Valleys Enduro Series Round 1 Race Report

Richard Bunting
May 15, 2024

Race report

About the Valleys Enduro Series

The Valleys Enduro Series, hosted by Western Bike Events, kicked off with a spectacular challenge for participants using the trail centre tracks at Glyncorrwg. The series is committed to promoting the spirit of mountain biking by offering diverse courses and promoting competitive yet friendly racing.

Thank you

Before we ger going, lets have a round of applause for the marshals, medics, volunteers and the fantastic Glyncorrwg MTB centre, thank you - without you this event would have not been a success.


The Course

For 2024 the series continues with the MashUp format: ride any stage, in any order, as many times as you like. A slight change from last year, saw Saturday being a practice day with marshals and medics, allowing people to make a weekend of it; Sunday saw an early start and a later finish, allowing people to get in as much biking as they can. The course sprawled across the Afan forest, offering a total of 18km with a vertical gain of 600m for the ebike loop. Comprising four stages, the track challenged participants with a mixture of long descents, technical sections, and flat out jank, testing both their endurance and technical skills. The stages included: 'Jetlag' 'The Black Run' ' Happy Life' 'The Rock'.

Course Conditions

What felt like 10 months of rain in the UK the weekend was blessed with blue skies and warm temperatures. The course had been well prepared by the tremendous effort by locals and Natural Resource Wales contractors to de-water the course, regrade sections and remove loose stone . Many riders commented how well the tracks were riding after all the TLC despite the rain and reduced maintenance regimes.

Helen Yarwood pushing on through Stage 3 'The Rock'

Special Mentions

A heartfelt thank you goes out to everyone who supported this venue, especially Karl Poulton, who was instrumental in getting the trails into a rideable condition. Natural Resources Wales (NRW), particularly Hazel Wakefield who also deserves recognition for her diligent work preparing the tracks for the race, ensuring a great experience for all riders.

Jaime Branch excelled by securing the top step in her category, showcasing her skill and determination. Bethan Lewis achieved a win at her very first event, marking a promising start to her racing career. Cerianne Summerill, despite sustaining an early injury, displayed remarkable resilience to soldier on and secure second place. Luca Thurlow made a formidable comeback in his first race after breaking his femur, tackling a janky and pedally enduro with admirable grit. Anthon Lewis, fresh off his win at the Rheola National last week, showed impressive form, pursued closely throughout the day by Ian 'Pez' Sanders. Ross Hancock continued to dominate, retaining his top position as a pure power machine adept across various trail types.

Minor Correction

Here at WBE we value feedback and won't hide behind our brand; we heard about some observations and investigated promptly. There was a minor adjustment to the winners; Charlie Poulter should have been first in U18, with Dan Grace coming second; in Veteran Women, Amy Thomas should have been second with Sarah Morgan coming in third. This happened because of a small error in the script behind the Google sheet which Richard coded to speed up production of results. Lessons have been learnt and the code base has been improved for future events.

Realtime Racing

We used a slightly different timing system on the weekend: Realtime Racing is run by Timothy Py, who coordinates and times the Narberth Nobbler and various other trail running events in Pembrokeshire. He’s a software developer and has a deep background in Internet of Things and front end. We contacted Tim early on in December because we noticed a trend in entry rates. Which played out to be a sensible decision because this year we’re facing lower than expected entry numbers even when compared to previous recessions and periods of low UK growth, our numbers are lower than comparable years.

So What? For WBE, a race with less than 270 people means we’re spending personal savings to make the event work, effectively paying people to race. With the new system we can run a race without going bankrupt or insolvent, with lower numbers and put on an amazing weekend. Some folks suggested £55.00 as an entry fee (we’re charging £50.00) however we’d still need 190 people months in advance to book the timing. With the current numbers, we'd need to charge £75.00 – ain’t no one paying that in the UK for a single day enduro event! (even though that is the true value, people perceive cost) Even more so, especially in Wales, high entry costs would be a huge barrier to enter the event.

Running enduro events shouldn't be cost-prohibitive, reliant on popularity or sponsorship. Our new timing system is designed to change that. It's contactless, uses passive chips, boasts 0.2-second accuracy—ideal for grassroots—and is built with cost-effective, off-the-shelf components that rival proprietary systems.

Upcoming Events and Acknowledgments

We'd like to remind everyone about our next events. We have the remaining rounds of the valleys enduro series and  gravel events, go check out our website for more details

Huge thank you to the amazing podium Supporters helping make a difference at our events:

  • Atlas Ride Co
  • Hope
  • Huck
  • Ride Southern Spain
  • Shred Like A Girl
  • Silverfish Service Centre
  • Trail Academy

Find Out More

Enter the next race here


Photos by FStop Media and Alan Pilkington

Highlight Reels by Alan Pilkington

Full length edit by Luke Chard.

ChatGPT has helped with some work

Luke Chard for the long form edit

Fastest Times Of The Day

Category First Name Last Name Race Number Team Name
MTB Men Ross Hancock 70 ScottSports
MTB Women Emma Birtles 11 Recoil Suspension
eMTB Men Ian Dowell 42 Don Skene Cycles
eMTB Women Lindsay Hanley 73


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