Last weekend Nevis Range played host to the final round of the EWS Continental Series & Rd 6 of the POC Scottish Enduro Series. Over 350 riders made their way up to the Scottish Highlands for the Highest Enduro EVER in the UK!
Practice kicked off on Saturday morning and conditions were nothing short of filthy! With the sun forecast for Sunday riders didn’t let Saturday get them down. Sunday came and riders were eased into the day with Stage 1 – DH World Cup Track onto Blue Adder, now a staple stage in the Fort William Enduro. However, that is where the similarity with previous years ended and from Stage 2 it was all new!
Stage 2 sent riders off into the depth of Leanachan Forest where they got to sample Black Crane and World Champs with a few odd twists along the way. They then headed for the Gondola taking them to the height of 650m, however we decided this wasn’t long enough and sent them even further up the mountain onto the Quad Chair! Now 900m up and 2 stages in, it was either going to be carnage or fun. Either way it would be entertaining!
The upper half of the mountain was where riders took on stage 3 & 4. This section of the mountain had never been used for Mountain Bike uplift before and the tracks were cut in specifically for the race. Stage 3 started above the Quad Chair at 900m making it the highest ever Enduro stage in the UK and a true big-mountain experience. Both stages were super dirty and made for some entertaining spectating and riding.
Stage 4 started at the beginning of Home Run and took riders down through the World Cup Eye Start Hut, through the World Cup Start Gate and past the first hip jump, stopping under the balcony.
The Giant stage of the day was kept until last just to make sure everyone was extra tired… Top Chief is one of our Gondola Accessed trails here at Nevis Range. Fittingly named after Local Enduro Legend Joe Barnes. The track is 5.5km and for the fastest rider takes over 8 minutes to complete (this was with the board walk section taken out).
MTB legend and Scottish Downhill Champion Ben Cathro came out on top on the day with 3 stage wins out of 5 and local shredder Louise Ferguson grabbed the women’s win with a clean sweep across all 5 stages. Nevis Range rider Mikayla Parton had a solid first 4 stages and was set to take 2nd in the Junior women’s category before a mechanical on the longest stage of the day put an end to that!
To find out about more events and mountain biking developments at Nevis Range head to www.nevisrange.co.uk!