Riders have been milling around Derby for upto two weeks, heading straight across the ditch from New Zealand after round one of the Enduro World Series. You should totally check oput our gallery from that

But after the mud of Rotorua, riders have been met by dust and rock at Derby. Temperatures are warm, spirits are high, and conditions are all time.

With Thursday's scheduled track walk, riders were taken through the 6 stages, and got to see the feature sup close. From rocky chutes, to loose corners, dusty off-camber sections and big ledges. The selection of trails will not disappoint, and they will favour skills, stamina, strength and skill. Yes. Two lots of skill - as there are so many rocks to hit that riders will need to be on their game to get through unscathed.

"I saw more than 10 guys bust carbon rims in this section" said photographer Tim Bardsley-Smith

Some things change, and some things don't. Riders like Richie Rude and Martin Maes were absolutely ripping - and Cody Kelley didn't disappoint in that regard either, launching past our photographer.

He didn't hit the photographer Tim Bardsley-Smith. But Tim's beard got a trim.

It's clear that the racing is going to be tight, and possibly more exciting than round one in New Zealand. But it will truly be a battle for riders to keep their bikes in one piece across the 6 stages. Derby has turned it on.

Better by (E) Bike

Our photographer, Tim Bardsley-Smith, has been loaned a brand new Merida OneSixty for the time in Derby. The Shimano Steps powered pedal assist bike runs XT Di2 and has a hard hitting 160mm of travel. It's perfect for lugging camera gear around and capturing these images. We'll have a review from Tim in a coming issue, and you can read his first thoughts next week, beyond "I love it, it's exactly what I want. I'm buying one."