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THE MICHELIN TOUGH ONE EXTREME ENDURO BY WOR EVENTS

Report : Keith Williams
Pictures by :CWL Photography.

“This is why it’s called the TOUGH ONE!”

“The Michelin Tough One Extreme Enduro, the UK’s original and biggest event of its kind, certainly lived up to its name and 13-year-old history last weekend as Steve Ireland and his Superb WOR Events team created an epic battle of the best around the World Famous Nantmawr Quarry in Shropshire. Nobody in the UK knows more or is as experienced as Steve Ireland when it comes to producing Extreme Enduros and this was Probably one of the Toughest Tough one’s for many a year which made the spectacle even better as the crowds lined up to cheer their heroes and World stars on as the entered the gladiator’s arena that is this quarry.

The Main 1pm 2.5hr race:

There was a £2000 prize for waiting for the winner of the UK’s number 1 extreme event and The World’s number one Extreme Enduro Rider, Graham Jarvis on his Factory Rockstar Husqvarna 250 f took his 5th Tough One title, just one short now of record holder, David Knight on 6, was after that money no doubt, he was simply unstoppable to put on a masterclass show of how to ride slippery, gnarly, strength zapping terrain and obstacles with what looked like an effortless display of speed and smooth navigation amongst all that stood in his way.
Graham, in a 11-man strong Pro class, simply pushed through to the lead by lap 2 after having to push through the Experts group that had started first of the line. From there on Grimbo as he is affectionately known just carved his way through the bodies and challenges eventually finishing the event with a Near 8-minute advantage over Runner Up, Travis Teasdale. 

Teasdale, the teenage sensation, Factory Beta Rider from South Africa made the trip well worth while with a stunning ride to wow the crowds with some very fast and impressive riding indeed. World Enduro Legend and Tough One dominator of years gone by, David Knight MBE, was out on the Gas Gas 3002t and put on a great show for his adoring fans as he battled hard to keep on the front foot with the top two and make sure he was on that famous podium once again. Even getting a whack off a fellow Pro rider didn’t stop him pushing on with his usually aggressive and progressive attack on this unforgiving quarry. All 3 Pro riders being the only ones to complete 11 laps of the course in the time allowed. A special mention must go to Paul Bolton who was storming in second place for 50 minutes until he was forced to pull out with simply not feeling well, a dodgy belly all the previous week had done no help for his fitness and the levels of it needed for this event. A great 50 minutes none the least showing his pace and ability. Jonathan Richards on the Factory Beta 300 was on 10 laps in 4th with James Dent making it a brilliant Top 5 as top Sherco man. The first Tough One ever without a KTM in sight of the winners!!!

Sam Ludgate is on Top form at the Moment and he was in fact the top Representative of KTM with a brilliant win in the Expert class over his buddy, Husqvarna mounted, Ben Willberley. In the end it was just 1 minute that separated them after 2.5hrs of hard enduro battling. Third place on the podium went to the hard charging Charlie Frost as he placed his KTM a further 5 minutes back from Wibberley. All top 3 experts completing 9 circuits to their credit.

Juan Knight (JS GAS GAS) is one cool cucumber and his effortless, almost lazy style pulls him result after result where ever he goes and once again he simply dominated the Expert Vets by a clear lap and a half and also finished a fantastic 5th Overall in the standings. Simply brilliant from the big lad from the Isle of Man. Massive congratulations too to Runner Up Grant Churchward on his KTM battling to 8 laps and his well-deserved Trophy and podium. Harold Crawford was top 3 with a superb ride and a well-deserved final podium place.

This goes down as an epic Pro / Expert Tough One with a general consensus of that feeling throughout the paddock and the feedback from the spectators and the masterclass from Graham Jarvis was testament to what hard work, lots of training and keeping super fit can achieve even at nearly 43 years of age.

THE MORNING 2hr race ..

No lesser a spectacle, in fact maybe more so, is the Clubman, Sportsman and Over 50 races. Starting at 9.30 am for 2hours, these 100 riders are brave souls that tackle 98% of the course and do so with amazing effort and determination, not to mention digging that deep for a finish they could almost get to Australia!! It even had TT superstars Conner Cummins and Steve Mercer taking part.!!

Top man was Scottish Trials rider and certainly a rider to keep an eye on in this Extreme Enduro game. Stuart Mack. Stuart on his BETA is tall, slim, strong and smooth and he made easy work of the race and challenges to lead from start to finish and complete a fantastic win with 6 laps to his credit and a very comfortable 14-minute advantage over Runner Up, Tommy Knight. Tommy on his JS GASGAS started really getting a move on towards the middle of the race after a bad start and fully deserved his podium result. 3rd Clubman was Luke Thomas on his KTM, only surrendering his 2nd spot to Tom Knight on the last lap as a mistake and fatigue ruled. Still a brilliant podium for Luke though.

Clubman Vets Top dog was Husky mounted, Alex Owen, showing a clean pair of heels to the rest of the field and pushing Mark Copeland and Pete Bailey into second and third spot respectively. Owens ability maybe should have seen him take on the Expert Vets, 2019 will offer that opportunity, but a massive well done to all in that group as the top 3 all completed 6 laps.

Mark Houson on his KTM was in great form to top the Over 50 class as the only rider to complete 6 laps of the body battering terrain. Runner Up, Gary McCoy though deserves a huge mention as he was in recovery from a recent broken ankle that had seen doctors say his was 6 months away from even thinking about riding a bike, well, he ran up the massive hill start with the aid of his walking stick and battled on to take a 5 lap silver podium place, if ever anyone was the spirit of the Tough One that day it was McCoy as he collapsed over the line. 3rd place went to another rider that knows all about digging deep as Allan Price took a well deserved 3rd spot and enjoyed his way around the entire track even after a month of the dreaded flu keeping him down.

Sportsman Honours went to Chris Brown as the only rider to complete 6 laps in class with Ian Dennison and Ricky Tropman in the silver and Bronze podium spots. It was a KTM filled podium there as Brown had to swap from his listed Sherco the night before due to bike gremlins.

Finally, Jason Clarke pulled out all the stops to do 4 laps and win the Sportsman Vets from Andrew Mills and peter Whiteside on 3 laps each. A proper gruella for those guy’s and truly well-deserved rewards with podium silverware.

To sum up, WOR Events once again delivered the goods, a superb display of why this event is what it is…The riders did fantastically, the crowds came out in their droves to watch and encourage and sing and chant etc, the atmosphere was electric …There was minimal fuss, everything on time and a great time had by all… Roll on the announcement of a new WOR Events 5 round Extreme Enduro series for 2018 that is being announced later in February.. Big events, Big Prize money and an exciting series of challenges ahead... The MICHELIN TOUGH ONE 2018 is complete… here’s to an exciting year from WOR Events. “