With the rest of the UK seemingly being pelted by heavy rain we were incredibly lucky to drive out of the rain as we approached Triscombe with a beautiful blue sky.
Kate and I arrived around midday on the Saturday meeting up with Vicky Balfour (Team rider) as well as Josh (Ambassador) and Alix. We quickly setup our Double Drop Commune on the highest flattest point in the camping field with our vans. We had big plans to get out and ride the unmarked trails but due to the weather being so warm we ended up just sitting around and sunbathing.
Around 3pm Tony (Team rider) arrived and we started track walk. The trails looked amazing and I think we all just wanted to ride them there and then. Triscombe deserves to be a two day even (Hint Hint Southern Enduro team).
Not long after setting up the commune Graham (Ambassador) and others arrived and joined the group. There were good vibes from everyone in the field and the evening ended with an incredible sunset setting over the Somerset coast whilst we had a few ciders and an awesome BBQ.
The following morning after a pretty decent sleep for everyone we got the bikes out and prepped for the race. Practise started at 9am and we got to ride the stages for the first time. The trails were amazing and we managed to get round all of them at least once.
Racing started around mid day with the girls going out first followed by the rest of the catagories in order of the start list.
Stage 1 started with a relatively flat pedal through some tight rooty corners in thick loam. It then crossed over a fire road with a gully you could jump over or ride through. Next came the A/B line split. The A line being much harder with a steep drop and awkward corners. The B line being much straighter and easier to navigate made it the obvious choice as the faster race line. After this the trail started to get much steeper with a few jumps and a reasonable size gap jump before going into a really steep loose section to the finish. This was my favourite stage and I could have ridden it all day. Tony rode this stage so fast it was really impressive, however, he did get proper sketchy straightlining the steepest part of the trail and nearly hitting a tree.
Stage 2 started with a quick sprint into a line choice section with steep rolls into a rock garden. The obvious choice was to hop over a large root into a really steep roll and into the loose rock as this was the straightest line. Then there was another line choice with the left being longer with more turns and a high line which was smoother and more direct. After this you crossed a fire road into the rest of the trail which featured steep tight, technical rooty trails with tight corners and a few gaps as well as a couple of fire road sprints. All in all another great enduro trail!
Stage 3 was the shortest stage of the race. Starting with a rooty sprint with a few corners that were easy to stall in, it then crossed a fire road into more tight rooty steep trails. There were loads of tight corners, sniper roots and trees to catch you out. You had to really work the bike to get down fast and clean. This stage also had a really mean gap jump with a nasty root to case. I managed to get through this section clean in practise pulling up high and getting the backwheel over the root but in the race I landed directly onto it exploding my rim destroying my chances of getting anything better than last in the race. The stage finished with some steep loam that you could straightline the berms if you were feeling confident.
Stage 4 was the most pedally stage but by no means was it slow. You could rack up some real speed on this one. It starts with a sprint along a foot path before turning into the trails with a tripple rollers that you would either have to send the lot or ride like woops else risk being sent over the bars. It then went into a load of flowy corners and traversed along the side of the hill. You then dropped down a steep section with a left towards a large stump that you could hip back into the trail. After was pretty much just a sprint avoiding a large pit to the finish line.
The team did an amazing job and got some great results bar myself who finished second to last (I managed to borrow Kate’s bike for stage 4. There was 0 chance of winning so this was allowed by the event organisers). Kate and Vicky both finished 4th in their categories and Tony absolutely smashed it in Senior men’s getting a 3rd place finish.
Thank you to Souther Enduro and all our sponsors as well as our customers. We still have plenty more races coming up this year.