Vitus First Tracks Enduro Cup Round #1 Castlewellan, Northern Ireland
Photo credit IndustryImagePhotography by Warren McConnaughie
This weekend I headed off in my van for another weekend of racing, thrills and spills! After being down south in Co.Cork last week, this week I was up the other end of the country in Castlewellan Forest Park for the first round of the Vitus First Tracks Enduro Cup.
The garage packed!
I sometimes like to stop to take in some natural beauty on my way around
I arrived on Saturday afternoon, and didnt delay on getting the van parked up, gear on and bike set up for an afternoon of practice. The weather had been dry all morning that didnt reflect on the trails!
The stages were better than ever this year with a nice mix of challenging natural sections, fun single-track and relaxed transitions that meandered through the forest, out to the back of the mountain which opened up to stunning mountanous views.
After a full afternoon of practicing each of the five stages, I headed back to the campsite for a hot shower, and a serious feed! Feeling really content with how practice went, I spent the evening chilling out at the campsite and enjoying my first night camping in the van since last summer.
Vanlife grub - basic but bloody tasty!
Who needs a 5 star hotel eh?
I woke up the morning of the race feeling really fresh and full of energy. I had taken it pretty handy in practice, walking most of the hills on the transitions, saving my legs for race day. Smart nutrition post practice also made a big difference so I was glad for the race experience to know what works for me and what doesn't.
Stage 1 was one of my favourite stages. Starting off on a tricky boggy section, which was much worse in practice, I slid my way down the track through deep ruts, over boggy drops and around fun corners. Then it was a short fireroad sprint into the forest onto the fast singletrack to the finishline. Stage 2 and 3 were both great craic, and stage 4 had similar technical shoots and drops to stage 1. Stage 5 was the one stage where all the last remainding power and endurance in the legs was needed as this was a full on trailcentre sprint to the end with a fun pumptrack at the finish! It was great coming into the crowds of spectators cheering and clapping as I pumped my way around, giving every last ounce of energy I had left in the tank!
Sun shining on us for the presentations : )
Glyn and Cat O'Brien, as well as the rest of the First Tracks crew, provided both racers and spectators with a super weekend long event that definitely has left me wanting more! To take the win was just the icing on the cake! Thank you and well done guys for such a brilliant race!
Congrats to pinner Hannah Harvey on 2nd and Spaniard Tracy Bisbin on 3rd!
Massive thanks to my Team - Flow MTB My sponsors Transition Bikes, Kali Protectives, ION Bike, WTB and The Bike Rack Dublin