Driving it home for the win, Greg Callaghan claimed victory at a sunny opening round of the 2018 Vitus Gravity Enduro Ireland Series in Ballinastoe, Co. Wicklow.
Fresh off his fifth place ride at round two of the Enduro World Series in Colombia, Cube Action Team’s Callaghan put on a world-class display to take home the top spot.
He was joined on the podium by reigning Under 21 World Champion Killian Callaghan (Callaghan Racing) in second with Scott Wallace (Expert Cycles/Endura) third.
“It’s hard to beat the Irish race scene for a good day out,” told Greg. “As always it was a class day’s craic riding with the lads and a great event put on by biking.ie. Fair play!”
Yaaaaaay, I won a bike race! As always, class days craic riding around with the lads and a deadly event put on by the @…
After what felt like one of the longest winters on record, the sun finally broke through to bask a near full-to-capacity series opener with some glorious sunshine delivering close enough to perfect conditions for round one.
Following weeks of nervous preparation, Niall Davis and his biking.ie crew with rewarded a weekend of top notch stages and closely fought racing across the boards.
Home from EWS duties, Callaghan added a touch of class to the weekend both in his riding and presence by spending Saturday’s practice day coaching Ireland’s next generation of shredders, before getting down to business on Sunday’s five-stage race day.
Pro Men — Battle of the Callaghans
Hot out of the traps, he laid down the fastest time on stage one to take an early five-second lead over cousin Killian.
On stage two, Killian turned on the heat setting the fastest time by one second. Putting the hammer down on stage three, Greg added another 10 seconds to his lead over Killian.
And despite Killian winning the penultimate stage, Greg wrapped things up in style on stage five. The only rider to dip below the seven minute marker, he rode to victory by almost 29 seconds.
Determined to not let Greg have things his own way, Killian kept him honest throughout out the day. With two stage wins to his credit, he had to be happy with the runner-up result.
With the Callaghan clan running away with things, behind the duo the fight for the third step of the podium was a three-way affair between Scott Wallace, Peter Davison (Velo Cafe Magasin) and Ian Coates (Biking Dirty).
Putting in a cracker of a time on stage three, Wallace did enough to take third. Davison — remaining consistent throughout — took fourth, while Coates — losing time on the final stage — had to settle for fifth.
Stepping up into the Pro Men for 2018, Garreth Davis (Team biking.ie) showed he’ll soon be knocking on the door of a podium result with sixth.
Pro Women — Muldoon in full flow
In the Pro Women class Michelle Muldoon (Flow MTB) made it three wins from three starts in 2018 by adding a win in Ballinastoe to her growing tally.
Second to Meave Baxter (Cuchulainn) on stage one, Muldoon then went on to win the remaining four stages.
“I’m so happy to take the win in Pro Women today at the first round of the Irish Gravity Enduro Series,” told Muldoon.
“The craic was great and racing absolutely brilliant! It’s awesome to now have two women’s categories with 28 women out there racing.”
Baxter placed as runner-up to Muldoon with Ruth Doorley (Mad MTB) completing the top three. Trish Doyle (Gravity BC) was fourth.
In total 28 women competed at round one with two classes to choose from.
Under 21 — Byrne on top form
The Under 21 category saw the next wave of top Irish talent make their mark with the top three finishers cracking the top five positions in the overall standings.
At the head of the results sheets it was Harry Byrne (Expert Cycles) with the win. Starting his day third, he then cranked up the pace to sweep the remaining four stages and card victory in the 2018 series opener.
Behind Byrne, Drew Armstrong (Mech Monkey) edged out Emmet Callaghan (Callaghan Racing) by seven seconds for second.
Stopping the clock for seventh outright on the day, Glyn O’Brien (Vitus First Tracks Race Division) also took the win in the Veteran Men.
Behind O’Brien in eighth, Nigel Glynn (Bikeology) topped the Master A Men category.
Kyle Lawson (Dirty Hobbits) bagged the win in Senior Men with 13th overall, while Ronan Dunne (biking.ie) was fastest in the Junior Men with 15th overall.
With the wheels now firmly in motion on the 2018 Vitus Gravity Enduro Ireland Series, round two heads to Mt Leinster, Carlow in one month’s time, May 19/20.
Adding extra spice to the mix, the event also serves as a round of the Enduro World Series Qualifiers.
Many thanks to FMX Photography for the photos, for a full gallery from Ballinastoe visit www.fmxphotography.ie
Results – Vitus Gravity Enduro Ireland Series, Round 1
Complete Results: Gravity Enduro Ireland Series, Rnd 1