Round Three in Ireland was quite the race – mechanicals, wild Irish crowds, Sam Hill on the podium and another win for Greg Callaghan and Tracy Moseley! Check out the video inside.
Photos: Duncan Philpott
Round 1 – March 26/27 – Valdivia, Chile
Round 2 – April 2/3 – Bariloche, Argentina
Round 3 – May 15 – County Wicklow, Ireland
Round 4 – July 16/17 – La Thuile, Italy
Round 5 – July 30/31 – Aspen Snowmass, USA
Round 6 – August 14 – Whistler, Canada
Round 7 – September 17 – Valberg-Guillaumes
Round 8 – October 1/2 – Finale Ligure, Italy
If last year’s round of the Enduro World Series was a fairytale, then this year’s event was a dream come true for Greg Callaghan (Cube Action Team).
The Emerald Enduro presented by Biking.ie was almost a complete rerun of last year’s incredible race, with sunshine, huge crowds and Greg Callaghan and Tracy Moseley (Trek Factory Racing) walking away with the top honours.
In a race that changed direction with each of the seven stages, Wicklow once more proved that a little hill can create big dramas. It was business as usual at the start of the day with Richie Rude (Yeti/Fox Shox) leading out Martin Maes (GT Factory Racing) until everything changed on stage two. Both Rude and Maes suffered punctures – along with Josh Carlson (Giant Factory Off Road Team), Nico Vouilloz (Lapierre Gravity Republic), Anneke Beerten (GT Factory Racing) and Toni Ferreiro. The issue forced all of them out the points – except one man.
In one of the most stunning comebacks the series has ever seen, Rude was able to pull it back from 34th place after stage two to finish the race in third place. And in another surprise, Sam Hill (Chain Reaction Cycles Paypal) finished the day in second.
Speaking after the race, Callaghan said: “It feels amazing. The crowd were just pushing me on and to be honest I felt like the result almost didn’t matter because just having that level of support and having so many people willing me on was kind of a win on its own. So I just focused on riding as well as I could – and it worked!”
In the women’s race it was like Tracy had never left – taking a clean sweep of the stages apart from the final one of the day, which she had to renege to Isabeau Courdurier (SUNN). Current series leader Cecile Ravanel (Commencal Vallnord Enduro Team) was forced to settle for second place.
Tracy said: “I was excited to come back and race here after last year because it’s such a fun race with such amazing crowds and the tracks are really fun to ride. To come back and have it sunny, to have even better crowds and then to win – it doesn’t really get much better.”
In the Under 21 Women’s competition, Irish rider Leah Maunsell triumphed, whilst her fellow countryman Robin Seymour took the Master’s competition. And the luck of the Irish continued into the Men’s Under 21 field, as Killian Callaghan, cousin of Greg, took to the top step of the podium. In the team competition Rocky Mountain Urge bp were team of the day, and now lead the series heading into round four in La Thuile.
Chris Ball, Managing Director of the Enduro World Series, said: “There’s just something special about this venue. Once again Niall and his team have worked so hard and it shows – what an incredible race.
“The Emerald Enduro is a real gem in the Enduro World Series calendar. Two year’s in a row now we’ve had a magical weekend with amazing racing, astounding crowds and an incredible welcome from Niall and his team. Thanks to everyone for all of the support and congratulations to all the riders for an great race”
The series now takes a break before returning in July for round four in La Thuile, Italy.