Former trials rider turned enduro racer Jack Lee topped the result sheet for Gas Gas at the the eighth Tough One extreme enduro at Nantmawr Quarry near Oswestry at the weekend. Lee took a convincing win in the Expert category. Team-mates Danny McCanney and Alexz Wigg, racing in the Pro class, also featured but crash damages meant McCanney was a DNF (holed clutch cover) while Wigg fought hard to place 6th
Pro, 7th overall.
This years event saw the race start later, at 3.15pm, and for the first time the last hour of the race was ridden in complete darkness. The riders therefore rode with special lighting sets, the Gas Gas UK team using those by British firm Hope.
Jack Lee: “I had a plan in mind before the start and rode to that. I figured once the darkness came the pace of the race would slow significantly so I planned to take the Expert lead early and build a good buffer before the dark.
“I got a good start, in about 4th place and had a fault-free run. On one lap on the big climb, in the dark, I did come across a fallen rider and had to turn drop back down and make a second run, but that was the only moment in the race. Not that the race was easy – the big descent into the quarry in the dark was really daunting, you struggled to judge your speed, it was very tricky.”
Alexz Wigg: “I was hoping for a good result and so went fast from the start, I took the holeshot but crashed off a jump after half a lap, dropping five places. The crash probably caused the seat to fall off later that lap. We got that sorted, but then just before dark I crashed heavily off the big descent, I just had too much speed and the front slid out. It wiped out my lights, broke both brake levers and bent the bars. It took
20 minutes in the pits to repair and in the time left there was no way I could make that time back.”
John Shirt: “I?m delighted with Jack?s win. He rode a tactically solid race and was in control from start to finish. There are plans for him to ride more international extreme events this year and on the basis of this ride he's well prepared for those. Alexz really enjoyed himself despite the setbacks and has vowed to come back again. For Danny it was an unlucky early finish. He fell awkwardly in the boulder section on lap three and smashed his clutch cover – a shame because he was riding so well. “The night-riding concept certainly was exciting and atmospheric, if challenging for the riders, and gives the race new life. It's job well done to Steve Ireland at WOR Events.”