It doesn’t feel like it’s been two months since there’s been a running of a Gravity Enduro Ireland event but have brought us back from the Enduro break with a bang!

Mens 35-39 winner Ian Coates

Based about the trail centre at Ballyhoura, which has recently had a huge revamp to repair winter storm damage and provide welcome improvements to the trail network, Niall and his crew made some changes to previous year’s formats with less climbing than previous years while keeping and in some cases adding to the length in the stages. The changed routing this year took you away from the event centre more, out into the wilds of the Limerick Mountains whilst also incorporating some of the centre’s new technical sections, which were built to cater for advanced riders seeking a more challenging trail. Stage 2 in fact comprised one of these sections in its entirety and an all new Stage 4 included one of these sections to its finish.

Womens Runner Up Shona D'Arcy

With the weather lending a helping hand also, conditions were perfect for racing and all the trails were in super condition for race day. Dry, dusty and fast was the order of the day and while temperatures weren’t exactly blazing, the pace was scorching! Joules Dormer – 5th placed overall and 40-49 category winner, completed the 35km course in a little over 3 hours! To further emphasize how hot the pace was, in terms of stages only 10 seconds separated those top 5 riders!

2014 Gravity Enduro R3 Ballyhoura-1020

The main battle of the day however was In the Men’s Pro category between local man Jonathan Maunsell and eventual winner Gavin O’Connell with only 1.5 seconds separating the pair at the end. Maunsell was charging hard claiming three stage wins outright, only to lose time to O’Connell in Stages 3 & 5. O’Connell, demonstrating that a steady ride can be the order of the day in Enduro Racing.

Mens 40-49 winner Joules Dormer

It wasn’t all disappointment however in the Maunsell household, as Jonathan’s younger sister, MBW-Kona Ireland Racing rider Leah took the top spot in the Women’s category with a peerless performance, taking wins in all 5 stages and finishing 2 minutes and 41 seconds ahead of her closest rival.

Riders queue for scrutin6y

In the other age categories, Greenbike’s Luc Hanna took top spot in the 14-18 category.’s Keelim Ryan took the honours in 19-29, Alan Mellon claimed victory in the 30-34 group and Ian Coates put in a fine performance in the 35-39 category to claim first place in that group and 4th overall. As mentioned earlier, Bike Addiction’s Jules Dormer took the 40-49 honours and MBCC’s Aidan Barry took top spot in the 50+ category.

Full results are available here.

Words & Pictures: Alan Duffy

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