“The CF Racing Tough 100 Extreme enduro took place last Saturday and Sunday and wow! Did it live up to its name, this was the 3rd edition of the event from Steve Ireland and his band of superb lieutenants at WOR Events, the organisers had said in some prerace event info that they had upped the ante for this year’s race, they were not wrong as they provided a fantastic 10-mile lap of mixed mountainous terrain that was littered with challenge after challenge along the way.
The biggest challenge however was the searing heat and blistering sunshine, mixed with the rock-hard ground, that made the already impressively tough track harder, right from the drop of the start flag to the finish of the race 5 hrs later!.It was nice to not have the torrential rain of the previous years events though and the unreal heat gave a feel to the event of being abroad at an international Enduro.
No one knows how to put an Extreme Enduro on in this country quite like Steve and whole concept of this Tough 100 and indeed the TOUGH events brand, Tough one, Tough Enough, Tough ones little brother is evolving into a list of classic unsurpassed events in the UK.
The Tough 100 is already in that bracket and this year had a 1.5-hour mini extreme race on the Saturday evening from 6.30pm till 8pm, this was set in superb sunshine on a nice 5-mile loop that offered some nice technical sections through the streams and valleys of the amazing venue the race was set in.
As stated earlier, Juan Knight was, bar his brother, the best man there, unreal really when you think this guy just pops in to races for fun and loves a pie and a pint maybe more than anything else. Super skill full, super smooth and a real genuine all round off road motorcycle genius, the dry witted Manxman fully deserved his top spot in the Expert Vets with South Wales top Veteran rider, Grant Churchwood chasing him down as the Runner up albeit almost half an hour adrift of Juan. 3rd placed Expert Vet was Harold Crawford, another very skilled Irish rider that belies his years as he got gold standard and was 6 minutes behind Churchwood with a total ride time of 4 hrs and 25 minutes.
The Clubman Vets class was topped by Gary Morley on his Beta. The 56 years young Huddersfield based builder going superb as the only rider in class to take a 10-lap gold ride to his credit. Runner Up was Andy Longden on 9 laps with Carl Harmston securing 3rd spot on 8 laps, Longden getting Silver and Harmston taking Bronze. A Great effort all-round.
Gary McCoy topped the Over 50 class with another top-level ride as he always does. A full lap and 24 minutes was his winning margin as he took Gold on his trusty KTM. Runner Up was a knackered but happy, Simon Nutter completing 9 laps for a silver in class and overall. Dutch visitor Wopke Hoekstra came along way and took a well-deserved medal home as an 8 lap Bronze event man. Really enjoying the rugged Welsh Enduro terrain and its challenges.
Top Sportsman after the two days was William Wolforth with Josh Gilroy and Jake Sheppard in a quality second and third place respectively. All the Sportsman putting in a superb performance in the tough conditions.
Paul Lightfoot took the Overall two-day win of the Tough 100 in the Sportsman Vets, looking very at home on his Husky 350f, Lightfoot took the main race with 2 minutes plus on Mick Reece as Runner Up and Anthony Foulkes in 3rd spot. All 3 mounted on Husqvarna machinery and enjoying a fun challenge over the demanding course and time duration.
Novice class warriors where in abundance with all the riders in the lowest level group doing superbly well to take part and finish. Top Novice after a results check and rider class adjustment was Steve Horgan with the rapidly improving Ben Heycock in 2nd place and Riley Canterbury in 3rd.
The post-race feedback from riders and spectators alike has been phenomenally positive to say the least with scores of riders proclaiming that it was the best event they have done to date. This event was how a multy lap Extreme Enduro should be presented, executed and delivered and the riders could not thank or praise Steve Ireland and the WOR team enough, even DNF riders that had still fully enjoyed the challenge. The heat most definitely played its part in making this Tough 100 Tougher and the sheer volume of spectacular action and rider challenges along with the speed of the “Knighter” made for compelling viewing for the spectators.
Photo Credit: Garry Barnes