There was plenty of reason for Leah Maunsell to celebrate when she ended the 2019 Enduro World Series as Under 21 Runner-Up.
The Irish National Enduro champion was a class act this year, leading a large part of the series.
Heading into the finale round in Zermatt, Switzerland, trailing points leader and fellow Kona rider, Lucy Schick, she faced a tall ask to overhaul her in the standings.
Although still learning the way of the Alpine stages, the Ballyhoura Trail Rider gave it her all for an eventual fourth – finishing four seconds behind Schick – to secure the runner-up result.
“It’s been such an amazing year getting to race bikes in so many beautiful places around the world and I’m so grateful for that opportunity,” told Leah. “It’s taken so much help from many hands to get here, definitely too many to mention here.
“I’d just like to say a special thanks to Morrision BMW and Will Fogarty Construction for helping me get to this round and of course to my parents who are by far my greatest sponsors and supporters.
“Big up to whole Team Callaghan Clan for all their help this weekend and throughout the season too.”
In Pro Men, Cube’s Greg Callaghan signed off on his 2019 season with 18th overall. In what proved a season of injuries and misfortune, Greg ended his championship campaign 29th.
Claiming his best result of 2019, Specialized’s Killian Callaghan ended Zermatt in 32nd to complete his first year in Pro Men in 45th.
Although still feeling the effects of his recent illness, Kelan Grant battled on for 55th to take 36th overall in 2019.
Bad luck hit Dan Wolfe in Switzerland ringing his bell in a heavy crash. At risk of concussion, he wisely opted to sit race day out.
70th overall in 2019, his year has most certainly got to be highlighted by riding to 50th in Whistler on a borrowed downhill bike. Epic!
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This morning I woke up to a pretty shitty message from someone (swipe to read). It’s in reference to yesterday’s @world_enduro and the fact that I called it after S2. I wouldn’t usually put this sort of stuff up but it’s shit to have a bad race and then read this. Yesterday I got pitched into a dried up river bed full of big ass rocks. I landed onto my head and shoulder. It was a painful impact and I didn’t get up for a while. Once I got going my front brake was unusable and my derailleur a bit screwed. I finished the stage and decided to call it. To give you some perspective on this decision, earlier this year I got a concussion in the Les Orres EWS and continued to race on it until the riders and medics talked me into quitting. I hadn’t really experienced a concussion before but instantly respected the severity of any head injury. With that knowledge I made a call yesterday, a call that isn’t easy to make but needed to be made. Luckily I don’t feel too shit today but I couldn’t of known that yesterday. I listened to my gut. So you can imagine my annoyance when I read this message. I shouldn’t need to prove anything to anyone but myself. I guess this guy didn’t see what happened to my bike in Whistler this year (my bike fell off the ski lift 2 hours before my race so I raced the entire @world_enduro on a DH bike and came 50th). I’m where I am in the bike industry because I’ve put a crazy amount of years, energy, crashes, upsets, wins etc into this sport. You don’t become a professional in this sport easily if you come from Ireland 😂 I’m coming to the end of my rant. To all you racers wanting to succeed in some shape or form in the bike industry, it’s the years of dedication and determination that makes it pay off. Not just race wins (although they help 😂). Don’t judge too quickly. There can be a lot more at play than what you see through Instagram. Not the way I planned the last @world_enduro to go but I’m happy I’m still in piece and made it through the 2019 season relatively injury free. I’m looking forward to lots of video projects and a healthy off season of training. @svenmartinphoto this pic is phenomenal 🍻
The Under 21 Men saw Gravity Enduro champ Harry Byrne come out swinging for 13th. Setting the sixth and seventh fastest times on stages one and two, Byrne had to be happy with that effort.
Behind him Drew Armstrong came in 25th, despite crashes on stages one and four.
Emmett Callaghan just missed out on a top-30 result with 31st.
With the 2019 Enduro World Series – won by Sam Hill and Isabel Courdurier – put to bed, attention now turns to the Trophy of Nations this weekend in Finale Ligure, Italy.
C’mon Ireland – ‘Hup the parish!