributors or online stores due to Brexit. UK fucked up and so did America in electing Donald Dumpf. Going forward I will focus my spend on Canada and New Zealand trips - related bike companies. Boycott backward countries.
  • + 1
 This was a painful post to read you could clearly sense a lot has happened to si to announce this as honest as he did. Keep chin up pal and best wishes to you and your family and whatever you throw yourself into next
  • + 3
 Every one and his dog are running endure races, some had to fail, again respect to Si for his efforts
  • + 1
 Ahhh the tides are finally turning and riders/event organizers are finally starting to realize that this whole "enduro" thing is gay as AIDS.
  • + 1
 that sucks, I was already signed p for eastridge and was gonna do the dyfi also. I was really looking forward to doing my first race ever. I hope I can Get my money back...
  • + 2
 Dyfi round still going ahead it seems.
From Enduro mag.

"After talks with Simon’s timing guy and man behind Mini Enduro, 4X Pro Tour and Mini Downhill, Chris Roberts, we have some good news when it comes to the running of what was to be the Dyfi BES round. Chris and Charlie Williams (the man behind Welsh Gravity Enduro) are still going to run the Dyfi round on the same date as the planned BES; this will be the Welsh EWS feeder round on May 20/21."
  • + 1
 Enduro is not xc or dh or freeride, what is it besides fun. It's not going to last.
  • + 2
 Entry was too expensive imo. Shame though
  • + 1
 noooooo! thats terrible! Frown Frown Frown
  • + 1
 Is it true Si Patton is 5 foot tall?
  • + 0
 10 ft MTB heart and soul though!
Good luck with the BDS Si Wink
  • + 1
 It was people taking advantage of the Lube Station sponsor wasn't it?
  • + 1
 class act
  • + 0
 Sam Hill scratching his head now.
  • + 0
 Time 4 UCI to invest.
  • - 2
 Is this the beginning of the end of 'nduro?
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