Sheffield Indoor Enduro
Round 1 of the FIM Indoor Enduro World Cup was held at the Sheffield arena on Halloween Night - Saturday 31st October. The course consisted of 6 lanes - tightly packed into the stadium floor to form a half mile lap. The start was a MX gate at the end of the 3rd lane. The riders accelerated from a clutch start into the centre of the arena before turning sharp left into the outside lane 1 & over the first big challenge - a hurdle of 8 foot high dumper tyres. While the riders were busy with that, the marshals were also busy removing the cross over to form the 2nd straight with it's 2 boulder fields. The riders then turned & rode up the 3rd lane over a 30 foot double jump. A big berm - littered with logs & boulders - took the field into the 6th lane. The 5th lane contained the water splash & the 4th lane returned the riders to the start. In free practice, the Pros were sent out in 3 groups. The first practice group was led by the newly crowned US indoor champion, Taddy Blazusiak (above), Light as a feather, he almost lapped the whole field. The second group included Christophe Nambotin who also led from the front. The City of Steel had lived up to it's name when 3 GasGas bikes were stolen on Friday night including Christophe's World Cup bike. He had to make do with a spare but it didn't seem to phase him. In front of the grandstand a tree trunk - lying lengthways & pictured above - divides the course into two & on each lap he rode along the length of it. David Knight thundering at the head of the 3rd group on board his Kawasaki. His style was unmistakable although sometime difficult to see in the water feature which appears to be a homage to the local delicacy of Mushy Peas.
The first Qualifying heat went to Taddy ahead of the defending World Indoor Enduro Champion - Ivan Cervantes. David Knight won his heat from Dougie Lampkin. & Mike Brown won the 3rd heat from Daniel Gibert. Graham Jarvis was 3rd.
The event was held under the National Sporting Code of the Auto Cycle Union & the arena floor resembled the T&E committee room with CoC John Collins being supported by FMNR Delegate Malcolm Bates. Secretary of the Meeting Mary Kerr & Brian Higgins. The FIM was represented by referee Marco Marcellino.
The doors opened at 6.00pm & the show started at 7.00pm with a Halloween themed dance routine & a parade of the World Cup competitors behind their national flags. As soon as the floor was cleared, the World Cup riders were split into 3 groups for their 4 lap heats. Greg Evans had crushed his left hand in practise but still took the holeshot in his heat. For the Pro riders that missed the final, the organisers laid on a night race. Ollie Moyce was the winner, Daryl Bolter was 2nd & Greg was 3rd. In fact the top 6 finishers were British riders.& the bottom 6 were foreign riders. Maybe riding in the dark is a British thing. Ollie will be experimenting with tinted lenses next season. Phil McLaughlin was unlucky not to make the final. He bent his chain guide on a rock whilst running 4th in his heat & lost his chain. He replaced the guide for the "last chance" heat but he stalled on the line. Paul Eddy crashed heavily on the boulders in his heat but he won a place in the final with a dash passed Luca Uccellini on the last lap of the "last chance" heat. The crowd loved it.
In the Clubman Fnal, Dewi Ritchie took the win from runner up Jonathan Pearson & Dominic Garnham was 3rd.
The Pro/Expert Brits Final was contested over 5 laps. Andy Cripps took an early lead from Ben Hemingway but Richard Ellwood made his move to the front on lap 4 & took the win. Andy Cripps was 2nd & Ben Hemingway was 3rd. Juan Knight was 4th.
The World Cup final consisted of 3 races, Mike Brown led the first race until a error in the boulders opened the door to Taddy Blausiak & Antoine Meo. David Knight finished 4th. The barking of the Kawasaki was only matched by David's barking cough. He had succumbed to Isle of Man Flu & he retired. Race 2 was a repeat of Race 1. Brown once again took the holeshot but Taddy took the win. Graham Jarvis was the runner up ahead of Brown. Going into the final race Taddy had 30pts, Mike Brown 20pts & Graham Jarvis was 3rd with 17pts.The 3rd race went with form & Taddy made it a hat trick. Mike Brown was the runner up & Ivan Cervantes was 3rd. After the race Taddy entertained the crowd with a series of single handed pirouettes on the front wheel that had to be seen to be believed (see below). Taddy Blazusiak was the overall winner from Mike Brown & Graham Jarvis.
Final Points Taddy Blazusiak 45pt Mike Brown 32pts Graham Jarvis 25pts Ivan Cervantes 22pts Antoine Meo 20pts Joakim Ljunggren 18pts David Knight 8pts Dougie Lampkin 8pts Daniel Gibert 8pts Christophe Nambotin 6pts Gordon Crockard 5pts Tom Sagar 1pt
Taddy dominates IEWC opener at Sheffield
KTM Enduro Factory Team / Red Bull rider Taddy Blazusiak has made a triumphant start to his 2010 Indoor Enduro World Cup campaign, claiming three commanding race wins at the championship's opening event held in Sheffield, England. Returning to Europe just a few days after clinching the '09 US Endurocorss title, Taddy made light work of a challenging course to end his night with a 13-point championship advantage over US rider Mike Brown, with Britain's Graham Jarvis third.
In similar style to most of his US Endurocross performances this season Taddy posted the fastest time during timed practice before going on to qualify into the finals thanks to a solid win in his heat race. Topping the four-lap race ahead of Ivan Cervantes and Antoine Meo, Blazusiak showed just how much he has improved in the past 12 months after riding a calculated and controlled race.
In each of the first two finals it took Taddy little time to move into the lead. With fast starting Mike Brown ahead of him initially, once out front Taddy extended his lead before claiming comfortable wins. Wining the first final by five seconds Blazusiak then topped the second by close to eight seconds. In the third final, knowing that the overall win was his for the taking, Taddy simply sat back and waited for the riders ahead of him to make mistakes, which they eventually did. Securing a third win to put the finishing touches to a perfect night Taddy now heads back to the US for the final round of the US Endurocross championship in Las Vegas on November 21.
Taddy Blazusiak: "Coming back from the US as the '09 Endurocross champion and winning the opening round of the Indoor Enduro World Cup is really great. It's been a long week but everything has been perfect. I couldn't have asked for things to go any better. I got the fastest time in qualifying, won my heat race and then had three great starts in the finals, and won all three races. I think that was the best part of the event for me - starting alongside a rider as good as Mike Brown and competing against him on every start. The first two races went really well. I made a few small mistakes, but I think it was impossible not to because there were a few tricky places on the track. In the third race I was third and decided just to take it easy. The guys ahead of me made some mistakes and I was able to win again, which was a great end to a great night. I'm going to take a few days off now before flying back to the US and the final round of the Endurocross series. I'm going to give that event everything. The championship's already mine so I'm just going for the win. Then it's back to Europe and the second IEWC event in Italy, which I'm really looking forward to. Hopefully, I can repeat the result I've had here."
Results - '10 IEWC series standings
Dougie Lampkin endured a disappointing opening to his 2010 FIM Indoor Enduro World Cup campaign when he placed eighth overall at the first round of the series held in Sheffield, Great Britain. This was the first time that this relatively new championship had visited these shores, and Lampkin was determined to put on a strong display in front of his native Yorkshire fans. Over the last decade or so Dougie has been crowned the King of Sheffield due to his many World IndoorTrial victories at the same arena, but he was fully aware of just how tough his switch of disciplines was going to be against such decorated opposition.
Lampkin was in no mood to make up the numbers and soon made his mark amongst his rivals, with a string of lap times that placed him up with the more fancied front runners. The thirty-three year old ex multi World trials champion used the two ten minute practice sessions to his full advantage, and to discover the best lines around a demanding yet compact course that included large tyres, rocks, logs and a murky water splash. Dougie continued his good form into his qualifying race, and used his vast off road experience to take a comfortable second position behind former World enduro champion David Knight. This result was enough to give the lone Beta rider fifth gate pick for the three main final races.
Lampkin's night was to take a turn for the worse prior to the triple show down, with the tough Yorkshireman suffering a severe migraine attack during the respite period. Far from his best Dougie bravely took his place on the line for the first final and looked to have put himself in a strong position as the pack rounded the first corner, only for his route to be totally blocked as three riders crashed immediately in front of him. Dougie tried his best to make up ground, but could only claim tenth spot as he took the chequered flag on this occasion.
Things went slightly better in the second final for Dougie, when this time he benefitted from some first lap carnage after a mid pack start, to carefully pick his way through to sixth position come the end of the five lap encounter. It appeared that Lampkin had left his best to last as the veteran campaigner got out of the gate brilliantly in the third final and had a share of the lead as the field charged into the first turn.
Dougie's joy was to be short lived, as the trials star's front wheel washed out on the sandy surface, leaving him down on the deck as the rest of the pack filed by. Lampkin did manage to pick himself up and come through to ninth place as the race drew to a close, but this was a cruel end to a disappointing evening after Dougie had shown so much promise during the early part of the proceedings.
Lampkin stated. "I am really frustrated, as the bike felt really good during practice earlier this week and I came here full of confidence. I was happy how practice and the qualifying race went, as I felt comfortable with the pace I was running."
"I have suffered with migraines before, but this one was fairly bad. I felt pretty drained before the first final, and just went out and tried to do my best. You need to get a good start if you want to stay out of trouble, and although I got out of the gate OK I was not strong enough in the first corner and as a result I ended up getting caught up in the mess that then happened right in front of me."
"The second race went a bit better, but still not good enough and then when I went down at the start of the last final, that very much summed up my night. I am very disappointed, as I wanted to put on a good show for my home fans, but it never happened. We have a few weeks now to get things sorted for the next round, where hopefully I can turn things around." Dougie finished.
Ljunggren battles it out
Husaberg’s Joakim Ljunggren has taken to indoor enduro racing
like a duck to water finishing sixth overall at the 2010 Indoor
Enduro World Cup opener in Sheffield, England.
‘Indoor enduro racing is so much more physical than it looks,’ explained Joakim after the event. ‘I wasn’t quite sure what to expect but I had a great time and my bike was amazing. Being easier to ride in the more technical sections than my 450 it really allowed me to push hard throughout the races. It was also great out of the start. I was at the front from the start in two of the three finals, which shows the bike has more than enough power.’
Looking anything like a rider that was making his indoor enduro debut Joakim quickly mastered the demanding track and achieved his goal of qualifying into the main event from his heat race. ‘I started well in my heat but then I made some mistakes and dropped several places. But I managed to finish the race third, which was great. I didn’t want to waste any energy riding in the last chance race.
Up against numerous experienced indoor enduro racers in the finals Joakim shot out of the start in the first final but mistakes soon saw him drop backwards. ‘In the first final I was second off the start but then made many, many mistakes in the first lap and dropped back to around 10th. I managed to finish seventh, so that was ok. Race two was really good. I got another great start and managed not to make any big mistakes. I made some small errors but I finished fourth and with Ivan Cervantes breathing down my neck as I crossed the finishing line. I was really happy about that.’
With two point scoring rides already secured Joakim was made to work incredibly hard during the third and final race following a bad start ‘ That race was tough because I didn’t get a good start. I got back to fifth, which was a great way to finish my first indoor enduro. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect before the start but it was great. It was a really cool event and I can’t wait for the second round of the series because I know what to expect now.”
Tough time for EJ world champion Mena
‘You have to prepare in a specific way for indoor enduro races, but because of the six days and the injuries I picked up there, I haven’t been able to prepare as I needed to. I prefer not to think about my result here too much. The only thing that was good for me was my bike. Riding the indoor enduro with the 390 was the perfect decision. The bike was great, which is why I am so disappointed with not qualifying for the finals.’
Lights out for Britain’s Ollie Moyce Midwest Racing
Another Husaberg rider making his indoor enduro debut was British competitor Ollie Moyce. Competing in the event ‘as a bit of fun’ Ollie was unable to qualify into the finals but opted to try his luck in the night race. With the stadium lights turned off, and using only the headlight of his FE 390, Ollie started well, moved from second into first and claimed the win, much to his delight.
‘I’m not the greatest trials rider and this was my first indoor, so I wasn’t expecting too much. I got a good start in the night race and rode much, much better than I did in any of my other races. Maybe it was because it was just a fun race but I felt great. I moved from second into first and everything really came together for me then. I learned a lot during the event and really enjoyed it.’
GAS GAS Factory Rider Christophe Nambotin could only manage 10th place overall. This wasn’t helped by having his new Factory Bike stolen in the early hours of Saturday Morning along with another two Spanish Riders bikes L. Christophe rode his practice bike, so all was not lost.
Those who know the sport appreciate that true ‘Enduro’ riders do not automatically make good ‘extreme / indoor’ riders and Christophe is the perfect example. Although one of the worlds Top Enduro Riders after winning this years ISDE overall, Christophe will be the first to admit his Trials skills (which are needed for this kind of Racing) are limited. However he really enjoyed the event and was smiling at the end.
No.1 Steve Plain /GGUK Rider ASHLEY WOOD also competed on a new 2010 CC250 and similarly to Christophe needs better trials skills and longer legs! Ash did ok, stayed out of trouble and matched most of the UK riders. I can’t find the full results…..anyone help?
My pal, Juan KNIGHT finished 4th Overall in the British Expert Class on a new 2010 CC300. John Shirt