Kiwi enduro riders kick-start two weeks of MTB action in French Alps

Mountain Bike
Murray Leo6 v2

A 21-strong contingent of kiwi enduro riders will lead-off a two-week UCI MTB World Series in the Haute Savoie region of France this weekend.

Next week are the last European World Cup rounds for cross-country and downhill before a break until September.

The Haute Savoie region is in the south-east of France in the Alps, bordering both Switzerland and Italy.

This weekend’s focus is on Combloux, a popular ski village near Mont Blanc, for the fourth round of the Enduro World Cup, with the MTB Marathon series taking place at near-by Megéve.

Next weekend is the sixth round of the MTB World Cup for cross-country and fifth round for downhill at the popular stop of Les Gets, in the same region.

Wanaka’s Charles Murray leads the kiwi charge in enduro, currently in second place overall in the elite men behind American Rich Rude. The Specialized enduro rider is one of nine kiwis in the elite men, including well-known downhiller Brook MacDonald (Forbidden Bikes) and fellow gravity riders Ed Masters and Matthew Walker, both from the Pivot Factory team.

Murray is joined at Combloux by his brother Craig, better known as an accomplished skier on the Freeride World Tour until delving into enduro last year.

Rae Morrison heads the kiwi elite women, ranked in the top-10 ahead of Nelson’s George Swift, with interest in Christchurch teenager Winni Goldsbury who won first-up in the under-21 female category in Austria last month.

Best of the kiwis in the under-21 men is Upper Hutt’s Lachie Ross in 15th overall, who heads a seven-strong kiwi contingent in this class.

The enduro race comprises six stages over a course of 39.2km with 2530m descending and 1685m of climbs, mostly in transitions between stages.

Racing begins on Friday evening NZ time, finishing by 5am (NZT) on Saturday.

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