Local hero does it again and T-Mo re-asserts her position on the top step of the podium
The 2016 County Wicklow Enduro World Series was almost a re-run of the 2015 version with Irishman Greg Callaghan (Cube Action Team) taking the Men’s win and Tracy Moseley (Trek Factory Racing) taking the Women’s top spot.
The stages and course may have been different to last year’s EWS held here but the weather was once again blue skies and sunshine and the two headline victors were the same as last year.
Another aspect that was the same were the crowds. Ireland once again came out in force and in full voice (no to mention cowbells and blade-less chainsaws!) to cheers on the racers. The scenes at the top of Stage 2 were intense to say the least.
Local riders got the loudest noise but every rider got a thunderous reception that very probably won’t be equalled at any other round of the EWS this season.
Punctures afflict some of the favourites
The men’s race started much like previous rounds of this year’s EWS with Ritchie Rude (Yeti/Fox Shox) and Martin Maes (GT Factory Racing) charging into the lead positions. But then the punctures started.
Punctures ruined the chances of Rude, Maes, Josh Carlson (Giant Factory Off Road Team) and Nico Vouilloz (Lapierre Gravity Republic). In the Women’s racing, Anneke Beerten (GT Factory Racing) suffered a similar fate with a puncture during one of her runs.
Richie Rude put in an amazing performance post-puncture to claim 3rd place (he had been way down in 34th place at one point).
In an eyebrow-raising result, Downhill racing legend Sam Hill (Chain Reaction Cycles Paypal) finished in 2nd place – and this was on flat pedals on a relatively pedally course. Another Downhill racer, Joel Smith (Chain Reaction Cycles Paypal), also rode on flat pedals and finished in the top 10.
Callaghan does it again
Amidst some of the best EWS racing seen thus far int he series’ history, it was Greg Callaghan’s victory that was the highlight of the day for most spectators. He was lofted in the air and crowd-surfed around after crossing the finish line.
Callaghan: “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!”
Moseley wins six out of seven
In the women’s racing, Moseley dominated. She took the win on six out of the seven stages. Current leader in the overall Women’s standings, Cecille Ravanel (Commencal Vallnord Enduro Team) took 2nd. Stage 7 winner Isabeau Courdurier (SUNN) came in 3rd overall.
In the Under 21 Women’s competition, Irish rider Leah Maunsell triumphed, whilst her fellow countryman Robin Seymour took the Master’s competition. The Irish wins continued into the Men’s Under 21 field, as Killian Callaghan, cousin of Greg, took to the top step of the podium. Welshman Leigh Johnson (Marin Stans) put together a great ride to come in 3rd.