Costly crash for Murray, debut win for kiwi teenager in UCI Enduro World Cup

Mountain Bike
Murray Leo1 v2

A massive crash on the final stage proved costly for kiwi star Charles Murray in the latest stop on the UCI MTB Enduro World Cup in Austria.

While the crash dropped him to eighth at Leogang-Salfenden, the Specialized rider remains in second place on the world cup standings for elite men.

The New Zealand flag got to fly high with Christchurch teenager Winni Goldsbury winning the junior women’s title in her World Cup debut.

The 18-year-old national champion was fastest in all six stages in an exhausting day with a two-hour transition between the block of stages in Saalfenden and final stages in Leogang.

Murray, who has assisted with Goldsbury’s enduro development, was thrilled.

“It was epic to see Winni at the top of the podium today and very exciting. She shows so much talent but you just do not know how young riders will go on the world stage. It is a different game with the level of the riders, the pressure you put on yourself and with all the cameras following around the stages.

But she just crushed it and I could not be happier to see a young, deserving kiwi on the top step.”

Goldsbury was quickest on each stage to finish 25 seconds clear of Canada’s Emmy Lan and jumped to fifth overall on the standings. Training companion Xanthe Robb from Nelson was sixth today to move to seventh on the World Cup standings.

Meanwhile it was a tough day in the office for Murray. The Specialised rider, who was leading in the World Cup overall, won the opening stage and while defending champion Rich Rude (USA) was fastest in the four stages in Saalfendan.

Murray remained in third going into the final stage back in Leogang.

“I decided to lay it all on the line in that final stage and over-cooked it.  I went slightly wide off line in one corner and hit a tree root on the wrong angle,” said Murray. “It was a pretty hard fall. I have nothing broken but had few stiches in my arm and I am pretty beaten up.

I was lucky to salvage what could have been a disaster, and got to the finish to be second overall in the standings. It felt like worst day in the office.

Murray said the long transition between the stages in Saalfenden and Leogang of over an hour riding proved a challenge, made worse over the exposed roots in the slippery wet conditions.

Luckily we have three weeks until the next round in France and I should be fighting fit and hungry to get back to the top of the rankings. Second is great but would be nice to be leading.”

Of the other kiwis today, Matthew Walker (Pivot Factory) enjoyed a top-10 result in the elite men while the experienced Rae Morrison (Specialized) was ninth and George Swift (Yeti-Fox) 12th in the elite women.

In the junior women, Xanthe Robb was sixth to join the victory by Goldsbury, while the best of the kiwis in the junior men was Olive Jenkins who was sixth in his first World Cup.

The focus at Leogang tomorrow moves to the downhill, with riders in final timed practice runs today.

Wellington’s world champion Erice van Leuven (Commencal Les Orres) was fastest in junior women with Rotorua’s Ryan Hastings quickest in the junior men. His sister Jenna Hastings led the kiwis in the elite women while Queenstowns former national champion Toby Meek was the fastest kiwi in the elite men.

There are qualifying runs overnight (NZT), with elites also rading semifinals.


UCI World Cup Enduro Round 3, Saalfenden-Leogang:

Elite men: Rich Rude Jr (USA) 24:52.00, 1; Alex Rudeau (FRA) at 7.31s, 2; Slawomir Luka (POL) at 14.129, 3. Also NZers: Charles Murray (Specialized) at 45.06s, 8; Matthew Walker (Pivot Factory) at 1:00.29, 10; Brady Stone at 1:14.52, 16; Craig Murray at 1:42.21, 27; Ed Masters (Pivot Factory) at 2:26.88, 43; Matthew Berry at 4:56.06, 66.

Elite women: Isabeau Courdurier (FRA) Harriet Harnden (GBR) Morgane Charre (FRA) Also NZers: Rae Morrison at 1:52.02m 9; George Swift (Yeti-Fox) at 2:18.4, 12; Louise Kelly at 7:14.1, 25.

Junior women: Winni Goldsbury (NZL) 30:48.330, 1; Emmy Lan (Can)at 24.59s, 2;  Simona Kuchynkova (SVK) at 1:06.80, 3. Other NZers: Xanthe Robb at 1:36.39, 6.

Junior men: Tien Wei Ho (CAN) 26.08, 1; Jt Fisher (USA) at 17.2s, 2; Sascha Kim (AUS) at 18.6, 3. Also NZers: Oliver Jenkins at 40.6, 6; Lachie Ross at 1:01.5, 9; 9th; Joe Millington at 2:15.3, 32; Harry Kneebone at 2:31.4, 35.

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