This year I got to race the a round of all three major dirt bike National titles, starting on a 2017 CRF450R for the motocross before moving to the RX for the Cross Country and Enduro Nationals. Surprisingly this was actually my first ever Enduro National. Less surprising is how much fun I had.
Having A Blast
One test in particular had all the riders buzzing, including Sean Clark who organised the event. It was fast and flowing with a berm on almost every corner. I kept expecting something to catch me out but it never did. A part of that caution came from being either the first or the second rider through each section, except for the final run to the finish when things got really interesting.
An incredibly dark rain cloud rolled in, blanketing out so much light that it was all I could do to avoid taking my goggles off. This was not a good time to struggle with vision as we knew that the times had reached maximum tightness, made extra difficult as the rain started falling.
I didn’t catch Cody Davey who was the other rider on my minute through the final special test, then had Chris Power and Kevin Archer breathing down my neck. I allowed them to pass me as we were going through virgin bush with hidden branches everywhere, where I just did my best to keep up.
Kevin missed a turn, allowing us past, before Chris got caught out by a fallen tree. Then we caught up to Cody on a large tree that was on a horrible angle halfway through a bog. Cody got himself free, Kevin got stuck, and all of a sudden a flash of blue was trying a crazy line. I realised it was Adrian Smith as he literally launched his bike over the log, somehow staying on and bursting away.
Despite my best efforts I was the next to get stuck, but fortunately we all got away again quickly and finished the Enduro before time had clocked over. Many others were not so fortunate as their starting minute meant they dealt with much tougher conditions.
Angus McDonald ended up with a well deserved Championship win, Brad’s chances smashed when he crashed out of an earlier round. At the end of it I finished 7th overall having had a great time and impressed with what the bike could do. That electric start was gold, especially when I had a small spill on a special section where every second counts.
Our next event is the Tarawera 100 where the bike should really shine. Life has got in the way of my training lately so it is definitely time to get back to work if I want to put that bike on the podium where it deserves to be!