Rounds 3 and 4 of the British Enduro Championships were contested at Helmsley in Yorkshire. The Royal Engineers Enduro team headed up on the Thursday, in order to rest and have a good look at the tests. With a long test between the trees, similar to previous years, and very tight and twisty it looked like it would be easy to lose where you were.
Before and after the tests, the Enduro loop of Helmsley was very demanding. Ravines and valleys of the forest’s steep hills and descents were the order of both days requiring much skill and momentum to reach the summits unscathed. Many riders fell fowl on time due to the extreme nature of the terrain and lack of passing places.
Tom Ellwood was the first rider away on the MRS Sherco, having a solid ride all day, staying clean on time, and putting in some fast test times. Our second rider was Jordan Young who put in a steady ride finishing clean on time and putting in some decent test times, whilst negotiating the steep hills to stay clean on time. The third rider was Tristan Young, standing in for his injured brother Cameron on the team, riding his brand new ktm 200, riding right at the back of the clubman class behind the ladies class due to the entry change, putting in some solid test times but falling fowl of the timings due to traffic in the nadgery single file nature of the course.
The organisers allowed this and scrubbed off the time penalties incurred. The fourth and final rider was Jake Purcell, riding in replacement of Chris Pryce again due to an entry change, riding at the back of the clubman class with the ladies class. After a nasty crash, Jake hurt his hand (which was later confirmed as broken) but finished down on time; but in true sapper spirit of never giving up Jake saw the day through to the end, nursing himself and the bike to the finish.
With heavy rain overnight, causing flooding to the pits area and a few tents, not many happy faces were to be seen walking around before the start, with many non-military personnel donning gore tex and the soldiers looking for other waterproof measures. With the start time an hour earlier than Saturday, the first riders were away at 0900hrs.
Tom Ellwood set off looking to build on the day before and come home as top u23 expert. After the first lap it was decided, due to the treacherous nature of the valleys because of the rain, that experts and championship would do 2 laps while clubman and veterans complete 1 lap of the now rooted, rutted, muddy course.
Second rider away, Jordan Young, quickly saw it was going to be a tough day just to get around let alone finishing on time. Putting on good test times and saving himself for the second lap, which unfortunately failed to happen after getting stuck in a queue of fallen riders and picking his way through a lot of stranded bikes, Jordan did well to only drop 3 minutes.
Third rider, Tristan Young, set out to make amends after the day before, but despite giving it his all and saving himself for the second lap he fell fowl on time again with more bikes and riders littering the track. Jake Purcell set off with his injured hand and tried to ride through the pain. After reaching the second time check, he wisely retired as pushing on would have resulted in further injury. We wish him a speedy recovery and hope to see him riding again soon.
We would like to thank our sponsors; Evans Waterless Coolants, Putoline Oils, Talon Engineering, DEP Exhaust Systems, Mission MX, Metzeler Tyres and Amped Graphics.
Comments from the riders about the Evans Coolant keeping their bikes cool when many bikes boiled over on the second day is a massive bonus and proves it works even in the toughest of situations. Meanwhile, the Metzeler 6 day Eztreme tyres received a hounding on the rocky course but held up well and gripped brilliantly in the off camber hills, giving more confidence to the riders to push on harder.
Jordan Youngs’ Talon Engineering Footrests ensured his boots never came off the pegs and the Talon chain and sprockets, that have been on for 5 events and a few practice days, but still showing very little signs of wear at all and only needed minimum adjustments. Putoline Oils are keeping all the bikes rolling and after 2 days of riding the gearbox oil that came out of Jordan’s bike was nearly exactly the colour it went in, with very little swarf despite taking a pounding.
The Royal Engineers Enduro Team will be competing in the Welsh 3-day trial at the end of June. We hope to have Cameron Young back to full fitness and Chris Pryce back in the thick of it. Until then Keep the wire tight.