It’s not easy hosting a race in 2020, but the PMBA Enduro Series did with style in the UK last weekend.
The Epic Hope PMBA Graythwaite Enduro, in the north of England, was a designated EWS Qualifier and a big field of riders turned out for this stalwart of the UK race calendar.
Racers had some traditional British summer time conditions to contend with. Pic: Dialledin Photography
Graythwaite’s trails are notoriously technical at the best of times - but throw in some typically British weather and the stage was set for some pretty savage conditions for the 400 plus riders who were more than ready to be back between the tapes.
The one day race consisted of seven stages of racing over 22 kilometres and featuring 1000m of elevation, pushing riders to the limit in some pretty wet and wild conditions.
Over 400 racers from across the UK turned out to support the PMBA Enduro. Pic: Dialledin Photography
In the women’s race it was Jess Stone who clinched the win, with Rosie Holdsworth just behind in second and Laura Allen rounding out the podium in third. But it was U21 winner Polly Henderson who set the fastest women’s time of the day - shaving more than one and half minutes from Stone’s time. Lea Tulloch took second in U21, with Phoebe Gale.
In the men’s race it was Reece Langhorn out front, with last year’s winner Adam Brayton in second and Ian Austermuhle in third. Over in the U21 men it was Alex Storr on the top step of the podium, with Matt Crewther and Josh Noble behind in second and third place respectively.
Graythwaite's trails are technical enough in the best of conditions, with the rain adding another layer of complication
In the Master Women competition Maxine Filby took the win, followed by Katy Sunter in second and Julia Ferguson in third. Christopher Whitfield took Master Men with Mat Wright and Dan Hale in second and third place respectively.
Hats off to the PMBA team for managing to pull off a great race in 2020, and to all the riders and volunteers for braving such tough conditions.
We'll leave the final word on the conditions to Adam Brayton: “Probably the rawest race I’ve ever done. Only way I can describe it!”