Tipperary hosted Round 2 of the Polygon Grassroots Enduro Series, supported by BikingDirty.com, on last Sunday, April 29, at Bike Park Ireland which is in Nenagh.
The second of five rounds this year was organised by Galway MTB, who ran Round 1 here last year. We had a great opening round in The Nagle Mountains in north Cork, on Easter Sunday, which was hosted by MBCC.
The final round will come to Cahir on September 30 and will be hosted by South Tipp Cycling Club.
The weather gods were on our side as morning mist burned off to give us all a bone dry and warm race. The last weekend in spring finally brought us some well deserved sunshine. Over 190 riders from over 25 clubs made their way to County. Tipperary.
Bike Park Ireland is based in the Kenny family home farm not far from Roscrea. Galway MTB partnered up with Grahme Kenny for a second year in a row to run this race This year’s race sold out in a matter of hours, which shows how popular this race venue is.
The Polygon Grassroots Enduro Series, supported by BikingDirty.com is different from other Irish enduro races in two ways. The first is the blind format of all the races. Riders are not allowed to practice any of the three stages beforehand so the first time each rider sees the trail is on their first timed attempt. Because of this the racing takes place over the course of one day.
Riders are allowed to attempt each stage as often as they like in any order, provided they make it back to Race HQ by the cut-off time. The second difference is that each of the 5 races in the series are organised by local clubs. The club members design, build and maintain the trails that are used for the race. The club runs the race on the day and thus any profit from the race goes back into the club.
All three trails started and finished beside each other, which made for a very social day. Riders could turn around after timing out, and see how their club mates finished up on the stage beside them. Because of the relatively easy and short transition climb, most riders attempted each stage three times. Some fit lads and lassies had the legs and lungs for four attempts.
The nature of enduro racing and the venue made for some very tight competition with only a second in some cases separating the podium finishers. Our youth riders are getting faster and fitter every year which is a very healthy place for the sport of enduo to be in. First placed Youth rider, Sean Price from Biking Dirty, would have finished in 3rd place in the Elites category with his time of 4min 19 seconds. Second place went to Emmet Callaghan (IMBRC) on 4:26 with Cian O’Connell (Team Ballyhoura) in 3rd on 4:27.
Jonathan Maunsell from Team Ballyhoura took first place in the Elites with a time of 4min 14 sec, despite having a mechanical during the day. He did well to hold off Michael Lee on 4:18 and Jason Murphy (Killarney CC) on 4:22. In the female category, Michelle Muldoon of Flow MTB once again took first spot on a time of 4min 56 sec with Martina Hanusova (Bikeology) in 2nd on 5:24 and Olive Mulqueen (LMBC) in 3rd on 5:42.
Local rider Scott Coyne of Bike Park Ireland clinched first place in the Under 30s on a time of 4:18, which would have put him in joint second place in the Elites. Kevin Manning of Crucial MTB was in second place on 4:23 and 3rd went to Kyle Lawson of Dirty Hobbits MTB on 4:25.
It was as tight as it gets in the Under 40s category. Only one second separated the top three riders. Both Dan Collins (LMBC) and Nigel Glynn (Bikeology) finished on identical times of 4:22. First place was given to Dan as he had a faster time for stage 3. 3rd place went to Alastair Maxwell of Gravity BC with a time of 4:23.
In the over 40’s the winner was Paul McLoughlin from Bespoke Cycles on a time of 4:23. Craig Gallaway of Northwest MTB was in second place on 4:32 with 3rd place going to Gareth O’Callaghan (Blackrock Gas) on 4:37.
We look forward to another great day’s racing at Round 3 in Sliabh Bhuí in Wexford on June 3 which will be organised by Ounavarra CC.