Expert Cycles’ Harry Byrne was on flying form at the Vitus Gravity Enduro Ireland Series Champs in Ticknock to take the overall win.
On a mission throughout the day, Byrne kept things shiny side up to grab the outright win by just two seconds from fellow Expert Cycles rider Scott Wallace, with Emmet Callaghan (Santa Cruz) third.
Along with taking the overall win, Byrne also topped the Under 21 podium, while Wallace and Callaghan went 1-2 in the Pro Men.
With a full house signed up to the Vitus Gravity Enduro Ireland Series Champs, five stages were laid on mixing together the best of biking.ie Ticknock trail centre and Three Rock Mountain.
Some stages were familiar ground on previous years, while others had some added tricks. Stage Four blasted riders down to the Blue Light, while Stage Five had riders truckin’ to the finish line through a series of new berms. With the weather playing ball, the stages were primed and ready for the 250-plus riders entered.
Stage 5 we love you 😘. Vitus Bikes Team Biking.ie rider Ronan Dunne destroying some berms up top! 💪
Posted by Gravity Enduro Ireland on Saturday, 16 June 2018
Armstrong sets the early pace
At the head of the field, the battle for top honours was fierce. After a standout performance in Mt Leinster, Mech Monkey’s Drew Armstrong was keen to keep the form running hot and straight off the bat set the pace.
Having things his own way, Armstrong won the first three tests of the day to build up a four-second cushion over Byrne, Callaghan and Wallace. On stage four Callaghan — fresh out of the Leaving Cert exam hall — attacked, setting the fastest time.
And with a mistake by Armstrong seeing his advantage all but disappear, the scores were almost level between the four with just one to go.
Some weekend, took the win in under 21 and got the overall win to. 🤘 Close battle with @drewarmstrong01 until the last stage then he crashed. Racing with fresh kit thanks to @expertcycles. Now leading the under 21 series. Can't wait for Wales this weekend for the UK gravity enduro with @rossennis123 • • • • • • @expertcycles @rapidracerproducts @enduraofficial @silverfishuk @ccmracing @foxracingeurope / @ridefoxuk / @fox @yeticycles / @yetitribeireland @yetiracinguk @wildernesstrailbikes
Stage Five podium shakedown
With Stage Five proving the podium shakedown, Armstrong was first to crack when a crash knocked him out of the reckoning. Wallace put the hammer down to set the fastest time, but with the second fastest time in the bag, Byrne bagged the overall win by two seconds. Wallace’s final stage win was enough to lift him to the runner-up result, with Callaghan third.
Clocking the third fastest time on the final stage lifted Gavin O’Connell (Specialized Ireland) to fourth overall while a consistent day in the saddle ensured Stephen McCormack (Biking Dirty) completed the top five.
Moved up to pros today, the craic was had with the lads, well happy with 2nd in pros and 4seconds off the win🤘 Stages were unreal, few clips below 🎥 @thomas._.callaghan & @lewis_bruton @junglemassiv @kennyracing81 @wildernesstrailbikes @smithoptics @renthal_cycling @allmountainstyle #mtb #bikesareclass #bikes #renthalcycling #kennyracing #allmountainstyle #smithoptics #junglemassiv #santacruzbicycles #hightowerlt #wildernesstrailbikes #wtb #3rock #enduro
Claiming sixth overall, GAP’s Jamie Whelan had reason to celebrate by also snatching the Veteran Men’s victory. With Stage 5 seeing all Armstrong’s earlier work undone, he had to be content with seventh overall and runner-up in the Under 21 Men’s behind Byrne. They were joined on the podium by Ross Ennis (Haven AV) in third, thanks to his eighth overall position.
Carding ninth outright, Mark Nugent (021 Racing) was best of the Master A Men, while Roan Dunne (biking.ie) enjoyed another solid day at the office for 10th and with it the Junior class victory.
Pro Women — Muldoon rules roost
In the Pro Women’s category it was once again a two-horse race between Michelle Muldoon (FLOW MTB) and Meave Baxter (Cuchulainn). On a charge from the off, Muldoon meant business going fastest in the first three stages to open up a comfortable lead.
Baxter fought back to take Stage Four but with Muldoon going on to win the fifth and final stage, the day was hers. Ruth Doorley (Mad MTB) finished third.
Proving he’s not just a sharp shooter, FMX Photography’s James Fleming was on top form in Ticknock to claim the Senior Men’s win from Joseph O’Grady (Cliffhanger MTB) and Sam Callaghan.
The battle for the Master B Men’s win went down to the wire with Eric O’Sullivan beating Don Spillane by just over half a second.
With the Champs dust settled, the Vitus Gravity Enduro Ireland Series continues with round three in Ballyhoura, Limerick on August 4/5.
Results (Top 50)
Complete Results: Series Champs, Ticknock
Lead Photo: Dirty Hobbits
Adrian Van Der Lee: GE – Ticknock 2018