Not satisfied with dominating the world of women’s mountain bike downhill, Diva Descent is aiming to grow the community even further by entering the world of mountain bike enduro.
Mountain bike enduro racing has exploded in popularity recently, but it has actually been around for a decade, starting in France in 2003.
The format is based on motorbike enduro. Racing is in a stage format with the winner being the rider who accumulates the least amount of time over the combined stages. Originally the races were as long as 10 stages but anything up to five is more common these days.
Enduro stages are short and predominantly downhill, but usually not as technically difficult as a standalone downhill race. You ride between stages, which makes the event sociable and means that you get several hours of riding for your entry fee, rather than just a few minutes of dashing down a mountain.
Organiser Sarah Muir said, “Diva Descent has successfully encouraged a number of women into downhill. Many have since gone on to race and enjoy a sport that they perhaps wouldn’t have tried otherwise. The overall aim now is to be able to extend this opportunity into other disciplines, firstly embracing the buzz surrounding enduro; encouraging women to give it a go and develop skills that they can take on into the larger mixed events."
But it's not just about racing. Coaching at the event will be provided by none other than Tracy Moseley and Helen Gaskell who will take small groups of riders through the stages and explaining how to approach the varied terrain skillfully.
The day will start at 9am. The groups will receive coaching on each of the stages of the track, working on riding technique and developing skills. After a short lunch break, everyone will head out for timed runs of the stages. Prizes will be awarded to the top three finishers. So far prizes have been kindly donated by Osprey, manufacturer of quality backpacks and sponsor of Tracy Moseley.
If you can't make it down to Hamsterley never fear: plans are already afoot for more events later on in the year (read: when it's warmer ... )