The Kingdom Enduro 2018- Picture Story and Results

The first ever Kingdom Enduro took place last weekend in the Kingdom of Lesotho, breaking open a brand new Enduro World Series journey in Africa. Forty rather apprehensive riders rocked up on a tremendously wet Thursday afternoon. The stage was set at a lodge in Roma that was once one of Lesotho’s original trading posts. It is also the new basecamp for Lesotho Sky and home to Africa’s first Velosolutions pump track. The age old sandstone buildings mixed in with traditional round houses (rondavels) provided a setting almost lost in time with a view of the majestic mountains in the background.

The event kicked of an epic dinner on the stoep of the old house. The atmosphere amongst this clan of Africa’s most badass mountain bikers emanated through the age old sandstone walls. After a warm welcome, a little local language lesson and the introduction of the event’s most coveted jersey- “ The D@#k of the day award.”, Africa’s first ever EWS qualifier was officially launched.

 

Day 1:

Roma trading post lodge shot during Kingdom Enduro 2018 in Lesotho

The vibe at the Roma Trading Post Lodge before shuttling to the start – Dominic Barnardt

With all the rain, the first day was shortened to 3 Stages. Everybody loaded their bikes into a truck and jumped into the local taxis for a lift up the road to the start. The top of the 3 witches pass. A brief opening in the weather allowed for riders to get to the Start of stage 1 without rain and take a few snaps on one of the most beautiful liaisons the sport of enduro has to offer.

An inordinate amount of flow, rocks and mud set the stage for the day down “Pressure Cooker. Huge smiles at the bottom confirmed what the organisers had always suspected- the trails in Lesotho for Enduro are awesome.

Keira Duncan on his way to Stage 1 of Kingdom Enduro 2018

Keira Duncan on his way to the start of stage 1 – Darol Howes

Muddy trail talk during Kingdom Enduro 2018

Trail talk in the mud at the end of stage 1 “Pressure Cooker” – Darol Howes

Rupert von Tutschek getting low on Stage 2 of Day 1- "Quickie" Kingdom Enduro 2018

Rupert von Tutschek getting low on Stage 2 of Day 1- “Quickie” – Darol Howes

Day 2:

With a perfect day forecast everybody loaded up in the local taxis and headed out to the top of “God-help-me” pass. After a short hike a bike to an iconic start at a cattle kraal in near perfect conditions, racing started.

Will Clack on XXX trail during the Kingdom Enduro 2018

Will Clark dropping in to XXX, – Dominik Barnardt

A welcome shuttle after God Help Me sent riders twice down from Bushmans pass on 2 very physical trails before a long liaison to lunch.

Anka Martin during the Kingdom Enduro 2018 pic: Darol Howes

Anka Martin off to a flying start on Stage 1 “God Help Me” – Darol Howes

Liason on Kingdom Enduro 2018 pic Dominik Barnardt

Riders loving the road to lunch on Day 2 of the Kingdom Enduro 2018, pic Dominik Barnardt

Lunch time on bikes during the Kingdom Enduro EWS qualifier 2018

Riders talking “kak” at lunch during day 2 of the Kingdom Enduro 2018 – Dominik Barnardt

After lunch, the riders were treated to the best trail of the event, called “Love It”. However riders had to work hard for this as they were in for one hell of a hike-a-bike to the top. The view and trail at the top were simply spectacular!

Riders at the top during the Kingdom Enduro EWS qualifier

Riders at the Top of “Love it” gazing upon the romarena. – Darol Howes

pic: Dominik Barnardt

Harry Millar enjoying the sandstone on "Love It" pic: Dominik Barnardt

Day 3:

After some crazy weather, with loads more thunder lightning hail and general not too perfect riding weather forecast for the afternoon, racing was called off. We did however jump in the bus for a shuttle day in the brief 3 hours of no rain for those of us who could still move. The shuttle morning was rad, with riders ables to do the hardest trail of the race called “Freefall” and 2 more trails before the rain set in. The event ended with a rad family oriented prize giving on the old stoep.

Katja Steenkamp during kingdom enduro ews qualifier in lesotho 2018

Katja Steenkamp just below the sandstone cliffs of Roma on “freefall” trail in Lesotho

Despite the cancellation of the final day, it is safe to say that the first EWS event in Africa is now well defined as the most badass race in Africa.

Results

The mens podium of the Kingdom Enduro EWS qualifier in Lesotho

The open mens podium

Open Men

Keira Duncan – 00:58:16,248

Harry Orr – 01:00:50,396

Frank Meyer – 01:03:02,019

Masters Men

Daniel Dobinson – 01:00:28,604

Harry Millar – 01:11:42,716

David Hartley – 01:17:43,533

Women

Anka Martin – 01:14:52,614

Lousie Kotze – 01:27:05,573

Frankie Du Toit – 01:36:04,691