Ballyhoura Forest sits on the borders of counties Cork and Limerick and is home to Ireland’s largest network of designated trails with 5 loops of up to 97km long beginning at the well appointed trail head facility.
Sunday the 19th of May saw a small portion of the Coillte built trails, along with some hidden gems formerly known only to local riders play host to the second round of the popular Gravity Enduro series.
Organisers biking.ie have struck gold with their take on the Enduro format and a second sold out event in succession is a testament to the attention to detail, organisational skills and resources that they bring to these events.
Main man Niall Davis was quick to praise the local clubs Ballyhoura MTB and MBCC for their help in getting the trails ready and the guys at trailriders.ie who were there to lend the riders a helping hand when the inevitable mechanical failures took their toll.
This weekend saw an additional stage added to the event as well as staggered start slots, with pro and seeded riders setting off first with the rest of the field starting at intervals behind them. The system ran well and queues at the start line were at a minimum as a result.
That’s not to say that the racing wasn’t close, helped in no small part by the weather not making a nuisance of itself for a change – just over a minute and a half seperated the top five overall, with six seconds separating third, fourth and fifth.
The day belonged to Dan Wolfe though, claiming victory in four of the five stages, with only Niall Davis denying him a clean sweep in Stage 2 by five seconds.
Local riders also acquitted themselves admirably considering the size of the entry, with Leah Maunsell and Eidin Cleary taking the top spots in the Pro Women’s category, Jonathan Maunsell took third spot on the Pro Men podium and Joe Bergin was a very popular winner in the 50+ category.
Full results are available on www.sportident.co.UK/results/2013/GravityEnduro.ie-Limerick/
Podiums, team and individual glories, rivalries and bragging rights aside, it was universally agreed that this was an outstanding event by all who took part.
The series moves back east to Ticknock, overlooking Dublin city for the next round on the 15th of June. Hopefully, the momentum that has gathered over the last two rounds will continue and we have another packed entry with more close racing and again an outstanding atmosphere.