Kiwi enduro riders set for UCI World Series start in iconic Italian Riviera

Mountain Bike
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Twenty kiwi mountain bikers are expected on the start line at the picturesque Italian Riviera this weekend for the opening round of the UCI MTB Enduro World Series.

It is the first of back-to-back enduro world cups, with the second round in Poland next weekend.

Leading the way for the kiwi contingent is world no. 5 ranked Charlie Murray (Christchurch) who again lines up for the Specialized Factory team.

There are seven kiwis entered in the elite men’s category including No 9 ranked Matthew Walker (Christchurch, Pivot Factory) and No 17 Brady Stone (Nelson). There’s also interest in long-time international gravity rider, Eddie Masters from Taranaki who rides for the Pivot Factory team with Walker.

The ever-present Rae Morrison, riding for Liv Racing, is the highest ranked kiwi female at No 8 in the world along with fellow Nelsonian George Swift (Yeti Fox Racing) ranked 16th.

Another Yeti Fox Factory rider, Joe Millington from Rotorua is the top ranked under-21 rider, while Xanthe Robb (Nelson) is ranked 11th in the female under-21 category.

The Finale Outdoor Region nestles in the Italian Riviera on the Mediterranean coast between Genoa and Nice, with the region’s beaches attracting international visitors.

The burgeoning network of trails in the hills and hinterland has sprawled to now include 20 municipalities, centred on Finale with its exposed limestone rocks, savage gradients and high speeds along the trails.

The enduro race on Sunday (NZT) starts with two downhill special stages and a return to the Supergroppo trail, not used for 10 years, at 7km in length. There is a highly technical trail back on the schedule before the iconic final DH Men stage.

The E-EDR on the following day has many of the same trails with a further five for pro athletes in the second loop.

Racing starts on Saturday 6.30pm (NZT) with the enduro finish at approx. 3.30am Sunday (NZT), with same timing for the E-Enduro on Sunday.

The New Zealand riders entered:

Elite men: Matthew Berry (Cambridge), Bradley Lauder (Rotorua), Eddie Masters (New Plymouth, Pivot Factory), Charles Murray (Christchurch, Specialized), Brady Stone (Nelson), Dylan Waghorn (Auckland), Matthew Walker (Christchurch, Pivot Factory).

Under-21: Matthew Fairbrother (Christchurch), Oliver Jenkins (Christchurch), Joe Millington (Rotorua, Yeti Fox Factory). Tyler Muirhead (Wanaka), Lachie Ross (Upper Hutt).

Female Elite: Louise Kelly (Nelson), Rae Morrison (Nelson, Liv Racing), George Swift (Nelson, Yeti Fox Factory).

Under 21: Xanthe Robb (Nelson). Enduro Open Men: Jake Remon (Dunedin).


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