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// ©Matt Wragg

05/06/2015, CANYON Hot Scotch Heat

The Strive Diaries Entry 3

Summer in Scotland. If diversity is your thing then this is the place to be. Take off your jacket to soak up the sun’s rays and you get rewarded three minutes later when the sky turns black and a hailstorm rolls in across the glen. Don’t dare complain though or the locals will mark you down as soft. The changeable conditions all add to the Scottish charm and help make the racing challenging and unpredictable.

Heading to Tweedlove straight off the back of Ireland’s Emerald Enduro the Canyon Factory Enduro Team was hoping for better luck after untimely flats put paid to Fabien Barel and Joe Barnes’ podium chances a week earlier. Hopes were high for a repeat of last year when Joe wrapped up 3rd in front of his home crowd.

The Top Chief came out swinging on day one before his best human pinball impression between the trees at the end of stage 4 dropped him out of the hunt for the lead. Despite the effects of the crash Joe stuck it out on Sunday to record a solid 8th place, a result reflected by teammate Ines Thoma in the women’s race. Fabien spent his weekend making up time after a mistake on the first stage. With his speed on the longer stages he fought his way back up to 4th at the close, leaving open questions as to what could have been if the organisers hadn’t had to shorten the final day due to bad weather.

It’s been a blast but now we turn our backs on the rolling hills of Ireland and Scotland and will miss the “creative” encouragement of their awesome crowds. CFET is ready to get stuck back into the high alpine for EWS Round 4 in Samoens, France in a couple of weeks’ time. Things are about to get steep…