In honour of James Williamson who passed during the cape epic in 2010 the James Williamson Enduro Challenge was created. This is only the second running of the event with all proceeds going to the James Williamson Fund which helps develop young riders and promote the sport. So after the rains in April the event was rescheduled to Mothers Day, this could be interesting.
Held in the state forest of Wingello NSW , riders came from far and wide, bright and early to ride distances of 25/50 & 75 kms. It was freezing but with the event centre hidden amongst the columns of trees at least everyone was protected from the wind. The atmosphere was definitely friendly with the usual catch ups taking place between riders. Rego was made particularly interesting with a large tour esq sign on board which certainly brought out a few chuckles.
Racing got underway with the juniors who completed a small loop whilst everyone else headed for the start area. There was a 25km loop planned out, utilising a network of firetrails and singletrack, riders knew they were in for a treat. 50km riders would do two laps whilst 75 km would do three.
Racing was strong amongst the elite fields with bunches forming whilst everyday riders enjoyed the scenery and tackled more of the defining features of the trails. In the 75km race Dylan Cooper friend of Willo led from the outset to take the win as the rest of the field tried for three laps to break down the gap but were unsuccessful. Mark Tupalski came across the line in second with Ondrej Slezak finishing a tidy third. Ria Johansen was able to put down a 17 minute gap to claim second in the Open Females 75 km. At the end of the day, gathering around the small fires and tables in the event centre riders traded tails of failed overtakes, crashes and trail debauchery. Then it was time for the podium a few prizes and finally, home to visit the mothers we hadn’t seen all day.