Held over the weekend in Gouveia, a 2 hour drive from Porto, Portugal, Rd 1 of the Championship was at the superb venue that had been used for the World Championship last year. That event had been blighted with very heavy rain and flooding, and the same organisers were hoping there would not be a repeat of such conditions.
The course was to be 3 laps of 46km. There would be 3 Time checks and an Enduro and MX test on each lap. One excellent feature of venue was that all tests checks were an easy walk from the paddock which was also the only service point.
Selected 2017 ACU U23 Enduro squad riders Alex Walton, Dan Mundell, Tom Ellwood, Jay Thomas, Lee Sealey and Luke Flack were all present and were joined by Senior riders Roger Holland and seasoned campaigner Jamie Lewis. Adam Extance had also entered his first Enduro in the Senior E1 class so was prepared for a baptism of fire
Day 1 started for the 120 plus riders in sunny but windy weather with riders almost straight into a dusty and quite difficult Enduro test. The later MX test was good but very fast.
Luke Flack was forced out with engine failure, but all other ACU riders coped well with difficult terrain and all finished without time penalties. The riders reported a good tough course, which being almost entirely off road gave no time for any rest.
When the days results were produced Dan Mundell had won the Junior U20 Class, an excellent result. Alex Walton took 6th in same class. Lee Sealey felt he could improve on his 6th spot in Junior E1. Jay Thomas and Tom Elwood were 10th & 11th respectively in Junior E2. Jamie Lewis was 2nd in Senior E2 and Roger Holland 13th in same class.
Adam Extance completed the day in 11th spot in SE1 with no time loss an achievement for a first time ride.
Day 2, started in dark rainy conditions, but course, lap times and distance would be the same. Fortunately as day wore on conditions improved and the wet weather kept the dust down and tests actually ride better.
Dan Mundell came home in 2nd place in JU20 which gave him the top podium spot in that class over the weekend. Jamie Lewis took 2nd place again and that also confirmed him as the SE2 class winner. Lee Sealey improved to 4th in JE1 and all our other riders finished on time and all claimed valuable Championship points
An excellent start to the European Championship, very good event and good UK results for those who made the long trip.
Next round will be Estonia on July 8/9th.
words:acu photo credit:márcio simões