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Ard Rock Enduro 2014
Just thought I would report back on the Ard Rock Enduro that myself and a mateI took part in on 2nd-3rd August. The Event was based around the Dales Bike Shop at Swaledale in the Yorkshire Dales, and organised by the Rafferty brothers (Pro Ride Guides).

Having competed in the UKGE at Afan several weeks prior to this event I was prepared to be somewhat underwhelmed. The reality was however quite the opposite. The event was very well organised and the 40km route was spectacular. It followed the usual enduro format of practice on the Saturday followed by Racing over 5 special stages on the Sunday. The terrain was all natural, much of it on private land so inaccessible for the other 365 days of the year. The transition stages comprised some gruelling climbs, totalling 1400m elevation gains over loose rocky tracks and narrow windy muddy sheep tracks. The timed stages were typically quite steep and loose with a mixture of tight rocky gulleys, grassy switchbacks, open grass fields with gaps through stones walls, off camber scree traverses and a hilariously muddy freshly cut section winding down through bracken at the end of stage one.

The overall atmosphere was very relaxed and a lot less serious feeling than the UKGE, this was reflected in the timing system which was a wrist tag that a marshal swiped at the start and finish of each stage. There was no seeding and no time limits between stages so it was pretty much up to individuals when they set off on each stage and how much of a gap they wanted to leave between riders. Inevitably there was some bunching up at technical features and a few seconds were lost if several riders finished in quick succession and had to que to be swiped in. This didn't really matter though, and I was never going to be anywhere near the top so a few seconds lost was no great deal.

I managed to finish 40th out of 107 riders in the U30 category so pretty pleased with my efforts. To cap off a brilliant weekend I also won a Carbon Spesh Dissident Full Face in the raffle! I would thoroughly recommend next years event , it offers quite a unique natural enduro experience in stunning scenery. Would be good to get a sketchy team up there....

There is a full report of the event here

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And some footage of the stages here:

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That looks good, would be up for doing it next year if we can get a Sketchy group together. Well done mate.
We'll done Matt, nice going on getting that high up the field Smile does look like a great place to race, must have taken an age taping out that much course :o
Awesome prize that you won there to.  
On to do list for next year

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