Many of you have been wondering what’s going on so it’s time I filled you in a bit on our plans. After seven years of writing almost daily content for Spoke.ie and with a workload that has only increased it was time to take a short break. I was heavily involved in the Enduro World Series in Ireland and it required my full attention. It was without a shadow of a doubt the highlight of my media career so far, I hope you agree!
Since it ended I’ve been a little burnt out, feeling that there was too much time pounding a keyboard rather than the trails. I’ve been using the time since the Emerald Enduro to address this a little but I’m not quite there yet. I do have big plans for the future though including a website refresh and some new content ideas. Spoke.ie has and will continue to be a home for all things Irish mountain biking and the odd bit of road too. We will be back! Bear with me a little longer and thanks for all the support over the years.
Last weekend saw an epic opening to the 2015 DH World Cup from Lourdes in France. This was a real mountain bikers course with thrills and spills a plenty and here is the Red Bull highlights video for your viewing pleasure. Next up is Fort William in 4 weeks time.
Back on the Pro-Tour with Orica GreenEdge this time at the iconic Tour of Flanders. Before the race we get a bit f a chat with legend Eddy Merckx, then it’s off to the cobbles where the team are gunning for a good result. Watch out for the kamikaze Shimano neutral service cars!
Last weekend saw the opening round of the 2015 Enduro World Series in Rotorua, New Zealand. It was a good start for Irish riders with Grag Callaghan in 11th and Dan Wolfe in 38th in Elites. Conor Lavelle now riding for the Ibis team continued his good form from last year taking 6th in the highly competitive new Under 21 category. It’s setting up to be a great season with round 2 hitting Ireland in May!
Saturday sees the first round of the 2015 Enduro World Series take place in the glorious surroundings of Rotorua, New Zealand. The worlds best riders are currently training on the course ahead of racing this weekend. Here we take a ride down some of the trails in the company of BMCs Francois Bailly-Maitre.
The opening round of the Vitus First Tracks Enduro Cup is this weekend in Castlewellan Forest Park in the Mournes. A long time MTB venue Castlewellan has something for everyone. Registration closes this Thursday so make sure you’re signed up in advance. Full details of the opening round and series details below.
Round 1 – Castlewellan – 28/29th March 2015
Castlewellan Mountain Bike Trails are set in a beautiful Forest Park with the Mourne mountains as a back drop. 6 x 3-5min stages, 25km loop on trail centre and natural singletrack, fitness rating 6/10, skill rating 7/10. [Read more →]
Defending Enduro World Series Champion Jared Graves is out of the opening round of the Enduro World Series at least following a crash 12 days ago. The anouncement came on Graves’ Facebook page this morning. We wish him all the best in a speedy recovery. No news yet on when he will return to racing.
Photo Matt Wragg / EWS
So….time to let the cat out of the bag, to cut a long story short, 12 days ago while back home training I had a big crash where I wrapped myself around a tree and ended up with both shoulders seperated and significant muscle tearing around my shoulder blade in my back. Ive bee out and about riding lightly and slowly, but its not possible for me to race this weekend for EWS#1 in Rotorua. Been a very rough 2 weeks and pretty gutted to miss my first major race as world champ. Unfortunately it isnt April 1st either
This isn’t the first time that the number 1 ranked rider has suffered from a crash. 2013 World Champ Jerome Clementz crashed in training after the first round of the EWS last season and had to sit out all but the last round with a broken collarbone. Fingers crossed Graves can return to racing quickly.
Last weekend saw the opening round of the 2015 Scottish Enduro Series in Innerleithen. Ireland’s Greg Callaghan had a spectacular start to the season with his new Cube team taking the win from Ibis cycles Gary Forrest. We’re all looking forward to seeing Greg on Irish trails for the EWS which is creeping ever closer!
Let’s go behind the scenes with Orica GreenEDGE and Orica-AIS at the Strade Bianche in the Tuscan hills. No wine or sausages for the riders though on what is one of the most underrated races of the season and marks the start of the season for a whole bunch of pros. The dirt roads always cause carnage., Enjoy.
Watch this inspiring short featuring Italian racing driver Alex Zanardi who suffered a horrific crash in 2001 racing Indy Car losing both his legs. He returned to racing and took up the Paralympic sport of Hand cycling winning 2 Olympic Golds and 5 World Championship Golds. Definitely worth a look.
Purveyors of the finest cycling gear money can buy Rapha have announced a new Pro Team collection. We’ve some experience with Rapha clothing and while it ain’t cheap it is among the favorite pieces in our wardrobes, certainly the most comfortable and stylish.
The 2015 Pro Team collection features a special ‘Data Print’ pattern that creates art from the science of modern road racing, London-based design studio Accept & Proceed used the ride data from an individual racer’s entire grand tour to make a very special graphic. [Read more →]
Fancy a long term goal? Want a late season break to the sun with a biking focus? Look no further. The annual Roc d’Azur bike festival registration has opened. Four months ago, 20,035 participants and 150,000 visitors came to celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of the biggest mountain-biking event in the world.
Now boasting some 28 different events during the festival there is something for everyone here. The Roc is based in the town of Frejus on the Mediterranean coast near Nice. Full info below from the press release.
Registration for the final two rounds of the 2015 Enduro World Series opens today Wednesday at 4pm Irish time. Last year we visited the final venue in Finale Ligure and it was a highlight of the year. The trails are perfection and the ability to fall into the Med after a long day in the saddle is not to be underestimated. October is a perfect time to visit as it’s not too hot to ride (it’s plenty warm enough! – you’ll need sunscreen).
The Zona Zero round in Spain is an unknown quantity but excitement levels are high and I know that internally in the EWS they are very excited about this location in the Pyrenees.
Ahead of the opening of registration for the final two rounds of the Enduro World Series tomorrow, here is an intro video from the penultimate round in Spain. Zona Zero is based high in the Pyrenees. Registration opens at 5 and if previous rounds are anything to go by will be gone quicksmart.
Details are beginning to emerge concerning the 2015 Irish Cross Country National Points series. If you are not training now is the time to dig out the winter woolies and hit the trails hard in advance of this seasons XC race schedule.
This year there will be 5 rounds starting in Wicklow in mid April. [Read more →]
Many manufacturers produce different wheelsets but do you neccessarily know which wheel suits your particular riding style or terrain? In this really nice edit from SRAM, BlackBox rider Jerome Clementz rides the three Enduro wheelsets from SRAM and gives his feedback on the benefits of each. Its interesting to note that he feels they suit different conditions in different countries. I wonder what he will be riding in the Emerald Enduro in May?
In certain parts of the world Cyclocross is religion. Knobbly tyred road bikes are ridden to extremes by serious athletes in front of fanatical crowds of well oiled supporters. This past weekend saw the worlds take place in Tabor, the Czech Republic. Here are some takes on it courtesy of Shimano including a course preview with Eva Lechner.
And just like that they were gone! In less than a minute the entire public allocation of entries to the Chain Reaction Cycles Emerald Enduro sold out, some 180 odd entries. At 5pm the Enduro World Series released entries to the Emerald Enduro, the Scottish Tweedlove round and the French round in Samoens. All three were sold out in under a minute and a half.
20 minutes later slots for those that hadn’t completed registration in time were re-released and these too sold out. In 10 seconds flat. Of course if you weren’t one of the lucky ones, check out www.enduroworldseries.com and join the wait list, you never know your luck.
Congrats to all the riders who were lucky enough to get a spot. We’ll see you on the hill in May!