There’s no doubt about it, the Gravity Enduro crew certainly pulled out all the stops for Round 2 of the Series. They kicked off the weekend with the official opening of their new black jump line with a Whip Off Competition followed by a BBQ and Beers. This fun event was open to all and attracted plenty of class riders. The crowds were large and the stoke levels high as participants put on a display for an excited crowd who were basking in that glorious sunshine – life didn’t get much sweeter than that evening!
Our very own Olly Davy and Jamie Wall won the whip off and we had good representation by other club members including 2 of our youngest – brother and sister super-shredder duo Alex and Lauren Tracey. Lauren is only 7 and was the only girl there so we were absolutely blown away by her!
Onto the racing! There were two race options for the weekend – The Classic 2 Day format with 5 stages and practice on Saturday and racing on Sunday or the Mash-Up format with 3 stages and racing on Saturday only. The GAP MTB Members were out in their droves, and we had 4 GAP Sponsored Riders racing also.
Racers were out early on Saturday morning to practice the trails on the 25km loop. The climbing was tough, long and steep but the trails made it worth the effort and the weather was bliss. On Sunday the riders arrived at their allocated times to collect their chips and head off up the hill. Conditions were tougher on race day with intense heat from the offset! Everyone seemed to be struggling and there were lots of pit-stops along the way with several riders stopping at a small stream near the re-fuel station to douse themselves in cold mountain water to try cool off a bit.
We spoke with sponsored rider Jamie Wall who was still buzzing from the glory of his whip off win and here’s what he had to say about his weekend of racing in the highly competitive U21 category:
“I arrived at the race venue on Friday for the Whip Off which was really enjoyable and I was delighted to take the win. I then realised I had nowhere to put my tent, so I put it up on the roof of Callum Morris’ van which worked amazingly! My practice day went really well surprisingly after I was very tired from a long week in Carlow on my downhill bike, but it put me in a really good mindset for race day. I went for a swim in the reservoir which really helped the legs and then on Sunday I managed to find a good flow where I wasn’t pushing too hard towards a crash, but I was also finding good speed. My first ever race not having a crash! Stage 3 was by far my favourite stage and by the end of the day I was so tired but happy to take to the podium in second place”.
Club member Ross McGowan finished 1st in the youth category at his second ever enduro race. 12-year-old Ross did an amazing job getting around Ballinastoe and I’m sure we’ll be seeing him at lots more races.
GAP Staff member Lisa Davis was racing at her first 2-day race since 2019 and found the climbs tough but loved the tracks. Plenty of mistakes were made on stage 1 and a big crash on the start of stage 3 almost put her out of the race, but she was determined to finish and nursed cautiously around the remainder – anything to avoid the dreaded DNF!
There were some other fantastic results from The Classic – well done everyone!
|2nd||Jamie Wall||Men | Under 21 (17-20)|
|6th||Diego Sherrard||Men | Under 17 (14-16)|
|11th||Sean Honer||Men | Under 17 (14-16)|
|15th||Karl Barrett||Men | Senior (21-29)|
|18th||Mark McCabe||Men | Veteran (40-49)|
|19th||Lucky Barquez||Men | Senior (21-29)|
|17th||Cian Dawson||Men | Under 21 (17-20)|
|2nd||Lisa Davis||Women | Masters (30-39)|
|1st||Ross McGowan||Men | Youth (12-13)|
Saturday was the 1 -day race where riders could ride stages 1-3 in any order and as many times as they wished. The weather was perfectly dry and there was a nice bit of warmth in the sun. The trails were running mint but the top of stage 3 was pretty dry and loose, so riders had to ride somewhat cautiously. There were so many club members entered for this race, so we were excited to see how everyone got on!
We spoke with GAP Rider Cat Brady who put in an excellent performance to get top step on the podium, here’s how she found it:
“We went to Ballinastoe on Saturday for the Gravity Enduro Mash-Up competition, and it was an amazing day. Our start time was 11:00 and we headed off from the race village to complete three stages. We decided to do Stage 3 first as it was reported to be an epic stage and it was. So much so that I repeated it later and loved every minute. I also knocked nine seconds off my time, so it was well worth repeating. Next, we completed stage 1 which was the longest stage. I made a few mistakes on this stage but I didn’t feel up to completing it again! Stage 2 was very short and quite pedally, we repeated this as Dec bust a tree with his little finger and lost some time. I had felt I rode it OK but knew it’d be good for fitness to repeat it and was very happy and surprised to knock a second off the time as I felt I didn’t push as hard the second time. Maybe I was eventually finding some flow! I was absolutely shocked and delighted to win my category and overall, I was happy enough with my performance. Always lots more to learn but enjoying every minute of it is a definite bonus! We’re off to Ravensdale next week and can’t wait”.
Sponsored Rider Conor Cartwright also did us proud with a 1st place finish in the U17 category. He’s been just missing out on that top step the last few events, so it was great to see him get the win this time around. We spoke with Conor afterwards:
“Had a great time racing at Ballinastoe. I got a great result taking first place in the under 17 category and 22nd overall. My race went very well with only one crash on stage two. I have to say I really enjoyed stage 3 on the new jump trail and its one of the best trails I’ve ever ridden. There were plenty of jumps and nice flowy tech sections. However, I do think I could’ve got a better time if I worked on my sprints. I had a great time at the race”.
Well done Conor – super result!
We also had GAP Rider Jamie Duffy entered for the Youth Category, even with a few issues on his race runs he finished in 4th. It won’t be long til he’s back on the podium. Jamie was very happy with his performance and told us this:
“Class day racing round 2 of the Gravity Enduro at Ballinastoe. I raced all 3 stages in the Mash-Up including stage 3 twice. On Stage 1 I crashed which cost me a lot of time. Then on stage 3 I got a puncture at the top section. I’m happy to finish in 4th place. Really enjoyed racing Ballinastoe and lots more learned and happier to finish a place better than Djouce”.
The positivity from this lad is just infectious – see you at the next race Jamie!
GAP Staff Member Cian Sullivan AKA Big Dave also finished first in the U21’s. Not only did Cian win his category but he was also fastest rider overall on the day. How incredible is that!
We had so many riders from our club – well done to them all. It’s not always about getting on the podium – often it’s just about getting out and completing the trails. For some it’s just that sense of achievement – whatever racing means to you it’s great to see so many people love it. We must give a special mention to Daisy Redmond completing her very first enduro race and placing 1st in the Women’s U17!
|7th||Kevin O Keeffe||Men | Veteran (40-49)|
|8th||Declan Brady||Men | Veteran (40-49)|
|1st||Conor Cartwright||Men | Under 17 (14-16)|
|2nd||Cathal O’Neill||E-bike (19+)|
|2nd||Daragh Farrelly||Men | Under 17 (14-16)|
|7th||Ruari Obrien||Men | Under 21 (17-20)|
|14th||Eoin McDonald||Men | Veteran (40-49)|
|4th||Alan Duffy||Men | Super Veteran (50+)|
|7th||Alex Egan||Men | Under 17 (14-16)|
|5th||Al Redmond||Hardtail (14+)|
|4th||Jamie Duffy||Men | Youth (12-13)|
|1st||Cat Brady||Women | Veteran (40-49)|
|26th||Brian O’Malley||Men | Veteran (40-49)|
|19th||Alexander Vodnev||Men | Masters (30-39)|
|2nd||Brigitte Egan||Women | Veteran (40-49)|
|12th||Jacques Dwyer||Men | Under 17 (14-16)|
|14th||Johnny Holden||Men | Under 17 (14-16)|
|1st||Chloe Traynor||Women | Senior (21-29)|
|32nd||Dale Allman||Men | Veteran (40-49)|
|34th||Stephen Hughes||Men | Veteran (40-49)|
|5th||Calvin Barry||Men | Youth (12-13)|
|1st||Daisy Redmond||Women | Under 17 (14-16)|
|18th||Josh Meade||Men | Under 17 (14-16)|
|4th||Aisling Castle||Women | Veteran (40-49)|
|19th||Jamie Kelly||Men | Under 17 (14-16)|
|12th||Murray Holden||Men | Youth (12-13)|
|14th||Jp O’Malley||Men | Youth (12-13)|
|16th||Robert Somerville||Men | Under 21 (17-20)|
Thanks to Biking.ie and Vitus Gravity Enduro for a super fun weekend and to all of the marshals who made the event possible. Also, to the photographers, particularly Fiona Madden, Atom Creates, Eighty-Nine Media and Gareth Gibbons whose photos we used for this post.
Results can be found here:
Ravensdale Enduro Championships up next!