The Last MTB Race For a While? Mammoth Enduro, Nelson, New Zealand

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The Last MTB Race For a While? Mammoth Enduro, Nelson, New Zealand - Mammoth Enduro, Nelson, New Zealand - Race Report - Mountain Biking Pictures - Vital MTB

It sure felt like this could be the last mountain bike race for a long time to come. Considering the Mammoth Enduro from Nelson, New Zealand only took place way back on March 14th, some of the images here feel like a different time, a different century. Social distancing wasn't much of a thing yet, people weren't scared let loose, blood and bikes were welcomed. Take a time machine back to sunnier, shreddier times thanks to Sven Martin. -gordo

Pictured above - Well-hydrated party boy, Ben Harris full Kiwi style: hardtail, no gloves, no pads and bonus blood for good measure.

With the recent announcement that Nelson will be hosting the opening round of the Enduro World Series next year we thought we would take a closer look, of what the town has to challenge the racers. This past weekends Mammoth Enduro did just this. Prior to the EWS announcement there were already some big names on the entry list. Ed Masters, Cole Lucas and Mark Scott had chosen the gnar of Nelson to bring them up to speed for the South American EWS rounds to follow. Most assumed they were location doping (pre riding future race venues) but I can confirm this was not the case.

Nelson has many trails to choose from, there are some classics that show up in the usual local races and recent EWS continental event held last year, but the Mammoth prefers to really push, surprise and challenge the racers. Past events have bene accused of being too tough, too technical, too long or too much climbing. That is kind of the point with the Mammoth. Its not your typical race and not for everyone. This year Hamish the race organizer showed some mercy, offering the riders not one but two shuttles. One to start the day and one after lunch before the final two stages. Even with these offered it was a big day, eight stages, 35km pedaling, 1500 meters climbing and 2400 meters descending made more difficult in the slippery conditions from rain earlier in thee week.

There was a nice point to point itinerary feel for the beginning of the day traversing from Fringe Hill along  Black Diamond and Sunrise ridges before tackling the iconic Crankenstein and 629 Tracks ending in the Maitai Valley. Riders then pedaled over to the Sharlands area for the remainder of the day taking in Putakari and some new variations of Maitai Face tracks, keeping even the most local local surprised and on their toes. A good mix of native forest, steep root filled chutes, fast flowy man made turns and steep scratched in off camber bermless wonders. Oh and a Physical AF stage to make sure there would still be complaints.


Credit: Sven Martin
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