Enduro World Series Wicklow, Ireland – day 1

Hi from sunny Ireland! We’re just south of Dublin in Wicklow for Round 3 of the 2016 Enduro World Series.

The sun is shining, track walk is done and we’re warming up for practice. 

Blue skies and greasy trails – the rain has stopped and it’s track walk day. Here’s Leigh Johnson, Chris KS and Nikki Whiles on stage 6.

I’m out here with the Marin Stans NoTubes team who’ve got Rob Williams, Leigh Johnson, Chris Keeble-Smith and Nikki Whiles on the start-sheet. I work with the team at my day job but don’t have much to do with the sharp end of their racing. I’ve stowed away with the team for our local(ish!) EWS to see how a team that isn’t Team Wideopenmag do it.  Having spend the last 7 years trucking to races with TeamWO i’m looking to pinch some ideas!


We rolled into town on Tuesday evening after an easy ferry to Rosslare and a couple of hours drive in the truck. Wednesday was bike building, chilling and BBQ day and then today was business day one – the pits went up and I walked stage 6 with the guys. 

Even the boss gets punctures! Here’s EWS big-dog Chris Ball pausing for a bit of trail-side maintenance on his media ride.
The enduro boys aren’t messing around. Sure, it’s not World Cup DH but the stages are still gnarly. Leigh Johnson reckons he’ll “give this one a bit of bunny hop”.
Trackwalk foot wear is a personal choice. Riggers or wellies? Chris Keeble Smith knows what’s up.

Despite blue skies, the stage was greasy as all hell. The eucalyptus grove bottom section is flat-out single-track strewn with sniper roots and plenty of time-saver doubles and manuals. Above that, riders are treated to a rocky, loose, gravely gully and then above that again it changes completely.

The top is open moorland and absolutely covered in greasy, peaty rocks. The gem of the section is a steep, rocky chute into a left hand berm that is going to look bloody brilliant when Sam Hill thunders through on race day. 

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The CRC team have opted to give the BDS at Fort William a miss and race the enduro. Here’s Sam Hill and Mike Jones checking out one of Stage 6’s gnarlier sections. Sam’s got his eye on the greenery on the right hand side.


Media mogul Jacob Gibbins is one of the official media crew – they all get given a Cube eBike to shred at each race and help drag their huge camera bags round.

Tomorrow is practice day – keep an eye on our Instagram for loads of coverage from the day from me, Chris Hutchens and Monet. I’ll fire up another update at the end of the tomorrow and every day of the race after that.

You can also follow my hosts for the week over on Marin Stans NoTubes racing