Tweedlove Vallelujah Enduro Race report- Neil Halcrow
Weather for the race was absolutely stunning, with the tracks constantly drying off from a heavy dump of snow earlier in week. With the race being held at Glentress Trail Centre with a good mix of natural descents, long pedal sections and hill climbs i opted for the Whyte T130works carbon bike as there was nothing too technical and steep a 130mm travel bike and knew this bike would be fast on the pedalling sections, plus swapped out the Maxxis Minion DHR on the rear for the new Maxxis Aggressor which griooed like a dream on the natural muddy wooded sections but was still fast rolling on the man made trail centre sections.
After a really good practice day riding with fellow team mates Carl Jennings and Martyn Brookes it was a early start for the seeded group leaving at 9am to ride up to the first of 4 stages.
Stage 1 went well, a good mix of trail centre finishing with a technical wooded descent but made it cleanly through and was a good warm up for the legs and the next 3 stages.
Stage 2 started with a fast trail centre descent into a rough wet climb into a normally tricky rooty wooded section. A slight stubble at the start of the wooded section meant a quick foot dab but maintained control and accelerated through the woods onto the long trail centre section. Another slight mistake on the final stream crossing lost a tiny bit of time but nothing too major but was a little frustrating but proof you should try a new line in a race. A bit of cramp on the transition was a worry but slammed a load of Torq gels and drink into me and manage the cramp so it didn't hinder the next 2 stages.
Stage 3 was a more DH focused stage and with a few days of warm sun it was dry and riding extremely fast. Everything went spot on for this stage and managed to make up some lost time on the previous stage here with a solid and clean run.
Stage 4 was one of the longest stages with a stabby hill climb in the middle followed by a drawn out undulating fire road until dropping into the final and most enjoyable section filled with rough roots and rocks by because it was dry was rolling so fast. Another slight mistake after the the hill climb where with my head down sprinting a fire road I missed the turn into the last technical section which did cost me time but hopefully made up this time lower down as the dry conditions mean i could stay off the brakes and hit all the fast lines I had practiced the day before.
Overall with a couple of mistakes really happy to finish 17th out 154 Masters including some elite riders thrown in there for good measure. Still some things to work on before the next big Enduro race in a couple of weeks time.
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