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QECP stevens trail enduro

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1QECP stevens trail enduro Empty QECP stevens trail enduro on Mon 20 May 2013, 20:58


I did the Stevens trail enduro on Saturday night representing PNE.



Here's a little write up.

Everyone was massed together at the start and it went off pretty quick along the tarmac access road. I tucked in second row and enjoyed a bit of drafting, we went on the gravel, then took a sharp left hander and into the first climb proper. Things started to stretch here, I knew I wanted a good position going into the single track, but couldn’t hit the red on the first climb. As we approached the first bit of single track I noticed the top 6 had opened a little gap and I was on the back of this group. I was close to going to hard, so I let myself drop off, knowing that I’d then have a nice gap to play with on the singletrack to catch back up.

Knowing the trails I was a bit quicker on the down hills and soon caught back onto the tail end of the lead group. It was going well and I could see the leaders no more than 10-30 seconds in front. Then, the guy in front of me fell just before a rooty climb (at the end of the A3 track). I had to dismount to get round him, but by the time I was going again the leaders were round the corner and I’d lost sight.

I tried to pace myself and take the descents smooth, but fast. Not pedaling, but staying off the brakes and picking my lines. I soon had gone past 3 people who were in front of me at the first singletrack. I reckoned I was up in about 4-5th half way through the opening lap. Then, I starting passing people right left and centre. Really slow people… I went past them looking bemused, and they looked back, equally confused. I hadn’t even done a lap myself, so I couldn’t be lapping people. Had I gone the wrong way or them? I hadn’t seen the leaders since the bloke in front of me fell, so maybe I’d done an extra bit without realising?

I cleared most of the slow bikes as I hammered the final decent. I headed into the finish straight alone. Someone shouted my name, turned out to be Tris and Nix, but I didn’t really twig until I was out of the finishing area and heading up the fire track climb again.

The second lap I was totally on my own. It was odd. I thought the trails would be clogged with riders but I was alone. More tape had been put up, and there was a diversion off some of the A3 techy section and onto a fire road… at first I thought this must have been the section I missed on the first lap, and why I was now massively off the back having only just caught up with the very slow riders.

The diversion was only tiny though, so this couldn’t be a massive shortcut that I missed. I was now totally confused.

At the start of the third lap I changed bottles and picked up some gels. A couple of mates met me on the fire track climb and rode with me for a while. It was good to chat and get some understanding of what the hell was going on and where I was.

The laps then just started ticking through. My friend shouted that I was fourth, and as I came across more rider to lap them I could work out how far back I was by how many other riders had lapped them. I just kind of got into a rhythm, a bottle change every other lap, a gel at the start of every lap. A piss now and again. I pushed on the climbs, then descents took it easy, just conserving energy.

It was pretty confusing still as to where I was. I finished my 7th lap just inside the 4 hours so carried on for a 8th. If I’d known I could stopped there, the guy behind me was ten minutes back and wouldn't make the cut for the final lap. The two in front were 20 minutes a head so I was never going to catch. I didn't know though and had saved back some energy for the last lap and was hitting it pretty hard. Then half way round a stone slit my front tyre. I only had one light on my bars so couldn't really see the damage or get a new tube in. So I had to do the second half of the last lap half running and half on a flat front tyre.

2QECP stevens trail enduro Empty Re: QECP stevens trail enduro on Tue 21 May 2013, 06:00

James A

James A
Well done mate, sounds pretty hectic!! Did notice the little fluro flags on my ride out on Sunday around the South Harting area, I guess this is what it was all about!!
Good going though, that Alistair McClean has put in some good TT times this year. Very Happy

Edit# Just checked your Strava map, looks like it wasnt what it was all about, though the little flags did say Enduro on them.

3QECP stevens trail enduro Empty Re: QECP stevens trail enduro on Tue 21 May 2013, 07:35


They had a weekend of demo days, an xc enduro on Saturday evening and a road sportive on Sunday. So it was probably the road sportive for Sunday.

I see alistair has done a sub hour 25 this year. I could never imagine doing a sub hour 25!

The guy who won is a German pro, German cyclocross national champ and done some good results in mtb too. He's regularly in the top ten at the german nationals and competes on the world cup circuit: http://www.the-sports.org/cyclo-cross-sickmuller-johannes-results-identity-s17-c2-b4-o10-w57198.html

The guy who was second is a pretty well known amateur for xc enduro and won a few rounds of the national series last year I believe. So no shame in letting them slip away!

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