Thursday 28 May 2015

Enduro World Series Round 2: County Wicklow Ireland - Martin takes 4th place and Dan takes 10th

A good day at the office for the GT Factory Racing Enduro team in County Wicklow today. Top 10 for Dan Atherton and top 5 for Martin Maes on a day bathed in Irish sunshine and supported by the biggest and best crowds Enduro has ever seen. 

The riders raced through beautiful bluebell woods and eucalyptus on trails crafted over the years by dedicated local riders, and they were accompanied by a deafening chorus of support.

Stage 1 was a fairly straightforward stage with lots of high-speed open sections through gorse-strewn moorland - a good warm up for the rest of the race. Both of our GT Factory Racing riders had solid if slightly steady starts; Martin finished in 5th for the stage with 3.28.75 (3.04 seconds behind stage winner Fabien Barel). Dan didn’t feel great on this stage and posted 15th – 3.34.43  (+8.72)

Stage 2 was the longest stage of the race and physical, with punchy climbs and some flat sections for the riders to push on through. It was intense from the very start. The trail began with a long and super tricky rock garden (which caught out a lot of riders in practice) then plunged into loamy woods with plenty of sharp rocks and mud to keep things interesting. It was vital to keep the flow on this stage, especially closer to the bottom where roots sapped speed. Dan and Martin both felt more comfortable on this stage which wasn’t dissimilar to trails in either Belgium or Shropshire. Dan finished 14th on the stage with 5.38.09 ( +11.51) and Martin was 6th with 5.32.87 ( +6.29 behind local rider and eventual overall winner Greg Callaghan.)

Stage 3 was probably the most pedal-heavy stage of the day, and both riders fared well, sailing through the gnarly rocks in the open section at the top of the trail with ease. This trail was the most open of the entire day, affording riders a good view of what was ahead. Martin took 3rd on the stage with 3.53.5 and Dan 11th. Justin Leov took the win on this stage and also on Stage 4 which started with another tough rock-drop!
Dan struggled to find his flow on Stage 4, finishing 23rd in 3.31.54. Martin was
6th with 3.23.5 (2.5 seconds behind Leov).

Stages 5-7 were considered the more Downhill stages of the race (though stage 5 especially was still quite physical!), and as such they were more likely to suit Dan and Martin. Both riders rode smoothly, but even though Martin did well on the stage (finishing 2nd) neither of them particular enjoyed the flat corners.
Stage 5 was won by Greg Callaghan in 3.53.86, and Martin was second with 3.57.19 (a pleasing result for him on this physical stage).

In the end their results were fairly consistent throughout the entire day until stage 7 where Dan jumped up to 5th.

Dan said: “I had a lot of fun riding in practice with Martin. Stage 7 was awesome! I really struggled to find my flow all day; I felt really tense and couldn’t relax . . . I finally found some flow on Stage 7 but it wasn’t enough. I’m stoked to see Martin pull off a good result coming into Scotland.”
Stage 6 was steep and fast. Richie Rude took the stage win with 3.39.31 with Martin in 6th (3.46.61) and Dan in 16th (3.57.81)

Stage 7 was similar in style but this time Dan came flying down into 5th place for the stage (4.04.51). Local hero Greg Callaghan took the stage win and the overall race win; Martin was in 6th with 4.04.84.

Martin said: “Today was awesome! All stages went well, a bit disappointed not to be on the podium but I ‘m pleased with how I rode and with the result, and it’s so good to be riding with Dan again. The crowd today was amazing!”

Overall Results

1 Greg Callaghan
4th Martin Maes
10th Dan Atherton

Stage 1
1 Fabien Barel 3.25.71
5 Martin Maes 3.28.75
16 Dan Atherton 3.34.43

Stage 2
1 Greg Callaghan 5.26.58
6 Martin Maes  5.32.87
14 Dan Atherton 5.38.09

Stage 3
1 Justin Leov 3.51.06
3 Martin Maes  3.53.5
11 Dan Atherton 3.58.8

Stage 4
1 Justin Leov 3.19.72
6 Martin Maes  3.23.5
23 Dan Atherton 3.31.54

Stage 5
1 Greg Callaghan 3.53.86
2 Martin Maes  3.57.19
16 Dan Atherton 4.05.32

Stage 6
1  Richie Ride 3.39.31
6 Martin Maes  3.46.61
16 Dan Atherton 3.51.81

Stage 7
1 Greg Callaghan 3.58.36
5 Dan Atherton 4.04.51
6 Martin Maes  4.04.84

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