Report: Gorrick Endura Autumn Classic 2

20th Anniversary celebrations at the Gorrick Endura Autumn Classic 2 last Sunday

RST Cycle Clothing & Trigon Bikes

Words and photos: Joolze Dymond

For a moment on Sunday, the Gorrick Endura Autumn Classic 2 was transported back to the early ‘90’s, back nearly to the dawn of time as mountain bike fever really hit the UK, where it was embraced wholly by a group of enthusiastic riders – the Gorrick were born! Fast forward 20 years and those enthusiasts are still at the very heart of the sport they love so dearly, providing grass roots racing to thousands over the years, with no sign of stopping.

The original Gorrick crewe 20 years ago…

In amongst yet another busy schedule of races, with hundreds taking to the fantastic Crowthorne trails, making the most of the beautiful autumnal day, 40 of the very first competitors of the inaugural Gorrick race were starting to gather. A flourish of garish coloured lycra, vintage steel hard tails, eclectic suspension and dodgy elastic all happily made its way to the start line ready to relive that very first race with a two lap bash.

Who remembers the ground breaking Pace, all box tubing and shiny good looks? How about the Specialized Stumpjumper? Nick Onslow brought a mint condition one along to admiring ooohs and ahhs from those of us that remembered, while Paul Hudson, relived his chequered past, dressed head to toe in cutting edge ‘90’s DH kit along with his classic top of the range DH Haro.

Meanwhile, a smattering of original Gorrick jerseys, rubbed shoulders with a bright mixture of many retro designs that helped relive those heady days along with some real classic bikes. Legendary Time Laps boss Frank King who won his first race at the Gorrick 20 years previous was all smiles as he relegated timing duties to take his place on the grid.

Nick Onslow

The eventual winner, sporting a retro Specialized jersey but riding a much newer machine was Craig Bowles, who scooped the Anniversary Cup for his efforts, while the first vintage bike back was a Specialized Stumpjumer ridden to a fine 5th spot by Colin Adams, with Onslow’s Stumpie not far behind in 7th! Though it was a day that Ian Grist, sporting a classic Proflex would remember well as he took the honours in the prize draw being rewarded with a handsome £500, while 3 others grabbed some fab prizes thanks to Endura.

Throughout the day, random riders were rewarded with more excellent Endura clothing as they took part in the numerous races, proving you can be a winner at the Gorrick without crossing that finish line first! However for some that holy grail of first spot in their category saw once again some epic close racing.

Trading in his singlespeed for at least few more gears, saw Al Fairbairn swap his second place at the first Classic to a narrow win after a hard fought battle with Scott Forbes and Daniel Rainscourt in the Super Masters, while the ultra competitive Open men’s race, a 3 lap chain gang of riders was finally blown apart by Paul Thomas and Derek Wilson, the former taking the win by a mere 12secs, while Gretel Warner left everything she had on the trails in the Open women’s race to take a commanding win from Susan Parker.

Paul Hudson

Narrow winning margins continued apace in the Grand Vets with both the women’s and the men’s races being fought to the wire. Viv Hazelton proved to have the winning moves as she led from the start from rival Jacqueline Easton extending her winning margin in their two lap race by 17 seconds, while Ray Crosthwaite rode a strong race keeping his rivals at arms length despite a hard dig by nearest rival Tim Stowe. But it had to be the master’s race, which took the award for narrow margins with four riders finishing the 4 lap race with just 46 seconds separating them.

It was Kim Little who made the winning moves on the final lap that paid dividends taking the win just 30 secs ahead of Jason Painton with Ed Bracey another 7 secs adrift and Ed Fraser another 9 to make the top 4 of this very popular category. The biggest field of the day however was the men’s fun race with nearly 70 riders looking for their own bit of fun on the sun soaked Crowthorne trails, it was however Rob Wilson who had the best fun of taking the win over the two lap race.

On the younger rider front, the trails were awash with a fantastic showing of all ages, with again some really close racing especially in the under 10’s! Hopefully their competitive spirit and eagerness will still be there in 20 years time when maybe they’ll be back to help celebrate a bit more Gorrick history!

Craig Bowles

Many thanks to everyone involved with the Gorrick, especially Jon and Jane Lucas the real driving force over the years, who have helped carve out a fantastic series of races aimed at everyone! Thanks too, must go to Endura clothing who have provided a brilliant range of kit that has benefited a heck of a lot of riders! See you all next year for more of the same!

Don’t worry if you think you’ve missed all the fun for this year, the excellent Gorrick folk also have a hand in the Merida Brass Monkeys Winter Enduro Series too! 3 events spread over the winter months helping you to get through the Xmas festivities with little to no damage to your waistline… probably!!

The first of these popular romps in the woods, kicks off on November 25th. But get your entries in now as they are filling up fast, with no entries on the day.

For full results from the Endura Autumn Classic and more info about the Merida Brass Monkeys events head over to:

Full race gallery from the day at:

Rob Wilson

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