Rich Payne, reporting about his two last local races of the year for All Mountain Style fans and followers. Rich, go ahead:
DING DING ! Final rounds and the first one is the final round of the UK Gravity Enduro Series at Grizedale in the beautiful Lake District and having never been there before I was looking forward to it. I rolled up to the site Friday midday to be greeted by lovely weather, an already busy pit area and a trail centre that was awesome.... the guys at Grizedale have got it sorted.
Suited and booted me and fellow Jerseyman Toby headed out to check out a couple stages and see what was install for us. Knowing roughly how long the loop was and the amount of climbing we decided not to venture to far and checked out stages 1 and 5 as both of these finished in the main pit area so we didn't need to do too much riding. Both of these stages were quite different with 1 being mostly pedal single track stuff and 5 being a good mix of technical wooded riding at the top, a fun trail centre middle section and the bottom consisting of some fast rutted corners then bursting into the finish field with big grassy corners.
Saturday we did the whole loop and to say it had some climbing in would be an understatement not so much in the stages but in the transitions as they involved a lot of fire road climbing and even main road climbing which sucked especially running dh tyres. Inbetween the lung busting energy sapping climbing the stages themselves were awesome with a great mix of terrain and types of riding from the gnarly rock gardens of S3 to the fresh technical wooded stage of 2.
With the loop done it was time for qualifying and knowing i needed to get a good result to keep my overall fight live and kicking i was feeling a bit and wanted to pin it the whole way but unfortunately my over eagerness got the better of me and i stacked it up in the woods at the top and rolled over the line in 7th knowing id have a lot to do the following day.
Race day was upon us and with the good weather holding up the nerves were just about at bay and the start time was upon us as i set of my mind was all over the show thinking of anything from the overall to what to have for tea and with that in mind i carried on cruising up the hill ready for my day of unknowns. Stage 1 done and the lungs were exploding, stage 2 done and i body checked a tree, stage 3 done a few additional huge dings in my rims now with just 2 more stages to go i was feeling ok a little sketchy but ok so smashed 4 out but felt of the pace and knew this as i started the long climb back up to 5 ready to give it the beans and that i did pleasantly surprised crossing the line in 3rd and finishing the day in 4th overall clawing back a few places from my poor quail result.
An amazing weekend was had and can't thank Steve and his team enough for putting on an amazing series I managed 4th on the day and 4th overall in the series so roll on 2015.
One down One to go......
The following weekend was the final round of the Jersey DH series and when you've been away a lot through the year racing loads of enduro races to come home and race on a track less than a minute long isn't so much of an anticlimax but more of a shock when your used to doing three and a half minutes plus a stage but never the less its always a great atmosphere and fun to be racing with your buddy sand having a laugh. the track itself is one of the steeper ones in jersey with some cool drops and jumps.
First run went well and i put in a solid time and went into the lead knowing i had a little more to give i was pleased, and as more and more friends came down i stayed in the lead but with banter a plenty, some comical crashes thrown in the mix and everyone seeing how each other did we all headed back up the hill for final runs. I managed to push a little harder and knock of some more time and take the win on the day and also the overall series win so well chuffed.
Thats the end of the domestic season and what a hell of a season its been with just the final round of the EWS left for me this year id like to than CIMBA, CCC Jersey, allmountainstyle.com and everyone else who's helped me through the years its been incredible.