If you’re a UK mountain biker, chances are you’ve heard of the Ard Rock Enduro – the annual stage race turned festival, which attracts upwards of 1,000 riders to Yorkshire’s Swaledale valley every August. It’s always one of our top weekends of the year and has become so popular that entries sell out in a matter of minutes. Because of this success, organiser Joe Rafferty and his dedicated bunch of volunteers decided to add a second Ard event to the calendar three years ago – the Ard Moors Enduro. Held a little further north-east, in the North York Moors National Park, the race takes in a mixture of moorland singletrack, old-school DH trails and freshly-dug manmade descents.
From exposed moorlands and quarries, stage one dropped into lush green woods and flowing rhythms of jumps. Photo: Mick Kirkman
We’ve been to all three Ard Moors, and this year’s race more than made up for the disappointing wash-out of last year’s event! The trail builders had worked tirelessly to repair the rain-damaged trails of 2017 and, with the sun shining this time around, there wasn’t a racer out there without a smile on their face. “The best tracks I’ve ridden in 20 years” is how one rider described them, and we wouldn’t say that was far from the truth. Check out the highlights video below to get a flavour of what went down…
After 38km, some 1,300m of climbing and descending, and five race stages, it was Gabriele Gelgotaite who took the win in the women’s race and Joe Breeden, of the Intense UK Race Team, who clinched the men’s win and fastest time of the day, after a tight battle with fellow World Cup DHer Jack Reading.
Jack Reading of One Vision Global Racing – close, but no cigar. Photo: Mick Kirkman