Team Chain Reaction Cycles Mavic Kelan Grant proved the rider to beat at the second stop of the Gravity Enduro Ireland Series by claiming victory at Mt Leinster.
Fresh off his top 40 ride in last weekend’s French stop of Enduro World Series, Grant brought that world class form to Carlow and put his Nukeproof on the top step of the podium. Leading the field of almost 200 riders home, Grant took the overall win by just four seconds from Killian Callaghan (Hope/Santa Cruz UK/KCR). Delivering one of the standout performances of the day, Mech Monkey’s Drew Armstrong placed third overall on his way to winning the Under 21 category.
Less than one month after the opening round of the series in Ballinastoe, the Vitus Gravity Enduro Ireland Series marched on to Carlow and Mt Leinster for the second stop.
Sunny skies greeted riders for Saturday’s practice and while, clouds filtered through Sunday it wasn’t enough to dampen spirits or the trails. Adding in the event also forming part of the International Enduro World Series Qualifiers ensured riders would have their sleeves rolled up and meaning business.
Pro Men — Grant rules the day
With round one winner Greg Callaghan absent on Red Bull Flugtag duty, runner-up Killian Callaghan looked to go one step better in Mt Leinster. However, with Grant weighing into the mix, the fight for victory would be fierce over the five stages.
Great to grab the first Win of the year today. Another weekend of loving bikes with my buddy’s. Thanks to the Irish Gravity Team for nailing a solid event again! 📷 @avdlphoto 📷 #Repost ・・・ @kelangrant takes the win with a touch of class today at Gravity Enduro Round 2 at Mt. Leinster. • #nukeproofbikes #chainreactioncycles #teamchainreactioncycles #ride100percent #bikinginireland #bikesareclass #mtb #enduro #gravityenduro #mountleinster #photosofireland #igersireland #carlow #bunclody #mtblife @chainreactioncycles @nukeproofbikes @mavic_mtb @srammtb @rockshox @michelinbicycle @7protection @mucoff @ride100percent @mrpbike @mudhugger2 @clifbar
In fact it was Armstrong who caught them both napping, sneaking though for the fastest time on the opening stage. Over five seconds down on Armstrong and Callaghan, Grant dropped the hammer on stage two pulling three seconds back on Callaghan to draw level on the provisional lead. Another two stage wins saw Grant poke his nose in front and despite Callaghan going fastest by two seconds on the final stage, Grant had done enough midday to deny Killian victory.
Over 42 seconds back on the top two Pro Men, Scott Wallace (Expert Cycles/Endura) had a battle on his hands for third with Gavin O’Connell, eventually taking it by seven seconds. Less than nine second further back, Jonathan Maunsell (Kona Bicycle) completed the top five.
Under 21 — Armstrong on a flyer
Buzzing from another great weekends racing. Managed to grab 1st in U21 and 3rd overall only 13 seconds off the win, well happy! Well done @kelangrant and @killiancallaghan both flying! @mech_monkey_belfast @tironutrition @rapidracerproducts @rideforcharlie @cameronlandscapes @rockymountainbicyclesuk @dakine_europe #mechmonkey #ferdaboyz #braap
In the Under 21 Men the day belonged to Drew Armstrong. Carrying his winning momentum from last weekend’s First Tracks Enduro Cup in Bigwood to Mt Leinster, Armstrong stormed his way to victory, while also showing the Pro Men a thing or two by nabbing a stage win on the way to outright third fastest.
Preventing Armstrong from a clean sweep of stage wins, Expert Cycles Harry Byrne set the fastest Under 21 time on stage three for the runner-up result, while also ending his day fourth overall. With the bar set high in Under 21, Emmet Callaghan (IMBRC/Santa Cruz/Kenny/WTB) rode to third in class, but also fifth overall.
The fight for the top five was as tight as they come with Anthony Dunne (Bikeoloy) pipping Jack Devlin to fourth by three tenths of a second.
Pro Women — Baxter best
The Pro Women’s class saw Cuchulainn’s Maeve Baxter make it two wins in two weekends. Bringing the challenge to early season pace setter Michelle Muldoon (Flow MTB), Baxter did the damage on stages two and three pulling nearly 15 seconds on her rival.
Despite Muldoon charging back to win the final two stages, Baxter had enough in hand for a two-second margin of victory. Ruth Doorley (MAD MTB) completed the podium in third.
Junior Men — Dunne does the double
The Junior Men saw biking.ie’s Ronan Dunne set the benchmark, sweeping all five stages on his way to a convincing victory. Behind him Brian Ward (The Bike Room Wicklow) was second with Brendan Conroy (Epic MTB) third.
Making it two wins from two starts in the Gravity Enduro Ireland Series, Dirty Hobbits’ Kyle Lawson topped the Senior Men category from Craig Darley (DLA) and Jason Garrett (Balance Leisure Fitness).
The Master A Men saw Mark Nugent (021 Racing) stamp his authority on the day topping the time sheets by 17 seconds over Emmet Kelly (IMBRC) and Nigel Glynn (Bikeology). In the Master B Men, Honcho Media’s Andy Yoong took the lead from the opening stage and never let go, riding clear for a 31-second victory. Just one second split Brendan O’Hanlon (WNT Tooling/Galway MTB) and Don Spillane (Team Super Dooper) in second and third.
Jamie Whelan (Gap/Gform) was the rider to beat in Veteran Men taking a six-second win over Hugh Arthur (G-Form/ION). Michael Cowan (Chain Reaction Cycles/Nukeproof) a further six seconds behind rounded out the top three.
The Super Vet Men was all about Mark Keating (IMBRC) who won all five stages, from Brian Finnegan (Cliffhanger MTB) and Stephen McDonald (Doggy Paws Sleepover Lisburn). In the Hardtail Men, SMTB Philip Mullan edged out Stephen Timmons ((Team Expert Cycles) for the win with Stephen Nolan (The ML Syndicate) third.
Finally, Colin Hayden (Bike Room Wicklow) won the Youth class and Caitriona Brady was fastest of the Women.
The Gravity Enduro Ireland Series continues with round three in Ballyhoura on August 4/5, with the National Champs in Three Rock before then on June 16/17.
Results – Enduro Top 35
Complete Results: Mt Leinster, Round 2
Adrian van der Lee Mt Leinster Gallery:
Photos from Vitus Bikes Gravity Enduro Ireland – Round 2 now available here: https://bit.ly/2GBLF6j just enter your race…