Race Weekend: The Hope Women Enduro

NewsPosted on 13th October 2023

Last weekend, specifically the Saturday saw the return of the Hope Women Enduro at Gisburn Forest. This was a days race with practice in the morning, supported by some top riders providing coaching on the stages, followed by a 3 stage Enduro race in the afternoon on some of the Forests best trail centre stages, with an optional black graded trail making up a forth stage. This stage didn’t add to the overall time, but there were prizes for the fastest riders down this optional trail. Let’s see how the weekend unfolded.

Hope women is about encouraging women into mountain bike riding and having a go at racing, 180 had signed up for the race, not only seasoned pros but also women trying their hand at racing for the very first time. Under normal circumstance, races, whatever their size in numbers very rarely get over a 10% amount of women entering. The MTB racing scene is still an incredibly heavily weighted and male dominated sport. This is all about like-minded riders having a go at racing with support from all abilities and their mates. The weekend was very well supported by a number of sponsors and supporters, from bike shops, merchandise, mechanical issue, pizza and a great brewery for the evening after the race. Overall, this was an incredibly well supported event hosted by the PMBA Enduro Series and I overheard some brilliant feedback “I wish all organisers could put in this much support and effort”

Hope WMN had organised a mass of brands to support the day

Stage 1 – HOME BAKED
The first volunteer trail built in Gisburn Forest over a decade ago. Great fun, many peoples favourite section in Gisburn Forest, it feels more natural with roots, rocks and very tight in between the trees sections.

Starting at the high point of the lap, the riders joined the upper “Whelpstone” descent with another volunteer built section of Gisburn Forest “Long way down” to time the longest descent available. The Hope Women Enduro 2017 was also the opening of this trail so it’s now 5 years old for the event.

Bonus Black – HULLY GULLY
From the bottom of S2 the riders had the option to head up to Hully Gully and get a time down this stage to compare against their friends – this time did not count towards their 3 stage race time; it was just for added fun. Quite a few riders finished their main race runs then headed back to Hully Gully. Kudos

Stage 3 – HOPE LINE
Finishing on the Hope line, a fast and flowy great fun trail with jumps, drops, berms and hard on the pedals sections.

Issy giving it smiles for miles

Young Charlotte keeping it low and fast to the finish of stage 3

Gisburn is notorious for it’s wet conditions, and this weekend didn’t disappoint lol. With biblical rainfall leading into the weekend, the trails were wet! The parking field, just about dried out enough on Saturday to be used and accommodate the 160 odd riders and families. However, the weather on the day played ball, and we were even graced with some sunshine after lunch.

We were blessed with late evening sunshine

The overall fastest rider of the day went to the one and only Tracy Moseley 35-44 (F) in a staggering 6:06.80, Tracy also took the fastest time of the day down the bonus stage Hully Gully, but stepped back from the prize. Charlotte Kay U21 (F) came in second fastest of the day and winning her category in 6:21.44 by almost a minute. Third fastest of the day went to Martha Gill pushing Charlotte Kay hard in 6:22.64. An honourable mention has to go to Emma Graham 45+ (F) who broke into the top ten fastest riders of the day coming in 7th overall and winning her category. For a full rundown of the results and see where you faired, head over to Roots and Rain here.

Show us your war cry!!

Once the racing was over, it was all about spending time with friends and family. After the race, there was food and beers available, and many stayed behind for the social. The Sunday was about having a non competitive ride out with other like minded riders.

Beers were flowing!

The party was set

This was a real family race weekend

That’s it for this round up of the Hope Women Enduro last weekend. This was also the final time the race will be held at Gisburn, as well as other Hope PMBA Enduro Series races, without going into too much detail, but with the increased prices being enforced by Forestry England, many organisers are getting financially squeezed and moving away from Forestry England. The next likely venue for this race will hopefully be revealed soon, there’s a few logistics to sort out, but the venue is a sweet one, with cafe, bike shop and even bunkhouse and showers etc. Keep your eyes peeled on the PMBA Website and Facebook. Hope women also have a plethora of information over on their Facebook or website here.

Kev and Claire achieved their goal. Bringing in a load of women from pros to novices for a race never to forget

There’s masses of photos from the day over at the PMBA Facebook and the Hope WMN website here (big shout out to Sadie for the Hope WMN shots!!) Finally there’s also a great number of shots over at Roots and Rain the MTB photo archive website.

Photos and report by Jerry Tatton (aka JWDT.photography)

Edited by Kev Duckworth

Video edit by Monet Adams