Race Preview: Vitus Gravity Enduro 2019 - Ballinastoe

Apr 20, 2019 at 13:38
by Yaroslav Alpizar  


21 degrees, sunny, no rain and no wind, you could say is not Ireland, but it is. The Vitus Gravity Enduro Series iis being held at the trail center of Ballinastoe, just 30 minutes from Dublin. The last four days has brought perfect weather, so the trails are in great condition, loamy but still bit wet and muddy on some sections. Riders will tackle 30km, 1183m climb, 1212m descending across the five stages this weekend. The fourth stage offers a completely new trail for racers to navigate (kudos to organizers for the work!!), the race will definitely be psychical and demanding.


With almost all the top enduro dogs from Ireland, the battle for the podium will be legendary. Greg Callaghan, Kelan Grant, Killian Callaghan, Leah Maunsell, Gareth Davis, Glyn O'Brien, are just some of the names from the 300 riders signed up for the Sunday race. Today Saturday the riders had the opportunity to get out to the trails and have some fun training. Is not mandatory, but almost all choose to do at least one full loop. You can choose how to do it, no need to follow the exact order of the race, so each one organizes his schedule. Stage three finishes just right next to paddock, so many choose to have a break for lunch once they have done this one. Tomorrow on the race, after SS3 there will be a feed station in the paddocks for everyone.

For the day of the race, weather predictions are looking good, so expectations are high for even faster and drier trails. The open sections outside the forest are rocky and gnarly, where any mistake can be costly and snake-bites can be an issue if you push it too hard. First riders will depart at 9:30 and top-seeded riders at 12:30. With an interval of 20 seconds, each rider can take the start whenever he wants, provided he feels ready to do so. Good luck everyone!

Junior riders with these lads the future of irish enduro is assured
Junior riders, with these lads, the future of Irish enduro is assured

Chainreaction Cycles has a tent where it offers basic workshop repairments for anyone on the race
Chainreaction Cycles has a tent where it offers basic workshop repairs for anyone in the race
Leah Maunsell enjoying herself on SS3
Leah Maunsell enjoying herself on SS3

Time to watch the top dogs and try to repeat their lines
Time to watch the top dogs and try to repeat their lines


Several lines on top of SS1 which one is faster
Several lines on top of SS1, which one is faster?
Seems the outer line is faster
Seems the outer line is faster

Better weather impossible some trails are even bit dusty already
Perfect weather has graced the event this weekend, some trails are even a bit dusty

To get to SS1 SS3 and SS5 bit of walking is required
To get to SS1, SS3 and SS5 bit of walking is required

That ended up ok no harm done and some good laughs
No harm done, and some good laughs

Freeride is alive

Struggling with muddy conditions on the natural sections of the trails inside the forest
Inside the forest mud and roots awaits
Struggling with muddy conditions on the natural sections inside the forest
Last section of SS3 in between trees fast and physical
Last section of SS3 in between trees, fast and physical

SS4 is completely new for the race tons of work from organizers to put all this together
SS4 is completely new for the race, tons of work from the organizers to put all this together



Glyn O Brien can be found flying or organizing events
Glyn O'Brien, can be found flying or organizing events

Time to refill after SS3
Mountainbiking is an extreme sport and sometimes you loose day finish for this rider
Mountainbiking is an "extreme" sport and sometimes you lose, an early finish for this rider

Top riders chilling out before last push for SS5
Top riders chilling out before last push for SS5


A constant battle with mud and roots sometimes they win
A constant battle with mud and roots, sometimes they win

Dealing with roots on the higher sections of the trails was a constant
Dealing with roots on the higher sections of the trails was a constant


MENTIONS: @VitusBikes / @ChainReactionCycles



3 Comments

  • 4 0
 Great to see pinkbike covering little old √Čire. Haven't seen a post on us since Carrick hosted the ews. Keep it up.
  • 2 0
 Well, some more to go this year mate!
  • 2 0
 Class!

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