The dust has just settled on Ard Rock Enduro Festival 2017 and this year it was bigger and better than before.
Ard Rock is tucked away in Reeth, a quiet part of North Yorkshire, UK. As you approach you could be mistaken for thinking you’ve arrived at the Shire but not to worry, there’s no Hobbits here. With roughly 3000 competitors over 4 races this is rightly the UK’s biggest and most prestigious enduro event.
The 4 events ran Friday to Sunday. Friday was a chilled-out practice day with only 3 stages on offer and Saturday hosted 2 events, “The Enduro” bosting 1000 riders ready to tackle the 45km, 6 stage 3 of which were blind race loop and the “Enduro Sprint” a 30km, 3 stage race with 1 blind stage for those who felt they didn’t have the legs the full enduro.
Sunday has a more relaxed feel to it with the “Enduro Sport” which is the same course as the Enduro but aimed more at people who just want to complete the course rather than compete. In the afternoon, they had a new event for 2017 the “Enduro Intro” which is designed as an entry level event for people just getting into the sport.
The thing about Ard Rock is there really is no other race like it, the stages and the terrain are quite unique. Ard Rock prides itself on having 100% natural stages and there’s not a man made berm in sight. A mixture of technical singletrack, flat out rocky section’s, twisty chutes and gullies tested every rider to the limit.
The rocky terrain certainly caught a few people out as I lost count of the amount of people pulled up fixing punctures on each stage, but I suppose that is why it’s called Ard Rock!
Away from the racing was the arena expo with exhibitors including Santa Cruz, Stif Cycles, Zerode Bikes, Maxxis Tyres, CamelBak, Mountain Biking UK magazine, Hope Technology and many more.
Being the nice guys, SRAM, Shimano and Fox were on site providing technical support for all riders!
On Saturday night, the Maxxis Pumptrack championship took place. Riders had to pump and grind a qualifying time Friday and Saturday, with the top 8 having a head to head shootout to win a Maxxis Sponsorship! The guy with the most ebb and flow was Jono Jones, congratulations dude!
Towards the end of Saturday night, they certainly put the “rock” into Ard Rock with the bands playing out, it wasn’t long before the mosh pit started and the crowds started surfing! I’m sure there were a few sore heads in the morning haha!
The main event was won by Kelan Grant, hot on his heels was last year’s winner Leigh Johnson, with Sam Flockhart sailing home in 3rd! Hope Technologies Rachael Walker took the women’s overall, closely followed by Sally Buckworth in 2nd, 3rd place went to Ella Conolly respectively.
Full results can be found on Roots and Rain
Featured in this Post