It has been a sunny start to the weekend in Wicklow as the teams and racers prepare their bike and bodies for what looks to be another tight day of racing come Sunday. We've been for a stroll through the pits to check out what the team mechanics were working on and a few things caught our eye, including a new carbon Nukeproof.
Yeti mechanic Shaun Hughes gets to work cutting down Richie's tires and readying his rig for practice.
Richie is running Minion DHFs front and rear...
...although with a cut chamfered edge to increase rolling speed.
Richie is sticking with the oh-so-successful SB6 this weekend.
Whilst teammate Cody has opted for the big-wheeled SB5.5 to tackle the Wicklow stages on.
Sam Hill sits second in the overall and is reportedly riding Nukeproof's carbon Mega. Compare Sam's aluminum Mega behind one of the new carbon models. Details are limited, but the carbon version also has an aluminum rear suspension and 27.5" wheel.
A big move for Nukeproof with their first carbon frame. How will Sam fare on it this weekend?
Sam wasn't the only one to get a new Nukeproof this weekend, Nigel Page has been given a custom paint job.
Lewis Buchanan's Trek Slash is primed and ready for practice.
Cannondale have fresh paint jobs for the weekend.
Speaking of fresh...Is that a new Ibis Mojo HD...er...HD4? Yes. And, for clarification's sake, hell yes. Ibis' new enduro rig features revised geo and shock rate.
Per the photo, the new Mojo HD also appears to just barely fit the FOX X2 shock with its reservoir on top, so there's clearance for a large water bottle on the downtube.
Matteo putting the finishing touches to Marco Osborne's bike.
Jerome Clementz using a grip-shift to lock out his rear shock.
A new bike to the EWS circuit, the Identiti Mettle will be James Shirley's weapon of choice for the year.
The Mettle is the brand's first full suspension bike.
Finished off in Gusset and Halo components and purple colourway, it's a bike that definitely stands out.
It was a day of strip downs and full rebuilds.
Joe Barnes' Spectral features a custom linkage that gives him a softer initial stroke with more support later in the stroke, which mechanic Craig says reduces fatigue on long stages.
A fresh build for Wyn Masters, the chromed Sanction sitting pretty in the Wicklow sunshine.