This weekend the Emerald Enduro takes place in Carrick Mountain, Glenealy, Co. Wicklow, with Sunday seeing the top names in mountain biking compete. This is the second year that Ireland has hosted a round in the World Enduro Series, one of the most exciting and spectator friendly disciplines in cycling.
Last year this event was won by Irishman Greg Callaghan, who came in ahead of many of the world’s top names in Enduro and Downhill mountain biking. Callaghan is looking to defend this win today over the seven gruelling stages, saying he is “looking forward to the chaos”.
With the series taking in locations around the world, Callaghan says of the Irish round that “the hills aren’t the biggest but we use them as well as we can”. Leah Maunsell is another top Irish rider to watch, the 17 year old won the U21 event last year, demonstrating her class, talent and potential.
Enduro is a mountain bike event that sees riders tackle seven timed downhill sections over the course of the day, making it an exciting mix of technical downhill skills and endurance racing.
This is one of the fastest growing areas in cycling in Ireland as it allows riders of a range of abilities compete together, and is one of the most spectator friendly areas in the sport. Today domestic Irish riders compete with world champions, and throughout the weekend there are events for the whole family, from a kid’s demo zone to music and food, along with live commentary throughout the race itself.
The 2016 Enduro World Series started in South America with two rounds, Ireland is round three and the Series then goes to Italy before heading over to the US, Canada and then back to Europe.
This style of racing is quite unique as it allows amateur racers from all over the world to enter and 400 riders will take the start. The event is a Cycling Ireland registered event run by Biking.ie, headed by Niall Davis.
Irishman Paddy Behan, team manager with the Specialised team said “This is a world class event, Niall Davis has done a brilliant job, this is probably the best event in the series”. Racing starts at 8am, with the main riders starting at noon, it continues until 6pm, with most of the sections of racing accessible by foot.
Event website: www.emeraldenduro.com
Event twitter feed: @EmeraldEnduro