The third round of the Enduro World Series proved to be one of the most challenging to date - both race days stayed dry but rain on the first day of practice left its mark on the already difficult tracks. The variety of trails - from steep and rocky to long and physical - caught out plenty of riders, leading to heartbreak for Jesse Melamed (Rocky Mountain Urge-bp) who led for most of the race until a mechanical on stage seven ended his day. The men's race came down to the wire, with just two seconds separating Greg Callaghan (Cube Action Team) and Martin Maes (GT Factory Racing) going into the final stage of the day. However it was Callaghan who pulled ahead to win the race, taking five seconds out of Maes, with Damien Oton (Devinci Global Racing) coming third. Now sitting top in the series rankings, Greg said: "It was a hard weekend. I knew before the race it was going to be eventful with a lot of mechanicals and a lot of problems for people and so I tried to play it consistent. There was so many people that could have won this weekend so I'm over the moon - it was amazing, absolutely amazing." It was a different story in the women's race, with Ravanel (Commencal Vallnord Enduro Team) dominating from the outset, winning all but one stage. Isabeau Courdurier (Sunn) won a stage but it wasn't enough to counter Ravanel's speed and she had to settle for second. Israeli privateer Noga Korem put in an incredible performance that was rewarded with third place. Cecile said: "It was hard because it was really slippery and stage three was scary. It was amazing though, to find all these different stages for enduro; long stages, short stages, some pedalling sections but not too long and some downhill steep stages - I really enjoyed everything in this race." In the U21 Men Thibault Laly of France won, followed by Vajtech Blaha in second and Gabriel Torralba in third. Estelle Charles took the win in U21 women, Martha Gill was second and local rider Caroline Costa took third. In the Master's Women Mary Mcconnelloug was the sole competitor, but still put in a blistering time. Karim Amour (BH-Miranda Racing Team) won convincingly in the Master's Men, with Nigel Page (Chain Reaction Cycles Mavic) in second and reigning World Champion Michael Broderick in third. In the team competition Cube Action Team took team of the day, but it's Ibis Cycles Enduro Race Team who lead the category in the overall rankings. Full results available now here. The Enduro World Series returns for round four on May 27th for the Emerald Enduro in County Wicklow, Ireland.
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" Download the full results here: Results_Ireland 2016.pdf The series now takes a break before returning in July for round four in La Thuile, Italy.