It was awesome for Scott to give us a chance to sponsor our first race series and what a great day it turned out to be, sun shining, great atmosphere and some crazy conditions to contend with due to rain the previous night creating some real challenging and tiring stages for all, with big ruts forming in no time at all.
Located in Milland, the secret race only venue was new to everyone as the stages were built purposely for round 1, so no local advantage and a level playing field before everyone setting off. The tracks were built from scratch with some great off-camber technical sections catching a lot of people off guard and plenty of crashes even from the most experienced riders in the field. Big Ruts formed extremely quickly with over 200 riders getting loose down the track in practice.
While Dave and I were setting up in the race village our team riders Liam, Brad and Ewan set off for some practice runs training it down all 4 stages. Feedback from the lads after practice? “hardest thing I have done, stage one absolutely kills you” turned out stage one was pedally and in the muddy conditions from the heavy downpour over night it made for a killer first stage, a right lung burner!
While the boys were having fun out on track Dave and I were busy helping out the racers with plenty of people having gear issues throughout the day due to the sticky conditions. We were also kept busy by the shear amount of interest in our stand which was awesome!
With brands like Troy Lee Designs, Hope, Chromag, Renthal, Orbea catching everyone’s attention but the brand that really stole the show was the Production Privee Shan frames especially the limited edition 917 littered with Hope tech components such as the new Hope pro 4 hoops, their beautiful crankset, the AM Stem all in the new anodised orange to match the 917 colours and then finishing it off with a DVO Diamond fork. Most of the day groups of friends were crowding around the frames and our demo built Shan 917 with a tasty beverage in hand all admiring the fine work of the guys in Andorra.
We had an hour break between practice to when the race runs started so we chilled out with the team, swapped some tyres and mingled in with the friendly atmosphere meeting new people, some locals, some faces we see at every race and generally having a good laugh with everyone. The boys were fairly early on the start list all being in the masters category. Brad and Liam are part of our DH team so it was their first time having a go at enduro but they all come out with strong results with Liam placed second in masters only a second off the win, Ewan taking 5th place and Brad 7th. Strong day for D&D Cycles with yet another podium and top 10s while also keeping busy on the stand, making new friends and customers.
Massive thanks to Scott for giving us a chance as a small shop to sponsor the Southern Enduro race series. The racing and event once again was faultless. We can’t thank the Southern Enduro crew enough and everyone else involved that put the time and effort in to build the tracks from scratch, the marshals and also the photographers who never disappoint. Round 2 at Tidworth can’t come soon enough, see you all there!
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