Murray on podium in UCI Enduro World Series opener in Italy

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New Zealand enduro star, Charles Murray secured an impressive podium in the opening round of the UCI World Series in Finale Ligure on the Italian Riviera.

The Specialized Factory rider started conservatively but finished strongly to claim second place behind world no 1 American Rich Rude Jnr.

It proved an exhausting test with riders completing four sections and were out in blazingly hot conditions for around seven hours.

Rude (USA) finished in a combined 31:53:201 with Murray 15.273s behind and German Martin Maes third.

Murray (Wanaka) said the overall aim was to get a feel on his fitness leading into the season.

“It was great to test my form at the first World Cup and to come out on the podium is the cherry on top,” said the world no. 5 ranked rider.

“Finale Ligure was really hot and dry with temperatures close to 30C degrees. There was a fair amount of cramping amongst the competitors as we were out on the bike for about seven hours in total.”

Rude won every stage, with Murray back in 11th place eight seconds back after the opening stage. However the Specialized Factory rider was second just 0.5s behind Rude on stage two, 1.6s back in second on stage three and just over a second in the final stage to cement second place overall, well clear of German Martin Maes in third.

The Pivot Factory kiwi pair of Matt Walker and Ed Masters were 14th and 26th respectively with Cambridge rider Matthew Berry in 56th.

Best of the New Zealand elite women was Rae Morrison with a fantastic 5th. Rounding out the Nelson trio was George Swift in 15th and Louise Kelly did not finish.

Christchurch’s Matthew Fairbrother was the best of the kiwis in the under-21 men in 12th with Lachie Ross (Upper Hutt) 17th leading the New Zealand riders.

Nelson’s Xanthe Robb was the leading kiwi in under-21 females in sixth place.

The second round of the series is this weekend in Poland.


Elite Male: Rich Rude Jnr (USA) 31:53.201, 1; Charlie Murray (Specialised, NZL) at 15.273, 2; Martin Maes (GER) at 24.590, 3. Also other NZers: Matt Walker (Pivot Factory) at 1:08.898, 14; Ed Masters (Pivot Factory) at 1:37.125, 26; Matthew Berry at 2:54.641, 56;

Elite Female: Isabeau Courdurier (FRA) 5:44.004, 1; Elia Connelly (GBR) at 6.073, 2’; Morgane Charre (FRA) at 7.906, 3. Also NZers: Rae Morrison at 21.974, 5; George Swift at 33.564, 24l Louise Kelly at 42.762, 25;

Under-21 Male: Bailey Christie (AUS) 37.49.970, 1; JT Fisher (USA) at 11.778, 2; Marius Tenet Berrat (FRA) at 18.350, 3. Also NZers: Matthew Fairbrother at 1.31.945, 12; Lachie Ross at 1.42.724, 17; Aidan Robinson at 2.22.835, 24; Harry Kneebone at 2:45.200, 29; Asher Hart at 3:27.931, 34; Tyler Muirhead at 4:27.606, 42; Oliver Jenkins at 6:31.237, 44; Joe Millington (Yeti Fox) DNF.

Under-21 Female: Lily Planquart (FRA) 37.23.323, 1; Elly Hoskin (CAN) at 44.110, 2; Simona Kuchynkova (CZE) at 54.879, 3. Also: Xanthe Robb (NZL) at1:57.777, 6.

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