Two-day victory for Nigel Beattie, e-bike honours go to Mark Turner
A total field of 50 riders participated in Manx MTB Enduro’s two-day event over the weekend, sponsored by PokerStars.
The event involved two 30-kilometre loops incorporating 2,200 metres of ascent, with a total of nine timed downhill-based stages around the middle and west of the island.
There were five stages on Saturday in King’s Forest, Arassey and Slieau Whallian plantations, with the remainder on Sunday, using Kerrowdhoo plantation in place of King’s Forest.
Day one had more than its fair share of drama with reports of numerous big slides, crashes and mechanical issues as the technical terrain, coupled with near-slick conditions from recent rainfall, played havoc.
A cool head, clean riding and perfect preparation would be the key to winning the race and that is exactly how Nigel Beattie played the game.
Riding a near-perfect race, the former MGP winner came ended the day with a 28-second lead over ever-stylish Jim Marshall who, in turn, held only a two-second gap over Jacob Meechan who had a superb opening day.
In the e-bike category it was a two-horse race between Mark Turner and Olly Megson, and it was the latter who finished the day on top by a mere 0.32 of a second.
Marshall knew that it would be a tall order to pull back 28s on Beattie on day two and, with only four stages to do it, he would have to go from the gun.
But everything he tried, Beattie matched or bettered, and it wasn’t until the penultimate stage of the weekend that Marshall was able to claw any time back at all. The final gap was 24s in Beattie’s favour.
Early mistakes from Meechan brought him within reaching distance of Russ Moore, who was on a late charge having pulled a small gap from Mike Chatel and Sam Hardman. There was only four seconds between Meechan and Moore at the top of the final stage, with third place all to play for. A clean run from Moore, eight seconds faster in the stage than his rival, meant he was assured of third spot, with Meechan and Sam Hardman rounding out the top five.
A hand injury sustained in a day one crash rendered Megson a non-starter on Sunday in the e-bike class, leaving Turner with a healthy lead over Paul Jennings.
The latter grabbed a stage win in Kerrowdhoo, but the gap was too large for it to influence the overall results, with father Mike Turner ending up third.
Full results can be found on www.manxmtbenduro.com
Manx MTB Enduro club wish to thank event sponsors PokerStars and Bikestyle; DEFA for land access; Ben Collins for the live timing; medics Sarah and Ray; St John’s FC for the use of facilities; Wicked Wagon for refreshments; plus the army of marshals and trail builders who all gave countless hours to ensure a great event. Also a special mention to the spectators who provided a great racing atmosphere throughout the weekend.
l Entries will open online in due course for round three of the MTB Enduro series on October 11.