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EWS Emerald Enduro 2016 – race report, video and photos

A mirror of 2015

TRACY MOSELEY AND GREG CALLAGHAN BOTH SHARED THE TOP STEP OF THE PODIUM FOR A SECOND YEAR IN THE ROW AT THE 2016 EMERALD ENDURO.

Photos: Duncan Philpott/EWS

However, while the destination remained the same, the journey was far more treacherous for the returning champions. Callaghan kept calm under the threat of the greatest comeback of Enduro World Series history (and a certain flat-pedal-toting legend), while Moseley had to readjust to life at the top of a sport she had semi-retired from.

The day dawned bright over Carrick mountain as the riders faced the prospect of a 50km day with 1,750m vertical – stats that would worry us on a weekend ride, never mind one done at race pace. Unfortunately, the route took its toll on the pros with punctures being the bane of many contenders – Martin Maes, Nico Vouilloz and Jared Graves among them.

Nico Vouilloz attacks in dappled light, but a puncture saw him out of contention early on
Maes was also hit by a puncture but went for a Gwin style rim ride
Marco Osbourne races through the crowds
Iago Garay is always one to please the crowds, race run style.
Leigh Johnson, from Wales, marked himself out with a third place in the Under 21s
Today was a good day for the Gehrig twins, Carolin took fifth spot...
... while Anita pipped her to fourth.
What a ride from Hill. four seconds off the win on flats

One man to clean the course was Greg Callaghan. In front of a ravenous home crowd he kept his cool to pilot his Cube to first place. He didn’t claim any stage wins but a slew of seconds, combined with general consistency, was enough to claim the fastest time of the day.

He didn’t have it easy though with Sam Hill bringing the flat pedal thunder to Ireland and sneaking into second place on a course that really shouldn’t have suited him. The biggest challenge of the day came from Richie Rude though. He punctured on stage 2 and lost roughly 30 seconds, which left him languishing in 34th in the overall, but he won four of the next five stages, each one hauling him up the overall standings, to finish third, just 4.63 seconds off the win.

Irish fans won’t want to hear that only a puncture prevented Rude winning a record-equaling third Enduro World Series in a row but they probably also won’t care. The history books will show that this round belonged to the local hero and that’s what they’ll remember as they sat bleary-eyed and sore headed at their desks on Monday morning.

Florian Nicolai rounded out the men's top five to keep joint second in the overall.
T-Mo - impervious and imperious from the top of the hill to the bottom
The top rocks were definitely the place to be for spectators
Joe Smith was also on a flat pedal rampage and slotted in ninth.
Theo Galy sailed under the radar to clinch a cheeky fourth

In the women’s race Tracy Moseley was returning to Enduro World Series action after announcing her semi-retirement at the end of last season. She carried over the strong form she’d shown in the British Enduro Series to the world stage and reminded everyone who the queen of enduro really is. Tracy took six of seven possible stage wins with only Isabeau Courdurier able to pip her on the final stage of the day.

Smiles from the semi-retired champ

In the overall ranking, Richie Rude has now extended his lead at the top of the series, with a three-way tie for second position between Damien Oton, Jerome Clementz and Florian Nicolai all 300 points behind on 1,110.

Cecile Ravanel now has such a commanding lead in the women’s overall and it’s  too late for Tracy to start to challenge for the overall, but you can guarantee the likes of Courdurier and Thoma will be chasing after her all season.

The Irish dominated the Under 21s. Leah Maunsell's time would have snagged her a top ten in the Elites.
Killian Callaghan - yep he's related. Speed runs in this family's blood
Moseley looking right back at home
We wonder what odds you would have got on this podium...

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