22nd April 2013
After blue skies for the event build up, Sunday dawned grey and threatening. By 8am, the rain promised by the Met Office had arrived and was to be a feature for the rest of the day!
Photo: Race Winner Dan Wells
Competitors started to arrive and registration kicked into full swing. Pretty soon the Elite Riders were starting to fill up the 'chorale' for the only 'mass' start of WMBC. Riders were mostly clad in full-length tights and lightweight waterproofs as the rain showed no sign of easing. The tension mounted as 10:30 fast approached and soon enough the race was underway. The favourite, Dan Wells (Cube Bikes), blasted off the line to take an early lead up the first climb.
The course made its way up to the top of the forest just short of Lord's Seat, crossing the moorland, before dropping back down the steep hillside. The spectacular views make this the premier race location in the country although the Elite field wasn't slowing to admire them as they entered the first section of 'reversed' Altura trail. The section practically clings to the hillside, a fall here is not desirable although the wet ground was testing the riders' skill and nerve with visibility reduced in the persistent driving rain.
Photo: Race Winner Helen Jackson
Wells was still in the lead as the race crossed Whinlatter Pass, being chased down by Sam Flanagan (Hope Technology). The fun singletrack was over all too quickly as the course headed skyward again and for the first time reached the very top of the Altura Trail. From here the course plummeted downhill to cross the road again, and after some great bike handling skills over the wet rocks, Wells maintained his lead. A short but very steep climb took the riders up to the top of the final descent which deposits them back into the start finish area where, despite the weahter, an enthusiastic crowd cheered them out for the second lap.
Wells dominated the race throughout, finishing in a time of 3h 13m 18s despite the best efforts of Flanagan who just couldn't hang on and ended up 5th. Tim Dunford (Mountain Trax RT), last year's Endurance Series Champion, came through in second four minutes behind with Matthew Fretwell (Escape Bike Shop) taking third. The women's Elite was dominated by Helen Jackson who completed the three laps in a time of 4h 14m 53s.
As the weather showed no sign of easing and with riders and marshals starting to look very cold and wet, the event Safety Officer and Race Director decided to call an early end to proceedings. A very challenging day with some fantastic mountain biking, the organisers are just hoping for much kinder weather next year.
**UPDATE** 9th April 2013
**UPDATE** The event is now confirmed to be taking place on 21st April and entry is open again for those wanting a place on the new date. Visit the WMBC website for more details: www.whinlatterchallenge.co.uk **UPDATE END**
Due to the severe weather conditions and under advisement from Cumbria police and the emergency services, the WMBC event has been postponed until 21st April 2013. Organisers have confirmed that all competitors will be able to choose whether they transfer their entry to April or the 2014 event, but refunds will not be issued.
Photo: Checking the WMBC course the day before the race. A bit snowy, very cold.
It's also likely that entry will re-open in the next couple of weeks due to those riders that cannot attend the April date. To keep up to date with what's happening keep an eye on whinlatterchallenge.co.uk. If you have any queries, please contact the organiser directly: richardstaton at mac.com
28th February 2013
Entries are open now for one of the UK's most popular 12 hour enduro's, the Gorrick 12:12 TORQ in your Sleep. Taking place over the whole of the August bank holiday weekend with free camping for all, the main action kicks off at midday Sunday 25th and promises 12 hours of fun, fun, fun with a little more fun thrown in for good measure.
Those fabulous Gorrick folk, who know a bit or two about putting on great events, will be picking the perfect trails, then buffing them into shape ready to give you an enduro to remember.
Each lap will take you deep into mountain biking enjoyment at it's very best, ducking and a diving, dodging and a weaving through a myriad of singletrack heaven coupled with fast fire road for those all important breathers and an occasional slurp of Torq gel.
Whether you fancy challenging yourself to 12 hours Solo (or new for this year 6 hours), or prefer the more social aspect of riding with a friend or two, the TORQ 12:12 delivers the lot, including some fantastic prizes from our generous sponsors and not just for those fast folk either. All you have to do is to be in it to win it and have a chance of a fab spot prize!!
On the Saturday afternoon there's even a mini TORQ for the kids; with foot loose, fancy free, pedaling action for the youngsters and even a balance bike loop near to the arena for the really young to enjoy! If you just want a taste of the course then there’s a Hampshire Air Ambulance Charity Lap on Saturday afternoon too.
Head over to www.gorrick.com for all the details and to enter now!
The Endurance Series will return in 2013 and preliminary dates and events are already out with entry open to some of them already. There might be a few tweaks to the format and there will definitely be some website upgrades so make sure you check back to keep up to date with what's going on.
2nd October 2012
The final round of the series took place two weeks ago and the men's race came right down to the wire with Rothwell and Dunford battling it out for the series top spot. Below are the top 10 in the mens and womens along with their results.
|Pos.||Name||Team/Sponsor||WMBC||12& 24Hr||G100||Big Dog||12:12||MK 100||Total Points|
|1st||Tim Dunford||Cannondale Racing||-||-||96||98||100||100||394|
|2nd||Rich Rothwell||M Steels/ Enigma/ Exposure||98||94||-||-||98||86||376|
|3rd||Andrew Howett||SWCC/Mt Zoom/Bikefood||76||65*||69||82||84||35*||311|
|4th||Ant White||Cannondale MT Zoom Racing||-||96||88||-||-||80||264|
|6th||Graham Mcconaghy||Army Cycling Union/ Tunnel Hill Trolls||-||78||64||-||80||-||222|
|7th||Ben Thomas||Mountain Trax RT||-||-||100||100||-||-||200|
|8th||George Budd||Salsa Factory Racing||-||-||98||96||-||-||194|
|10th||Ricardo Bonegio||Team T-Bone||-||-||52||63||73||-||188|
|Pos.||Name||Team/Sponsor||WMBC||12& 24Hr||G100||Big Dog||12:12||MK 100||Total Points|
|1st||Hanneke Van der Werf||Team Jewson/ MI Racing/ Qoroz||-||-||96||96||100||-||292|
|3rd||Amanda Brooks||Ellsworth Haven||-||-||98||-||-||100||198|
|5th||Amy Baron-Hall||Cookson Cycles /VeloCake||-||96||-||-||-||96||192|
|6th||Sally Hall||Rock UK||-||90||-||-||96||-||186|
|7th||Kirsty Forrester||Cheeky Dior XT||75||94||-||-||-||-||169|
|8th||Natasha Barry||WXC World Racing||-||-||-||100||-||-||100|
|9th||Rachel Sokal||Cotic / AQR Holidays||-||100||-||-||-||-||100|
Full series standings, points allocations and individual race points can be seen here: Download Series Standings (xls)
There's one week to go until the final round of the series and its hotting up at the top of the table with what some may call the toughest race of the series next, the Montane Kielder 100, there are too many factors at play to pick a winner.
In the women's series Hanneke Van Der Werf (Team Jewson/MI Racing/Qoroz) has a convincing lead with 292 points after two third places and a win at the recent Gorrick 12:12 Torq In Your Sleep. With two wins under her belt Maddie Horton (Certini-Mccaulay's) lies in second with Helen Jackson (Planetfear.com) close behind in third having taken the early series lead. None of the top five women have entered the final round yet leaving it open for a lower placed riders to get a good result next weekend and leapfrog into the top three positions.
In the men's series consistent riding has put Andrew Howett (SWCC/Mt Zoom/Bikefood) in the lead with a full quota of four events and a total of 311 points. But closing in with progressively better results from only three rounds is Tim Dunford (Cannondale Racing) on 294 and just behind him Rich Rothwell (M Steels / Enigma / Exposure) with 290 points. Rothwell needs to improve on his result from last year in the 100 mile race and finish at least two places in front of Dunford to overtake him and both of them need a gap of at least 9 places in front of Howett to take the win. But things aren't clear outside of the top three either and with seven of the top ten placed series riders already entered in the final round there's going to be some fierce head to head racing. But it would only take a few of DNF's in the harsh and unpredictable conditions of the Northumberland forest to throw the competition wide open to some big surprises.
Entry for the final round, the Montane Kielder 100, closes at midnight on Friday 7th September, so there's still time to get an entry in and challenge for the top spots to take home one of the series trophies or the top prize of £300 cash.
Andrew Howett is storming away with the Endurance Series lead being the only person to have competed in all four rounds so far but the competition is hotting up with some close racing at this weekend's Brighton Big Dog. Another win by Ben Thomas (Mountain Trax RT) puts him into second place on 200 points and a reversal of the result at the Gorrick Exposure 100 sees George Budd (Salsa Factory Racing) and Tim Dunford (Cannondale Racing) now tied for third place.
Maddie Horton (Certini-McCaulays) still leads the women's series with two wins but another third place for Hanneke Van der Werf (Jewson/MI Racing/Qoroz) puts her in joint second place alongside Helen Jackson who hasn't competed in the last two rounds of the series - meaning the two haven't actually met on the race track yet.
In addition to the £300 cash prize for the overall series winners, the Endurance Series Champions will each receive a free entry to all of the events in the 2013 series. Totting up the entry to this year's six events, that's a bonus prize worth over £250.
With two wins under her belt at the recent Gorrick Exposure 100 and 12 Hours of Exposure, elite cross-country rider Maddie Horton (Certini-McCaulays) is now leading the women's series from Helen Jackson (Planetfear.com) who didn't compete this weekend and third placed Kirsty Forrester.
Having been placed inside the top 30 in all three events so far, Andrew Howett (SWCC/Mt Zoom/Bikefood) now leads the men's series with good consistent riding. Rich Rothwell (M Steels Cycles/Engima) holds onto second despite not competing in the Gorrick this weekend whilst Ant White, Jay Horton and Szabi Bandli round out the top 5 series places with top ten finishes on Sunday. Full results for the Gorrick Exposure 100 are available now at Gorrick.com
Full updated series standing are available here (xls file). The series now takes a break for a few months before the final three events kick-off in August. Entry is open for all three remaining events but places are filling up fast and often sell out so enter early to avoid disappointment.
The May Bank Holiday weekend Sunday 6 May, specially chosen so that you can rest up on the Monday, sees the epic annual Gorrick Exposure 100 Enduro at Swinley Forest. You can expect a superb ride with lots of great prizes from headline sponsor Exposure lights with winners trophies and finishers' medals for all. This event is the South's premier endurance event and has a unique feel all of its own. The challenge is not fixed by time, but by the number of 10 mile laps that you choose to ride, either 1 (Fun/Taster) 2, 3, 4, 5 or 7. And even if you choose to pace not race, you could still win a spot prize, as all riders over 18 will be eligible.
This year the event will be raising funds for the Surrey Air Ambulance, who have helped many mtb riders over the years. As well as funds donated from Gorrick MBC there will be a gate collection of £1 as you arrive, and then other ways at the event that you can support this very worthy cause.
Entry is open now and you can pre-enter the event online until Tuesday 1st May – please bring your receipt with you if you do. Entry on the day will also be available at this event, but you may have to queue as it gets very busy.
Remember, only the 7 lap event will score points towards the Endurance Series.