Michelle Muldoon did Ireland proud at the four round of the Enduro World Series by winning the Women’s Master 35+ category.
Over two incredibly long and tough days of racing in an event that straddled two countries, Austria and Slovenia, Flow MTB’s Muldoon held strong to beat closest challenger Austria’s Birgit Braumann by just three seconds.
Ending the opening day of racing with a confidence boosting stage three win, Muldoon headed into day two in the runner-up position chasing a 31-second deficit to Braumann.
With the burners on, she began to take chunks of time out of her rival by winning stages four and five to provisionally lead with just one stage to go. Despite Braumann coming back to win the final stage, it wasn’t enough to deny Muldoon her debut EWS victory.
“Three years ago, I set myself the goal of standing on an EWS podium. I was never 100% sure it was possible and especially never dreamed I’d be standing on the top step,” told Muldoon. “I can’t put into words how much this means to me and how fan-bloody-tastic it feels to achieve what I thought was unachievable.
“It wouldn’t have been possible either only for the fantastic Enduro race structure we have in Ireland that has brought not only me on as a rider, but also so many others thats enabled us to compete against the best in the world!
“Thank you to everyone for all the words of support and messages, it really makes a massive difference to my mindset leading up to the race, while racing and when I’m struggling up a two-hour climb.
“Huge shout out to Fit4Racing who have kept me strong and fit over the season with their Enduro specific programmes. The Bike Rack Dublin for putting me on seriously the best bike I’ve ever ridden and keeping it in mint condition. And finally to my team, Flow MTB Apparel, who’ve kept me in the best kit I could ask for!”
I DID IT! I BLOODY DID It! 😬🇮🇪🏆 1st place in the @world_enduro Masters! Such tight racing against @trekgravitygirls Birgit Braumannwith just 3 seconds in it after 76 minutes of racing! Three years ago, I set myself the goal of standing on an EWS podium. I was never 100% sure it was possible and especially never dreamed I'd be standing on the top step! Can't put into words how much this means to me and how fanbloodytastic it feels to achieve what I thought was unachievable. It wouldnt have been possible either only for the fantastic Enduro race structure we have in Ireland that has brought not only me on as a rider, but also so many others thats enabled us to compete against the best in the world! Thank you to everyone for all the words of support and messages, it really makes a massive difference to my mindset leading up to the race, while racing and when im struggling up a 2 hour climb!! Huge shout out to @fit4racing who have kept me strong and fit over the season with their Enduro specific programmes. @the_bike_rack_dublin for putting me on seriously the best bike I've ever ridden and keeping it in mint condition And finally to my team, @flowmtbapparel who've kept me in the best kit I could ask for! 🤘 #Sorryfortheessay #ews #podium #racinglife #dreamsmade #enduroworldseries #worldserieswinner #womeninsport #sportswoman #transitionbikes #kaliprotectives #ridemtb @CyclingIrelandOffroad
Greg Callaghan best of Irish with 12th in Men
For Cube Action Team’s Greg Callaghan’s impeccably high standards, hopes of a podium result didn’t come to form at round four. Despite ‘on the pipe’ in practice, Saturday was his undoing sitting 31st after the opening two stages.
Picking things up, he climbed his way up the leaderboard as the weekend progressed to an eventual 12th overall after over 55 minutes of timed racing.
Well, that was a tough weekend! Felt great in practice but just didn't put the pieces of the puzzle together when it mattered in the race. Saturday was really tough but loved yesterday's stages and it was a good time riding with good people as always. Sure if nothing else, it's a day out! Felt like I was riding better as the race went on and got back up to 12th in the end, not the worst result, but definitely not what I'm aiming for. Looking forward to a solid few weeks before another chance in La Thuile. Big fair play to the Ham @killiancallaghan for bagging a top 20 in his first elite race, little fecker nearly got me, can't be having that! 😂 Huge thanks to the whole @cubeactionteam for keeping everything running smooth and @world_enduro for keeping things exciting with these cool new venues. #tillnexttime #bikesareclass 📸@svenmartinphoto
Killian Callaghan back in EWS with top 20
With round four marking Killian Callaghan’s first stop of the 2018 EWS series, he certainly made it count with 17th overall.
Living out of a van for the last month in Europe, he’s shown some of the sport’s elite a thing or three this weekend. Steeping up to the Elite ranks for the first time, the opening two stages were steady for the reigning Under 21 World Champ, before banging in a top 15 time to end day one. Eighteenth on Sunday’s opener stage four, he ended things on a high with a seventh in the final stage six.
Been a long winter washing cars daydreaming away thinking of putting down a decent overall result. Didnt expect it at all this weekend. Hadnt a whole plie of bike time or much fitness at all coming into this weekend. Was really just aiming to have fun and see how I felt about getting back into it. Ended up having a great time. Stages were a real test of everything a Proper good enduro. Probably one of the best ews races ive done.Yeah the transitions were a bit long but I aint gotta problem with it for how good the downhills were!! Rode fairly steady for the most of it in survival mode to be honest. Felt better and better as the weekend went on especially on the long stages. Had a mint last stage on the limiter got a 7th in it and ended up in 17th overall. Had a few other decent stage times that Im pretty happy with. Massive thank you to everyone at home that have helped me financially make it out here especially @mooneyshyundai for sorting out hotel transit. #shouldasignedmeup 📷 @liam_moyn @santacruzbicycles @junglemassiv @hopetech @wildernesstrailbikes @renthal_cycling @kennyracing81 @smithoptics @urgebike @fox @girosportdesignuk @westparkfitness @cabletechservice @alanwhitecars @rapidracerproducts @allmountainstyle @backcountryresearchstraps
Injured Kelan Grant in EWS survival mode
Entering the fourth stop with an injured shoulder, Austria/Slovenia was always going to be a tough outing for Team CRC’s Kelan Grant. Digging deep, the man ploughed on in some seriously tough riding for a very respectable 50th overall of the 210 starters in the Men’s category.
Didn’t know if I was going to start this race on Thursday so fairly happy to make it round and finish. Buzzing for the team @samhill13 and @elliottheap taking the wins. What an effort. Shoulders getting better everyday. On to the @megavalancheucc next week. @chainreactioncycles @nukeproofbikes @mavic_mtb @srammtb @rockshox @michelinbicycle @7protection @mucoff @ride100percent @mrpbike @mudhugger2 @clifbar
Jack Devlin 30th in Under 21
Making his first EWS start of 2018, Jack Devlin clocked in some top times throughout the weekend in Under 21. Four top 15 times, including a seventh, ultimately showed his real potential, despite a flat ruining a possible top 10 result.
Pretty radical weekend on a bike! Unfortunately with having a flat on Saturday leaving me dead last after the first day, Day 2 I went out for fun ended up laying her down and having a massive one on the top of 6 sat off to the side for a few minutes, then cruzed on down. On a positive note there was some good stage results in there and I was close to the pace! Cheers to big @wardso12 for keeping the craic 90 and cooking the porridge! X Cheers all! 🍻 @industry_image 📸 @vitusbikes / #vitusbikes / #vitusfirsttracks @wildernesstrailbikes / #ridewtb / @primeseatz / #primeseatz / @silverfishuk / #silverfishuk @raceface604 / #raceface / @gymtechnewry / #gymtechnewry / @thinkstudiodesign / #thinkstudio / @spin11 / #spin11 @chainreactioncycles / #riderepeat
Joe Ward 20th in Men Masters
Out in force in the Men Masters, Joe Ward also had a great weekend’s racing for 20th overall.
The Enduro World Series continues with round five in La Thuile, Italy on July 21/22.
Photo Credit: Enduro World Series