Thomas Mitchell reports from Round 3 of the Scottish Enduro Series in Glenlivet

8317896_origRound 3 of the Scottish Enduro Series took place at Glenlivet. The trail centre location is the heartland of the Scottish whisky industry. The landscape is vast and beautiful and the sun even made an appearance as we were treated to dry trails all weekend despite some intermittent showers. I really enjoyed this race last year and even managed to land my first podium, taking 3rd in 2015. But this year the course had stepped up and we now had new technical, fresh cut trail interspersed with trail centre flow.

Picture – Niamh Allum  Picture – Trev Worsey

The Elite field was stacked with EWS regulars and ex world cup downhill racers so it would be a tough day on the hill. We had 6 stages in all and 40km to get through. I can honestly say that this was one of the harder enduros I’ve done. Physically it was flat out all day. With little help from gravity, most stages were on the flatter side and some even had prolonged sections of uphill! But this round was always going to be a pedal fest and I was as prepared as I could have been.

In the weeks leading up to the race I had spent alot of my time behind a desk and doing exams all in the pursuit of finishing my degree. With that going on my riding time took a hit and so did my fitness. But I had a weapon to help me – my Kona Process 111. The 29er was definitely the right choice for me at this race and I’ve no doubt it helped me. You can check my set up here. Fall Line Cycles had it feeling like new and I even went with a semi-slick tyre on the rear, this helped keep speeds high and the smiles wide.

I rode well but did struggle with my lack of fitness on some stages, crashing on the 8 minute plus stage 3. I finished up 10th but times were tight. I was encouraged by a 5th stage result on stage 2 but I’m still struggling to find my speed this year.

With university now finished I can focus more on my training and I hope to get some confidence back and find that speed.

Till next time,