WA Gravity Enduro – Round 1 Race Report

Chain Reaction Cycles are proud to sponsor Western Australia Gravity Enduro Series (WAGES), for a fifth year.

Check out this race report from round one, brought to you by race director Steve Janiec.

We kicked off the 5th year of WA Gravity Enduro Series at The Pines in Margaret River with very warm racing conditions nearing 30°C. Summer thunderstorms threatened to open the floodgates but the threat soon passed and we were welcomed by a solid breeze that kept the edge off.

Saturday practice saw about 150 competitors checking out the 6-stage course in Compartment 10 of The Pines. The course only boasts about 40m of elevation with trails no longer than 1000m, but this didn’t stop the 350 competitors coming to celebrate the start of the series on raceday Sunday to attack 2018 Enduro
Due to the short nature of the trails, we allocate a 3 hour race window with multiple stage attempts permitted, and your fastest stage used for overall results. This is a fun and interesting twist on the normal single-attempt gravity enduro race format.

We had the biggest turnout for our Giant WAGE Whippets with 41 Under 13’s (including 2 females) shredding the 3 stage course we had on offer. For the Male Giant Whippets and tied for 3rd place after countback – Josh MOORE (honorable mention to Harper O’DONNELL), in 2nd Place Angus NICHOLS and 1st Place by Taashi DINGEY by 4 seconds). For the Female Giant Whippets, 2nd Place Abby O’DONNELL and 1st Place Portia CONNOR – daughter of 2017 Female Masters Champion Sandra Connor. This huge turnout is very exciting for the future growth and strength of the sport.
The Pines offers a great introduction to ‘2018 Enduro’ with a great mix of unique features across all stage that can play advantages to competitors differing strengths with variations of technical trail features, XC flat section and DH bombs. And with the Race Village perched at the trail head, competitors, spectators and the event marshals had an opportunity to watch competitors whip up the rooster tails all-day.

Stage 1 – Big Pine
An old favourite – this stage incorporates a long log ride and is arguably the most picturesque stage with the trail dropping deep between towering Karri Trees offering a cool relief. Rebecca BACCHUS posted the fastest time of the day for the females with a 1:28.43 and Jimmy PRITCHARD taking the lead for the Male Elite with a 1:09.50.
Stage 2 – Paper Trail

Perhaps the most technical stage with some challenging rock gardens, Paper Trail is a favourite for spectators frequenting the rock drops and rock garden towards the bottom end of the stage. Jimmy PRITCHARD topped the ladder on Stage 2 with a 1:08.12 – a solid 3 seconds clear, with Lily GREVETT taking with win in Female U19 with a 1:29.34.

Stage 3 – Pugsley into Cut Cork
Fun up top and dirty down below. This stage has plenty of flow up top but the endurance riders get excited down the bottom as pinch climbs and flat sections get the heart racing which made it easily the longest stage of the day. Lily GREVETT again took with win for the Females on this stage with a 2:26.82 and Roly KYME hitting the lead for the Male Elite with a 2:16.11.

Stage 4 – Cash n Karri
We welcomed Cash n Karri for the first time on the Enduro circuit for this event. The entrance has competitors questioning their skills from the start with a cheeky log-to-flat before plenty of twists, turns and a few sweet setup-ups. Carrying speed is key before dropping down after the fire-road to finish. Plenty of dry dusty dirt was also a rude-awakening towards the bottom end catching a few off-guard. Lily GREVETT topped the table for the Female’s with a 1:19.07. Roly KYME and Jimmy PRITCHARD were neck-and-neck at this stage, but Jimmy PRITCHARD won this stage for the day with a 1:02.71

Stage 5 – Line Manager
For the jumpers, this trail offers plenty of opportunities to catch some air-time with some nice hip-jumps to send you quickly around the corners. Roly KYME just edged out Jimmy PRITCHARD just over 1 second with a 1:08.88 and Lily GREVVET with a 1:20.24.

Stage 6 – The End to Woop Woop
Flat up top but fast down below. Competitors really get to open-her-up down the bottom of this trail. Roly KYME hit the lead with a 1:19.85 and Lily GREVETT for the Female U19’s edged out Rebecca BACCHAS for the Female Elite by 0.6 seconds.
This biggest game-charger in 2018 (and perhaps the biggest change to Enduro racing in WA) is the new timing system. Based on the timing system used on the Enduro World Series, competitors were in awe of the touch-free flying start and finish gates and results made available immediately following the race. Additionally, shorter stage events like this one really allow us to split the top end of the field with timing accuracy to 0.01 seconds.

With the system arriving just 7 days before the event, we had our work cut-out for us with some late nights and contact with the manufacturer to get our event ready.

A minor teething issue at the beginning of the day (make sure you turn the chips on!) and we were underway and extremely impressed with the system’s abilities. We look forward to unlocking this its full potential in future events.
Once the dust had settled, it was great to see the Female Elite Rebecca BACCHUS take the win for the Female Elite by over 5 seconds, and Roly KYME take the win for the Male Elite after stepping up from Male U19 last year. Roly just pipped Jimmy PRITCHARD at the post by 0.72 seconds.

A special mention to Lily GREVETT – who is racing Female U19’s but her time was 10 seconds faster than the Female Elite! We look forward to encouraging Lily to keep that pace throughout 2018 and beyond.

WA Gravity Enduro was please to donate $2,500 to the Margaret River Off-Road Cycling Association (MRORCA) and in return, they prepared a delicious hearty lunch for competitors and provided valued marshals for the day. Thanks to the MRORCA team of Steve, Susie, Jodie, Dave, Dave and Gary in all aspects of the day from food to marshalling to debunting – your help greatly contributed to a successful day for all!
Thanks also to our WA Gravity Enduro marshals – Amy, Russ, Frank, Terry, Mark, Adam, Sam, Sarah, Jo, Trent, Neil, Paul and Joel for all contributing to another successful Enduro event!
Congratulations to everyone that took part to make this the largest Enduro event in WA’s history! And congratulations to our podium getters.

We’re looking forward to round two. All the information you need is right here:

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