Monday, 21 December 2015

Results: 2015 All Terrain Rally Challenge

The results are out for the 2015 All Terrain Rally Challenge and there have been some great battles in several classes. I'm happy to see that in my class (Rally Lite 2 stroke over 250cc), all round good guy Rob Loupart was able to wrap up the championship at the Freestyle Hafren Rally by finishing 2nd to me, congratulations Rob!

Having only completed 2 rounds (and one mechanical DNF at the Brechfa), my 2 wins gave me 40 points and 7th place in my class.

A huge congratulations to all the winners, it's been another great year of racing in the ATRC, here's to another in 2016!

The top 3 finishers from each class are as follows:

Rally class:
  1. Lee Green
  2. Mike Wells
  3. Richard Morgan

Rally Lite 2T over 250cc:
  1. Rob Loupart
  2. Andy Myers
  3. Andrew Sillence

Trail class:
  1. Ant Ireland
  2. Matt Abel
  3. Steven Noble

Rally Lite 2T under 250cc:
  1. Iain Davis
  2. Meirion Scourfield
  3. Josh Allen

Rally Lite 4T over 350cc:
  1. Adrian Middleton
  2. Chris Foster
  3. Dave Leach

Rally Lite 4T under 350cc:
  1. Tony Whitehead
  2. Peter Marriott
  3. Peter Rough

Big Bikes Multi Cylinder over 575cc:
  1. Dave Watson
  2. Lee Salt
  3. Richard Griffin

Big Bikes Single Cylinder over 575cc:
  1. Paul Robson
  2. Bryn Long
  3. Paul Davies

Thursday, 19 November 2015

2015 end of season review

Well that's another year of racing complete! I enjoyed myself yet again and even though I haven't been on the bike as much as I was last year, I'm still happy with how I've improved and my results throughout 2015. Here's a quick summary of my results this year:

  • All Terrain Rally Challenge rounds:
    • 1st class / 2nd overall [Baja GB]
    • 1st class / 4th overall at [Freestyle Hafren Rally]
    • Mechanical DNF [Brechfa Rally]

  • RallyMoto Cup rounds:
    • 4th class / 14th overall - Tight check: 1st [Pikes Peak Nav Rally]

  • Enduro (clubman):
    • Gold award [Powys enduro]
    • Silver award [Fowlers enduro]
    • Silver award [Snowrun enduro]

I'd like to say a big thank you to my family for always supporting my racing, and to ET James and Moto Rally Services for their support this year.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Results: Freestyle Hafren Rally 2015

The results are out for the 2015 Freestyle Hafren Rally, and I'm happy that I took the win in my class and 4th place overall. Well done to everyone who completed the course, it was a tough day out there!

The full results can be downloaded here.

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Race report: Freestyle Hafren Rally 2015

With a nasty ear infection bugging me as well as the remnants of a cold, I was a little apprehensive about how I'd fare at the Hafren Rally. Nevertheless, I got up promptly on Saturday morning and started working on the bike.

The only thing I did to the bike other than the usual stuff was adding some extenders onto the Barkbusters to try to keep my gloves a bit drier in the water splashes, changed the chain link and removed my rally wiring loom.

With that done and the bike ready to race, I went to sign on at the Rugby Club in Llanidloes where I saw a few familiar faces and a few new ones. It's always good to have a chin wag with the rally crowd!

Once I'd signed on, I returned home with my race numbers and fitted them to the bike. Then it was time to prepare my race kit, load the car and get some rest.

I should point out that high winds and torrential rain persisted all day Saturday and it was forecast to be no different on Sunday - the joys of Welsh weather in the Cambrian mountains in November...

Anyway, Sunday morning came and I got up and headed over to the Sweet Lamb Rally Complex, just outside Llangurig.

When we arrived, we realised that the start of the race had been delayed for an hour due to the awful weather - namely because there were several trees which had fallen down across the route and needed clearing. The Hafren DBC crew leapt into action and we promptly got underway at 10am. There was originally going to be 2.5 laps to complete with 6 special tests, but in light of the late start, this had to be shortened to 2 laps with 3 tests.

Wales Rally GB had been on only days before, so the tracks would be rutted and polished in places, but we knew there was a good mix of terrain in store for us along the route, with the usual optional enduro routes to keep everyone on their toes.

Predictably, the weather didn't relent and we were subjected to the same high winds and heavy rain of the previous day. When we finished the sighting lap, the organisers asked for our opinionson whether or not we should be sent round again. The wind was the cause for concern, but we all agreed it was OK to carry on, given that the conditions were set to improve.

Unfortunately at this point when I refuelled, my camera battery died, so I have no coverage of the timed tests, but I have put together a video diary with highlights of the course instead.

I had a fairly good second lap with the 3 timed tests, but I made mistakes on each one and I had real trouble with my balance on occasions, thanks to my ear. I hope it didn't have a big effect on my result, I'd love to be close to the top 10 overall.

I stayed on all day and rode pretty well taking all into consideration, so I'm happy with that. I had fun and I'm looking forward to seeing the results shortly.

Thanks very much indeed to all the organisers, marshalls and officials, it was a horrible day to be out, so your efforts are really appreciated!

I hope everyone who was competing for ATRC championship points had a good race, can't wait to see the end of season results after this.

Photos are available at (thanks Keith Bowen).

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Hafren rally this weekend

In just a few days, the 2015 All Terrain Rally Challenge will come to a close at the final round in Mid-Wales. The Hafren Rally, based at the Sweet Lamb Rally Complex, will be a stern test of rider and machine as is always the case with Hafren DBC events.

Personally, I'm recovering from an ear infection and a cold this week, so I'm hoping to be well enough to face the inevitable harsh conditions in the Microclimate of Sweet Lamb this weekend.

That aside, I shouldn't have too much prep work to do on the bike outside the usual things. If I have time, I might have a look at preparing a proper fix for my clutch perch (see below).

It'll be good fun, and as I've got nothing to prove, I'm looking forward to riding for the pleasure of it. I won't be taking any risks, my aim being to get round in one piece and finish in the top 20 overall.

Best of luck to everyone fighting for championship points this weekend, may the best men & women win!

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Results: ET James Welsh Solo Enduro Championship 2015

The final standings are out for the ET James Welsh Solo Enduro Championship - well done to everyone, it's been yet another highly competitive year!

From a personal point of view, I haven't done enough rounds to take any meaning from my championship position but I'm happy to have scored some points in the clubman class nonetheless.

Best of luck to everyone in the 2016 championship! The full 2015 results can be downloaded here.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Results: Fowlers enduro 2015

The results are out already for the Fowlers Enduro 2015! Efficient timing and officiating from the Mid Wales Dirt Track crew means that we have the results the same day, and I'm happy to have finished 9th in the clubman class, having stayed clean on time. I wasn't sure how I'd cope having been off the bike for 3 months since the Powys Enduro (and another 3 months before that). Fitness didn't prove to be that much of a problem and I was able to push hard when I needed to.

Once again, thanks to all the marshalls, officials and the rest of the Mid Wales Dirt Track organisers for a great event.

The full results can be downloaded here.

Monday, 19 October 2015

ioTube videos: Fowlers enduro 2015

On board my EXC 300, both special tests at the Fowlers enduro 2015 in the clubman class:

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Race report: Fowlers enduro 2015

I hadn't touched the bike since the Powys Enduro in August, so the first order of the day on Saturday was to get the bike fettled and ready for the day's competition on Sunday.

I greased everything up as I usually do, tightened and adjusted the handguards, re-aligned the front wheel (ahem - the result of a crash in the Dyfi forest at the Powys), tightened the chain, refuelled and mixed my race fuel, oiled the air filter and cleaned the spark plug. Then I put my race numbers on (42) and checked all the various nuts and bolts for any loose ones.

With that all done, I went to walk the special tests - the second test was really nice and flowing with some beautiful bermed and banked corners and climbs and descents, that took me 25 minutes to get around on foot. The first test was up at the start and that was a nice, long cross country test through the woods with some fantastic fast, flowy sections and some tight technical going too. That one was long though! I saw Jane Daniels previewing the course while I was there, she flew around in 9 and a half minutes, so I knew it was a good distance. Anyway, an hour and a quarter later and having skipped a section on Tom Sagar's (clerk of the course) advice, I was back at the start. The first lap was a sighting lap for the first test, so there was no real need to walk it, but I like to take every opportunity to make my life easier during a race.

After walking the tests and feeling good about the next day, I returned home and loaded my bike in the trailer. Then I set about gathering all my race kit together and cleaning my many sets of goggles.

Sunday morning arrived and we got to the paddock at 8:30am, parked up and I took my bike down to sign on and get scrutineered. With that done, I left my bike in the parc ferme and went to put my kit on and get myself a cup of coffee.

My start time was 10:14am and I was riding in the competitive clubman class. We set off straight onto the first special test from the start and I took the first lap to get into my rhythm. I had arm pump in my right arm for the first lap which made things a little tricky, but I stretched when I could and coped as best I could,

By the time the second lap came around, I was feeling good and comfortable on the bike. I had two good tests that lap and had a lot of fun. I dropped the bike a couple of times after getting cross-rutted on the going but I was happy with the way I was riding and my fitness was holding up well despite my lengthy absence from racing.

The third lap was going well too - the second check got tighter every lap. On the first lap we had 42 minutes, the second lap we had 38 minutes, and on the final lap we had only 32 minutes! I knew I had to keep a good pace and avoid any mistakes, so I dug deep on the last check and rode really well, getting to the check with 30 seconds to spare before my minute ticked over!

Then it was straight onto the first test for the final time and I was doing well until the penultimate corner, when my front wheel bounced over one side of a log and the back wheel went the other side. I dropped it, but where normally I would've been going again in a matter of seconds, my electric start had seized up so I couldn't start the bike easily. I had to get off it again, get neutral and then kick it into life before I could push it out of there! I was so frustrated as I lost a good 30 seconds there but that's what happens when you're tired.

All in all it was a great race, the course was really enjoyable and I feel like I rode well, many thanks to the Mid Wales Dirt Track club, all the marshalls and officials and the photographers. Phillip Hodges took some great photos, you can view them on his Facebook page.

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

News: Merzouga Rally 2015

Just days after the Rallye Oilibya du Maroc FIM World Rally Championship round where GBR's Sam Sunderland (KTM) took the win and Matthias Walkner clinched the world title (2nd, KTM), the world's rally riding elite are now tackling the Merzouga Rally.

Now when I say tackling, I mean they are having to bring their A-game this year! The start of the race was pretty brutal, sending the riders up a huge hill climb full of rocks, boulders, gravel and rock steps. Even the pro riders struggled and flapped their way up, so a lot of respect is due to the entire field for their efforts so far.

One of those riders is British Dakar 2016 entrant Chris "Corky" Cork, who established his riding roots in the UK All Terrain Rally Challenge. He's riding a great race so far, navigating well and avoiding penalties, get behind him and show your support! His race number is 39 and you can follow his race on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, as well as on the Merzouga Rally live timing site.

You can also find out how to support his Dakar race effort in January 2016 by visiting his website

Update (after stage 3): Sam Sunderland (KTM) had a big crash in a whooped river bed on the first half of the Marathon stage, breaking his right femur and left collarbone. Matthias Walkner (KTM) also withdrew from the race due to sickness. Antoine Meo (KTM) was with Sunderland and Walkner at the time of Sunderland's crash at KM 111, but after their withdrawals, provisionally leads the rally in the general standings. The riders will do their own servicing overnight and continue onto the second half of the marathon stage in the morning. We all wish Sam Sunderland a very speedy recovery, and hope that this doesn't ruin his chances of getting to the Dakar Rally in January.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Hafren entry in!

Entries opened today for the final round of the 2015 All Terrain Rally Challenge, the Hafren Rally. Held on the 15th of November this year, in the wake of Wales Rally GB, it will be a tough days' riding with 3 special tests per lap in a 50 mile loop. I've got my entry in already!

I'm sure it'll be an exciting day of racing, the Hafren always draws a crowd and brings some very talented local riders out of the woodwork, so anything could happen!

Friday, 2 October 2015

Fowlers entry in!

I'm pleased to have got my entry in for the Mid Wales Dirt Track Fowlers Enduro in 2 weeks' time. It turns out that this year's Bwlchciliau event is going to be a Hare & Hounds and will therefore be dropped from the 2015 ET James Welsh Solo Enduro Championship, making Fowlers Enduro the final round of the championship this year.

That should make for a pretty good turn out in what is a great event. That being said, I remember the last time I competed at the Fowlers enduro - it remains the toughest event I've ever done! That was back in 2013 - I entered the Sportsman class and it was billed as a good enduro for beginners. Well that was a bit of an eye opener, let me tell you. The course was very, very wet and it was effectively one giant deep, sloppy, muddy rut all the way round. In fact, the special tests were by the far the toughest part of the 20 mile loop.

We were 2 laps in, I'd just completed the 2nd special test and I was completely exhausted. I finished the lap thinking I was done for the day and I entered the check to see a grimace on Jess Hockly's face "Just one more to go...sorry" she said. I think she could see the look of anguish on my face! I pulled into the pits and there were some other Sportsmen there, who were packing up their things to go home. Then my mate came in and said that he'd been sent round the 2nd special! I must have been the last Sportsman to go through. Knowing I only had to negotiate the first test again and seeing my mate pull back out onto the course, I decided I'd give it a shot. So off we went, and we stuck together, trail riding the whole lap, making sure we'd get round. In fact, we were actually just making sure we didn't hour out, the closing marshalls were catching up with us and at one point I think the Clerk of the Course thought they'd lost us two! It was an amazing feeling to get to the end, we were both completely destroyed by the relentless course but it taught me a valuable lesson in never giving up and digging deep to earn a finish.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to this year's edition, I hope I won't find it as hard this time round! I'll be in the Clubman class this time round, but I haven't ridden in 3 months so that will make things interesting! Bring it on.

Thursday, 17 September 2015

ioTube hits 25K views, Io Racing hits 20K visits!

I'm happy to share that my YouTube channel, otherwise known as ioTube has reached the sum total of 25,000 views!

While a lot of people have been watching the race videos I've been posting, it's great to see that quite a number have also been visiting the IoRacing website, which now has over 20,000 visits.

Hopefully the content is up to scratch and people are enjoying reading updates, browsing the photos and watching the videos.

All feedback and requests welcome! Thanks for watching and reading, here's to another 25K views and 20K visits :)

Links: ioTube YouTube channel

Thursday, 10 September 2015

2015 Hafren Rally update

The final All Terrain Rally Challenge (ATRC) round of 2015, organised by Hafren Dirt Bike Club, has been re-scheduled and will be held on Sunday the 15th of November.

It's a firm favourite for many riders and is bound to be tough, bringing in a few very experienced, fast riders who could well alter the usual results at the top!

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Hollywood blockbuster filmed scenes in the heart of Mid Wales

Well imagine my surprise last night when I went to see the new film “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” (I won’t ruin it for anyone because it’s worth watching) and found myself instantly recognising some of the terrain in the scenes towards the end of the film.

It was none other than the start of the Pikes Peak Navigation Rally special test! The broad switchbacks climbing up the hill, those same ones we were power-sliding around back in March this year, are featured in Guy Ritchie’s latest Hollywood blockbuster film.

These scenes were filmed in the heart of the Cambrian Mountains in Mid Wales, apparently the crew spent around a week in the area surrounding Dyffryn Castell during filming.

So there you go - if you've raced in the All Terrain Rally Challenge over the last couple of years, the chances are you'll be able to watch the film and say "I've raced along there at full speed as well"!

I really enjoyed this film and I'd recommend you go and see it! You'll find yourself recognising plenty of other scenes from around the UK too, no doubt.

The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (2015)  


Image above courtesy of


RallyMoto Pikes Peak Navigation Rally 2015 


Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Results: Powys enduro 2015

The results are out for the Powys Enduro and I'm really happy to have finished in the top half of the clubman. In the end, I was 25th out of 54 starters but my times were just about good enough to get me a Gold award! I'm already looking forward to next year.

Download the full 2015 Powys enduro results here.

Monday, 10 August 2015

ioTube race video: Powys enduro 2015 special test

On board my EXC 300, the opening special test in the morning at the Powys enduro 2015 in the clubman class:

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Race report: Powys enduro 2015

My weekend started on Friday night, I loaded the bike into the trailer and threw my boots and hemlet in the boot of the car ready for scrutineering on Saturday morning.

I got up on Saturday morning and got all my gear ready, including the dreaded goggle washing/preparing. Take the old film out, wash them, dry them, rain-ex the outside, anti-fog the inside, fit new film, for all 3 pairs of roll-off goggles! Anyway, once that lot was all done, I set off to the paddock in Carno and got my bike scrutineered.

Once signing-on and srcutineering was over and done with, I got my timecard and filled it in, then wrote the times on my bike and put it away ready for the morning.

Then it was time to walk the test. My good mate Phil Pugh came with me (he was riding with his Dad - Derrick Pugh in the Trail class with another friend of mine, Guy Allsopp). We picked the best lines we could and walked the test both ways, which ended up taking us 2.5 hours! We worked out the test was only about 3 miles long, but the terrain was very hilly and technical for the most part, so there weren't many places to build up speed. With that all done, it was time for a rest and a good night's sleep.

Sunday morning arrived in the form of a 5:30am alarm. I dragged myself out of bed with my usual race-day morning enthusiasm ("why do I do this again?") and forced some breakfast down. Then I jumped in the "support vehicle" with my parents and off we went to Carno.

My start time was 9:08am, first away in the clubman class #501 with my riding buddy for the day, Huw Jones. Usually we go straight to the special test in the morning, which has never been something I particularly enjoy, but this year we had a nice warm up loop before we got there, over the Trannon hills and through the bogs on the moorland. I did suffer with some bad arm pump early in the morning having not ridden properly for 3 months, but by the time I got to the special test, I was settled and felt good. I knew it would be greasy with the early morning dew and the overnight rain, so I knew to take it steady on the grassy bits.

Onto the first special test and there at the start line was Robert 'Burt' Hughes from RallyMoto club running the timing. He waved me onto the test and off I went. I was pretty happy with how I rode the test, I took it steady and made sure I stayed on, but I wasted a bit of time in some places, particuarly on two of the hill climbs. I bounced around in the ruts at the bottom of the hill both times and lost my momentum, then I found it hard to get going again! Probably about 20 seconds worth there but the rest I was happy with. There to greet me at the other end of the special test was RallyMoto's Mark 'Moly' Molineux, running the timing at the other end. Great to see them both!

Before the weekend, I'd set myself the target of finishing clean on time and in the top half of the clubman class. With that test under my belt, I was confident I'd be around there as long as I kept it up.

The rest of the course was good, and the main section to speak of between the tests was the Dyfi forest check. I don't know if it was just my lack of bike time but I felt like that check beat me up a bit! It was so rough in there and pretty wet. It's a rock base and there are a lot of whoops and braking/acceleration bumps and some very technical hill climbs, so it was a bit of a workout. We had 98 minutes to get to the check, but despite my stopping 3 times for various things including goggle cleaning and fixing a lever, I was still 35 minutes early at the check.

We moved on from there and rode well on the tight check before the test to arrive with 3 minutes to spare.

After hopping over a couple of bogs in the field by the special test, I got to the start line and waited for a few guys in front of me to go. Just when I was about to go, a sidecar arrived and went straight into the test. I didn't want to risk getting stuck behind them, so I left 2 minutes before going onto the test. Off I went before some other riders jumped in front of me, and I started the test well. I was hitting all my lines and felt good, but I made a small mistake dropping the bike on a muddy corner and stalled it twice. I got going again but when I was half way through the test, I caught the sidecar and couldn't get past for a good few corners. Eventually I found a line to get by and got back into my rhythm. The rest of the test I rode well and continued to hit my lines and carry good speed. The bog at the top of the test didn't cause me any problems either and I rode into the finish being pleased with the way I'd ridden during the day.

I rode back to the paddock with some mates and we all had a look at the provisional results on the website and before any time penalties (I didn't have any but some others may have), I was lying in 19th position from 53 clubman riders.

I'm very happy with that! I wanted to finish in the top half of the clubman and that's exactly what I did. I didn't break the bike or pick up any injuries so it was a successful weekend all in all. Many thanks to MWTRA and RallyMoto, and all the marshalls and officials, it was another enjoyable year at the Powys enduro, see you again in 2016.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Training and some more maintenance

With the weekend to myself (house-sitting), I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to do a little bit more work on the bike and carry out those long-standing bits of maintenance that I'd neglected last time.

Like I've always said, I like to know that my bike is spot on for a race. I haven't kept on top of maintenance as well as I normally do recently, but it hasn't been as important during training. However, with the Powys Enduro looming - just over 2 weeks' time - it's time to get the spanners out and do some fettling.

I'll be away at 09:06am on Sunday the 9th of August at the Powys Enduro, rider number 501 in the clubman class. I've never competed in the Clubman class at the Powys Enduro, but as soon as I got my first Sportsman class win last year, it was time to move up to Clubman. I know it'll be competitive, so I'll be riding to finish in the top half of the class and anything better will be a bonus!

Last time I had my hands on the bike, I swapped the tank back to the stock enduro one and replaced the chain, front sprocket, spark plug and air filter.

This time, I got up early on Saturday morning and decided to have a go at fixing the exhaust. When I was at the Baja GB ATRC round at Sweet Lamb back in May, I noticed at the end of the race that my exhaust was leaking from the front and the bike seemed to be a bit down on power at the top end. So, first things first, I took the front pipe off and inspected the mating surfaces, then gave them a clean. Then I replaced the O-ring seals as well as the springs. When I re-mounted it, I used an extra spacer on the mounting point next to the joint with the silencer to make sure it was lining up squarely at the front. It's taken a few hits during the time I've had it, so I'm betting it's not quite the same shape as it once was!

Anyway, once that was done, I got started on re-packing the silencer. This was something I'd been meaning to do for a while but hadn't got around to it. I cleaned everything first, then I disassembled the silencer using a small grinder (multi-tool) to remove the rivets that hold the end cap on. To be fair, the packing wasn't in as poor a condition as I expected it to be, but it was time to replace it.

I got my fiber glass roll, trimmed it and then wrapped the inner silencer tube in it. Then I posted it neatly through and re-assembled everything.

Once that was all back together, I fired the bike up and took it around the yard - all seemed well, it wasn't any noisier (a dreaded sign you haven't packed the silencer properly, either too tightly or not enough) and there were no leaks.

When I got the bike back into the shed, I checked the wheel bearings. It's important to "loosen" the bike up first when you check these, because they tend to bind a little after being sat still which gives you the illusion that they're fine, but you can be sure that (sod's law) once you roll it into scrutineering, any play that was there will manifest itself! Anyway, I checked both sets and both the front and rear had play in them. Not enough to warrant any disqualification from an event but my policy is any play whatsoever and they get replaced.

I started with the front - I had a spare set in the tool box so I had everything back together within about 20 minutes, a very smooth job. Then I prepped the rear and got everything ready to slot the new bearings in. I knew I didn't have any so I popped over to good old ET James in Rhayader and got some fresh rear wheel bearings and dust seals, along with some gearbox oil.

An hour later and I was back, fitting those new rear wheel bearings. They went in smoothly as well, and before I knew it, I had moved onto replacing the gearbox oil. Again, this was something I'd been meaning to do for a while, so I was glad to get the chance to do it. After a nice dose of 800ml of Motorex's finest 15W50 and a new copper crush washer, the bike was all fixed up and ready to ride.

And that's exactly what I did next! I took the bike out onto my enduro training track and put in some laps. The track is unfortunately massively overgrown at the moment so I was plowing my way through it most of the time, but it started to get easier, even though grip was hard to find. My lap record of 2:57 for the special test was never in jeopardy though - I think the best I managed was just under 4 minutes! But the lack of grip made it really tough to keep momentum and the fact I couldn't see the track made it extra challenging. It was all good practice though, and although I'm clearly not as bike fit as I was a few months ago, I should be in with a chance of a half-decent result at the Powys enduro. Bring it on!

Friday, 17 July 2015

MCN video diary: Baja GB 2015

Motorcycle News' (MCN) sports editor Michael Guy gives us his take on Baja GB 2015 in his video diary. Brilliant stuff!

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Red Bull Romaniacs 2015 highlight videos

One of my favourite races to follow on the Hard Enduro (or Extreme Enduro) calendar is the Red Bull Romaniacs Hard Enduro Rallye, set in the Romanian mountains.

With a prologue to begin with on the streets of Sibiu, the race spans 5 days of competition. Day one is the prologue, then there are 4 "off-road" days. Off-road day one is normally fairly tough but gets the riders into the swing of things. Off-road days 2 and 3 however are a different ball game, they are seriously tough and only the best and fittest riders will shine.

Anyway, here are some highlight videos from this year's event. I would love to be there one day!


Off-road day 1:

Off-road day 2:

Monday, 6 July 2015

Training and some Powys enduro prep

I took the opportunity this weekend to go and do some much needed maintenance on my ET James/Moto Rally Services KTM EXC 300, ready for the next race - the 2015 Powys Enduro on the 9th of August.

I started by removing the Acerbis 15L tank and re-mounting the standard 9.5L one. Then I replaced my Renthal R3 O-ring chain and the split link, along with the front sprocket. Then I adjusted the chain tension, replaced the air filter and spark plug and bled the front brake.

Once all that was done, I went out to do some training - it was nice to be out but it was hot! I filmed a little bit while I was riding so that I can see where I'm going wrong, especially with the more technical riding. I practiced some hill climbs, crossing big logs, brake slides, wheelies, drifting around corners, pivot turns and some jumps for good measure. I'm feeling good about my technical skills - it's a case of keeping them all together when I'm tired and that's something only bike fitness will give me.

Anyway, I had a great time messing about on the bike and I've only got a few things left to do before the Powys Enduro. I need to check my wheel bearings, change the gearbox oil and overhaul the exhaust system. The front will get new o-ring seals and new springs and the rear will get re-packed.

Hopefully I will be able to squeeze in at least one more practice session before the Powys, but I'm looking forward to it and I know I'll enjoy it, just like I do every year.

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

#ioracing on instagram

Follow Io Racing on Instagram! Lots of photos and videos from training to race days and everything in between.


Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Summer break

It's been a bit quiet on the racing front recently! I have to admit it's nice to relax and do some training in my own time, not having to worry about fixing the bike with a tight deadline or rushing off to races every other weekend for a change.

I'm enjoying having some downtime and I'm really looking forward to my next race, which will be the Powys Enduro in August.

That's still a while away at the moment but that gives me plenty of time to fettle the bike, do some roadbook training ready for the RallyMoto GB round of the RallyMoto Cup and do some intense fitness training off the bike too. I've been at the gym a lot recently and I'm feeling fit and strong, so I'm confident about getting back on the bike.

There will be some training videos coming soon, so watch this space!

Monday, 8 June 2015

Erzberg 2015: Sportsmanship at its finest

In case you missed it, the picture below sums up the 2015 Erzberg Red Bull Hare Scramble - the most memorable moment from the event and one that demonstrates true sportsmanship and teamwork at the pinnacle of our sport. Just a small part of why we love enduro!

Jonny Walker, Graham Jarvis, Andreas Lettenbichler and Alfredo Gomez all crossed the finish line together after their magnificent manual ascent of the "Downtown" section of the course to become the first riders in history to share 1st place between 4 riders.

They man-handled, dragged, roped and scrambled their way up the section by forming a human chain in this fantastic spectacle. The weather is always harsh at Erzberg, this year it was extremely hot. The riders even stopped for a picnic half way up the section and could be seen sharing a bag of M&Ms in the heat of the race - where else do you see that?!

Roll on the next edition of the Erzberg Rodeo. Photo ©Philip Platzer/Red Bull Content Pool.

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

TV coverage of Baja GB 2015 from Special Stage rally review and Motors TV

There was some great TV coverage of the event on Motors TV the other day, with the full programme now available on Special Stage's Youtube channel. It's a shame they pronounced my name wrongly but if I had a penny for every time that's happened...

Watch the full episode here:

Monday, 11 May 2015

Baja GB 2015 photos

There are some fantastic photos available online from Baja GB 2015, courtesy of Garry Barnes Photography and BRADS photography, thank you very much to them:

Garry Barnes photos (Facebook album)

BRADS photography (Facebook album)