For The Riders was pleased to sponsor the first ever 'Straight To Hell DH' Canungra Graivty Enduro and what a race it was! I can speak for myself and many other riders there in saying that these were the best tracks I've ever ridden in an Enduro race. Steep, technical, loose and just a tonne of fun!
There were six exciting stages across the mountain to tame. With the dry, loose nature of the course putting clean, mistake free runs together was no small accomplishment for any rider. Two stages stood out as real highlights, one and three. Stage One took riders down a steep DH track that had it all from jumps to high speeds, rocks and chutes that would catch more than a few riders out.
Stage three was just about a constant drift the whole way down the mountain. Off camber turns, flat corners and a steep gradient made it one of the most challenging of the day. The race could be won or lost here with one smooth stroke of perfection or fatal error.
Stages two and four followed a similar gravity theme but being slightly longer tracks maintaining focus and hitting clean lines would reward riders the most.
Stages five and six were flatter and rewarded riders who could put down the power on the pedals. Both tracks had a healthy dose of loose, flat corners that kept riders on their toes with the threat of sliding out and loosing time.
All said and done riders were thrilled with the track selection, not many locations can boast as much vertical as Canungra and we can assure you no meter has gone to waste at the hands of the trail crew. The tracks provided a variety of terrain to test all aspects of riders skills and make for a fair contest.
The under 19's field was looking sharp all day as the young racers pushed with an eagerness that few can match. Once the dust settled Caleb Rees was the victor after riding strongly all day. Connor Aves was right with him all day finishing just two seconds back while Max Barnes rode well to round out the podium.
Annelie Marquardt put what she learnt at her recent EWS race to good use, navigating the technical course successfully to take the women's category with a strong time.
The Elite men's field was hotly contested with Josh Button and Ryan Leutton pushing hard on every stage. At the end of the day Ryan Leutton would be the victor by 2.22 seconds after a crash resulting in a mechanical cost Josh dearly. Third place went to the young Ryan Gilchrist showing speed far beyond his years.
A massive thanks to Graham, Lance, Darren and all the others involved in putting on this event! We can't wait for the next race at Canungra and encourage all riders to get out to this amazing venue to ride and race as much as possible. For information on upcoming ride days please see the Straight To Hell DH Facebook page.
The event timing ran smoothly thanks to the dedicated efforts of the crew at White Lightning Events. Full results here.
Photos by Gerard Lagana from 'G Imagery'.
Until next time!