The 2019 Nukeproof Irish Downhill Mountain Bike Series opened its account with Greg Callaghan taking a close-fought victory over Ronan Dunne at Wicklow’s mighty Carrick mountain.
In what proved to be a belter of a start to this year’s championship, the fabled Carrick mountain – home to EWS epics – came alive to the thunder of downhill.
Hosts Gravity BC pulled out all the stops to deliver a worthy start to the season and were rewarded with over 200 riders coming out in force.
A who’s who of Irish MTB, EWS stars Greg and Killian Callaghan were entered, plus Rob Davies, Jame MacFerran, along with rising talents of Ronan Dunne, Sean Price, Cathal Fitzpatrick, Liam Wolfe and Ronan Gahan.
Intense from the off, the course chucked riders in the deep end with some brutal exposed rock drops, followed by steep and fast step-downs and descents through the forest, before hurtling riders to the finish line with one giant huck.
Morning seeding runs gave an initial indication of who was up to speed. Sixteen-year-old Dunne set the benchmark, stopping the clocks seven tenths of a second quicker than nearest rival Greg Callaghan and almost six seconds up on his nearest Junior challenger Price.
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So cool to see the Irish downhill scene back as strong as ever, fair play to @gravitybc, class weekend racing on one of the best tracks in the country. Happy to take the win for the enduro gang just ahead of a flying @ronandunne_dh! #bikesareclass #huptheparish 📸@avdlphoto
Callaghan Crowned King Of Carrick
With pressure on for the race run, Greg – despite running his enduro-spec Cube – knew he needed to find those extra tenths to keep Junior hotshot Dunne at bay.
Doing exactly that, he became the only rider to dip inside the sub-1:55 bracket when it mattered most.
Clocking in at 1:54.6, Callaghan claimed the Elite win, finishing four seconds ahead of an impressive Stephen McCormack and Rob Davies.
James MacFerran took fourth in Elites, while Fitzpatrick – stepping up to Elites for 2019 – showed he’ll be a contender with fifth.
Dunne’believable Pace From Ronan
Arguably the day’s standout performer, Dunne showed he’ll be the rider to beat in the 2019 iDMS despite his younger years.
Unofficially second overall to Greg, he had the honour of securing the unofficial fastest time of the day thanks to his blisteringly fast seeding run.
Although completing his race run five-tenths behind Greg, Dunne easily topped the Junior time sheets finishing five seconds clear of runner-up Price.
Lets hope Dunne can carry that form into the UCI DH World Cup in Maribor, Slovakia in two weeks time.
With Price second, Oliver Davy completed the top three Junior, while Sean Doyle and Ross Ennis rounded out the top five.
The Irish Downhill Mountain Bike Series continues with round two in Bree, Wexford on May 25/26.
Results – Irish Downhill Mountain Bike Series, Round 1
Complete Results: Irish Downhill Mountain Bike Series, Round 1