Bluebells and Braking Bumps: Practice Day Two - EWS Round 3, Ireland

May 15, 2016
by Dave Trumpore  



Don't be fooled by the less than gigantic hill here in Ireland, there is still a hell of a lot of riding to be done. If you want to do a single lap each day, then race day, you have about 1,000m the first day, followed by 700m on the second and 1,700m on race day. For most of the amateurs that is plenty, but for the elite athletes, most of them repeated at least one stage (and that's without working out how far they hiked back up to repeat sections), and more than a few did two laps each day and are sitting closer to the 3,400m mark this evening... In terms of time? Well, one loop is about five hours moving time (maybe closer to six for the rest of us), give or take, so for those who did two laps, fifteen hours in the saddle in three days.Without too much gradient to play with, the stages here are quite physical too; if you head straight down the fall-line here you would be lucky to get much more than a minute on track. So as you wind down the hill, you need to keep the speed going somehow. So yeah, while that is down from the twenty-five or so hours some of the bigger races in the series demand, it's still pretty hard going - it's a solid test of both skills and fitness, just what an EWS should be...




With national championships starting to emerge for enduro that means lucky racers now get to wear their national sleeve. Greg Callaghan is more than a little bit proud to be representing the Parish as the locals refer to it.
With national championships starting to emerge for enduro, that means lucky racers now get to wear their national sleeve. Greg Callaghan is more than a little bit proud to be representing the Parish, as the locals refer to it.

Loose rock mud and sharp prickly bushes are no deterent for Richie Rude. He ll just smash the corner anyway.
Loose rock, mud, and sharp prickly bushes are no deterrent for Richie Rude. He'll just smash the corner anyway.

Yoann Barelli said he wanted to ride like Steve Smith this weekend and by all accounts standing trackside he seems to be doing a good job on it.
Yoann Barelli said he wanted to ride like Steve Smith this weekend, and by all accounts standing trackside he seems to be doing a good job on it.

Rene Wildhaber dropping in on stage three. Rene is wearing an ankle brace and he hasn t been showing any signs of fatigue or weakness from his early season injury.
Rene Wildhaber dropping in on stage three. Rene is wearing an ankle brace, but he hasn't been showing any signs of fatigue or weakness from his early season injury.

Talking to Florian Nicolai s teammate Jesse Melamed he admitted that it s hard having him as teammate - there s little he can learn from Florian as Jesse and the other 99.9 of us simply can t do what he does on a bike nobody else rides like Flo.
Talking to Florian Nicolai's teammate Jesse Melamed, he admitted that it's hard having him as a teammate - there's little he can learn from Florian as Jesse (and the other 99.9% of us) simply can't do what he does on a bike - nobody else rides like Flo.

Yoann Barelli finding the grip in stage two.
Yoann Barelli finding the grip in stage two.

Ines Thoma is looking to get back towards the podium end of things this weekend.
Ines Thoma is looking to get back towards the podium end of things this weekend.

Jared Graves has the number 15 plate. You can be certain he wants to trade up into the single digits tomorrow.
Jared Graves has the number 15 plate. You can be certain he wants to trade up into the single digits tomorrow.

Effortless style as ever from Yoann Barelli.
Effortless style as ever from Yoann Barelli.

Anneke Beerten has been looking solid out there this week.
Anneke Beerten has been looking solid out there this week.

Caro amp Anita Gehrig had the Twin Train going strong on every stage during practice.
Caro and Anita Gehrig had the Twin Train going strong on every stage during practice.

Greg Callaghan is looking more than a bit comfortable on his 29er somehow it seems to suit his riding style and he is sure he is moving faster than ever on it.
Greg Callaghan is looking more than a bit comfortable on his 29er, somehow it seems to suit his riding style and he is sure he is moving faster than ever on it.

Tracy Mosely is racing for fun but a win isn t going to come as a shock to anyone considering the training she s been doing.
Tracy Moseley is racing for fun, but a win isn't going to come as a shock to anyone considering the training she's been doing.

Joe Barnes is back on more familiar territory here in Ireland and will be looking to get himself back at the pointy end of things.
Joe Barnes is back on more familiar territory here in Ireland and will be looking to get himself back at the pointy end of things.

Practice is a wrap for the Nomads. Time to get loose tomorrow.
Practice is a wrap for the Nomads. Time to get loose tomorrow.

Rae Morrison and Nico Vouilloz inspect line options at the top of stage two.
Rae Morrison and Nico Vouilloz inspect line options at the top of stage two.

Nico Vouilloz drops into the rock garden on stage two.
Nico Vouilloz drops into the rock garden on stage two.

Jerome has been sporting different kits each round and this weekend he s chosen to color match with valley below.
Jerome has been sporting different kits each round, and this weekend he's chosen to color match with the valley below.

Curtis Keene passing through the dense canopy of trees on stage four.
Curtis Keene passing through the dense canopy of trees on stage four.

When you boost as big as Iago Garay you get your photo posted two days in a row.
When you boost as big as Iago Garay you get your photo posted two days in a row.

Yeti opted for the motor home option in the pits this weekend in case the more typical rain and wind showed up. Luckily though it is nothing but sunshine raining down from the Irish sky this weekend.
Yeti opted for the motorhome option in the pits this weekend in case the more typical rain and wind showed up. Luckily though it is nothing but sunshine raining down from the Irish sky this weekend.

Final preparations are being made before race day. Now it s up to the riders to keep their steeds in one piece through seven stages in one day.
Final preparations are being made before race day. Now it's up to the riders to keep their steeds in one piece through seven stages in one day.

A little time away doesn t seem to have blunted Tracy Moseleys confidence or speed in the slightest. She herself admits that she s not here to make up the numbers this weekend.
A little time away doesn't seem to have blunted Tracy Moseley's confidence or speed in the slightest. She herself admits that she's not here to make up the numbers this weekend.

Isabeau Courdurier will be looking to keep her up her podium streak here in Wicklow.
Isabeau Courdurier will be looking to keep her up her podium streak here in Wicklow.

One of the great thing about the EWS is the accessibility to amateurs and in turn members of the MTB industry. Here Specialized Bicycles marketing guru Sam Benedict gets some real life product testing in.
One of the great things about the EWS is the accessibility to amateurs, and in turn members of the MTB industry. Here Specialized Bicycles' marketing guru, Sam Benedict, gets some real life product testing in.

It s good to see Meggie Bichard back on track after missing the two South American rounds.
It's good to see Meggie Richard back on track after missing the tow South American rounds.

Damien Oton pushes back up for another go on stage six.
Damien Oton pushes back up for another go on stage six.

While not contesting the whole series Tracy Moseley is still the woman to beat this weekend.
While not contesting the whole series, Tracy Moseley is still the woman to beat this weekend.

a frequent podium finish in the U21 category Elliot Trabac is back in action this weekend after skipping the first two rounds of the season.
A frequent podium finish in the U21 category, Elliot Trabac is back in action this weekend after skipping the first two rounds of the season.

Remy Abalone keeps it pointed down the rock shoot above treeline on stage 6.
Remy Absalon keeps it pointed down the rock chute above treeline on stage 6.

While many riders stopped and looked at sections during practice Richie Rude had done his homework earlier in the week hiking the tracks so come practice times it was full runs at full speed each time.
While many riders stopped and looked at sections during practice, Richie Rude had done his homework earlier in the week, hiking the tracks, so come practice time it was full runs at full speed.

Anneke Beerten charging into the dark emerald woods.
Anneke Beerten charging into the dark emerald woods.

Ines Thoma goes over the final details with her mechanic Larry before heading out for a day of practice.
Ines Thoma goes over the final details with her mechanic, Larry, before heading out for a day of practice.

A little shade a quick snack and a laugh then it s back in the saddle.
A little shade, a quick snack, and a laugh, then it's back in the saddle.

Robin Wallner feels pretty at home here with the tight tracks and roots - he just says that his home in Are Sweden is steeper because they have bigger mountains...
Robin Wallner feels pretty at home here, with the tight tracks and roots - he just says that his home in Are, Sweden, is steeper because they have bigger mountains...

Josh Carlson pushing into the lower corners of the top half of stage seven. Things have dried out nicely here since we arrived and instead of wet and loose much of the track is dusty and loose.
Josh Carlson pushing into the lower corners of the top half of stage seven. Things have dried out nicely here since we arrived and instead of wet and loose, much of the track is dusty and loose.

Anika Beerten catches her breath through the Blue Bells on stage four.
Anneke Beerten catches her breath through the Blue Bells on stage four.

Cecile Ravenel might have some extra stiff competition this weekend with Tracy Moseley in the house.
Cecile Ravenel might have some extra stiff competition this weekend with Tracy Moseley in the house.

Nico Vouilloz taking the high line and smoothing out the chunder.
Nico Vouilloz taking the high line and smoothing out the chunder.

Cody Kelley was flying after his teammate Richie Rude all through practice.
Cody Kelley was flying after his teammate, Richie Rude, all through practice.

Iago Garay makes it in again with a little one footer action.
Iago Garay makes it in again with a little one footer action.

Cecile Ravanel has something to prove this weekend. With Tracy away she has been supreme but now she is here Cecile will want to show the world that she deserves the top spot.
Cecile Ravanel has something to prove this weekend. With Tracy away she has been supreme, but now that she's here, Cecile will want to show the world that she deserves the top spot.

The legend that is Sam Hill racing on Irish soil this weekend.
The legend that is Sam Hill racing on Irish soil this weekend.

While admittedly not the perfect style of tracks of Jared Graves he still looks pinned every time he comes past.
While admittedly not the perfect style of tracks for Jared Graves he still looks pinned every time he comes past.

Thomas Lapeyrie rocks and rolls off the top of Carrick Mountain.
Thomas Lapeyrie rocks and rolls off the top of Carrick Mountain.

Katy Winton diving into the half way point of stage six.
Katy Winton diving into the half way point of stage six.

The evening rush at SRAM as riders bring in any final parts for servicing before race day. You ve earned you beers today boys.
The evening rush at SRAM as riders bring in any final parts for servicing before race day. You've earned your beers today boys.



49 Comments

  • + 67
 Thank you Dave! You're a legend for staying up late to get these pictures out to us so that we can share in the splendor which is EWS! So rad!
  • + 17
 Incredible Imagery! Poster Worthy, if there was such a thing anymore...
  • + 26
 Oh man... Remember posters?! What do kids do these days, hang iPads on their bedroom walls?
  • + 11
 iago steeeeeeeez watch that branch broooooooo
  • + 12
 GO CODY!!!!
  • + 1
 Wonder why the Yeti boys aren't rockin' the new 5.5?
  • + 1
 @mayha49: I just got a new 160 bike with real shock and it obliterates my previous 120 bike in climbing, pedalling and pumping department. Yeti boys surely have access to even better suspension setup. It would be weird to run short travel bike for no reason at all. Stupid trail hype.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: what bike and shock?
  • + 1
 @jrocksdh: Antidote Carbon Jack with Cane Creek coil CS (I ride without climb Switch on) with Butcher/Slaughter GRID tyres VS former Santa Cruz Blur TRc on Pushed Float CTD with Minions DHF Exo. Bike has more grip and is easier to balance on climbs thanks to geometry. It is important to mention that I run only 6 clicks of low speed compression at 27ish SAG. I am talking proper bumpy climbs with some tinkering to do and power to put on. With Climb Switch and Climb mode on Lyrik, this thing gets ridiculous on climbs.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: very cool, thanks.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns:

Waki, are you ok? 29ers WON the event in both the men and women....And I thought you were a big advocate of 29ers? Glad you like your new bike, but the new aggressive 29ers are bad ass!!
  • + 1
 @mayha49: I was about to buy Enduro 29 with money burning on my account, but then I decided to go for a Polish brand. They may be doing a 29er in the furure so maybe I will change Smile
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: I ride a Enduro 29 with a offset bushing. It is money!!!! Best bike I have owned in 20+ yrs of riding/racing.
  • + 4
 That looks like an awesome place to ride. Having access to the best guiness in the world is also a motivating factor for a eurotrip.
  • + 1
 just don't kiss the Blarney Stone and you will be fine.
  • + 5
 Super top notch pics! Now, we need a maelstrom of bike checks. Like, 150 bike checks, to say the least.
  • + 4
 Ireland, great place when the sun is shining. Homesick now after look through these. trĂ­dhathach na hÉireann????????
  • + 2
 Graves using a half shell and goggles. I remember reading a comment from him saying something along the lines that he would never do it and it looked ridiculous. I guess one can change their mind.
  • - 33
flag stacykohut (May 14, 2016 at 23:07) (Below Threshold)
 he must have got a boatload of ca$h to follow the herd.


baaaaaaaaaa, baaaaaaaaaaaaaaa, baaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.

this discipline is so lame anyway................so lame.
  • + 6
 and Ferreiro??
  • + 5
 Great pictures of a picturesque place.
  • + 3
 Graves is looking stacked lately.
  • + 3
 Is Rude onto the new 29er?
  • + 1
 siresults.co.uk/2016/emeraldenduroworldseries/iframe/Latest/index.html#women

looks like greg just slipped into 1st place.
  • + 3
 Is that a New GIRO Lid Richie has on? What is it
  • + 1
 Course looks so fun, but at 50km I'm wondering if I could even make it through. Buncha beasts.
  • + 3
 #ripforchainsaw
  • + 2
 Great coverage als always Pinkbike
  • + 2
 Tracy, is looking like she never left. Id say even fitter.
  • + 1
 The angle of his helmet makes Nico truly look like an alien in the pic with Rae Morrison.
  • + 1
 What helmet is Richie Rude wearing ? Prototype ?
  • + 1
 Greg just did it again!! The Callaghan's do the double!
  • + 1
 Congrats Greg on your second win on home soil.Cheers.
  • + 1
 Blue balls and braking bumps? That sounds painful...
  • + 0
 You beat be to the blue balls comment....
  • + 1
 You just didn't beat me hard enough apparently... Lol...I'm slightly disappointed my mind went there....had to share for you all.
  • + 1
 WOW The beautiful scenery
  • + 1
 Amazing photography! Hi Rae...
  • + 1
 What brand are those knee pads on Cecile Ravenel?
  • + 1
 Go ride everyone, .. even mechanics!! B)
  • + 1
 Who's the hot chick in the Yeti van?
  • - 3
 lol. enduro. lol.
  • + 2
 Casey Brown racing?
  • + 1
 Awesome shots!
  • + 1
 These pics are amazing
  • + 1
 It's all going off!!!
  • + 1
 Cracking pictures!!
  • + 1
 Go Gravy

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