Leah Maunsell Wins the Irish Gravity Enduro Series Opener

This weekend was the Irish Gravity Enduro (our National series) season opener in Ballinastoe, Co. Wicklow. Due to my school commitments (my exams are drawing closer) I was unable to dedicate the whole weekend away from study. Rather than miss the race I decided to skip the Saturday practice and spend the day studying then travel up on Sunday morning and race blind.

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It was the usual format with five stages. Because of the nature of the hill, the trail conditions varied from generally wet and muddy at the top to dryer trails as we descended to the bottom.

I guess the difficulty of riding unfamiliar trails is you end up in the wrong gear or even almost stalling causing you to lose speed where you know others are pedaling hard. The worst feeling is probably seeing ‘that line’ only after you’ve passed it! As a result of this, anytime I could see an open or straight section or hard pack trail I just opened it up and rode as fast as I could. 

The biggest battle was with myself, trying to remain calm and focused after making mistakes, trying to recover quickly was key. Looking back I made a lot of mistakes and I hope I will learn a lot from the experience. Luckily this time I did enough to take the win! Thankfully that was the last race I will have to race blind between here and my exams. After that, I will be back into the swing of things for summer! This weekend saw the biggest field of female riders the Irish series has ever seen. It is so good to see that the enduro scene is forever growing!

I am so lucky to be able to rock up to a race with so much confidence in my Process 153DL that it will perform so well every time.