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Murray on podium at Enduro World Series

Charles Murray takes silver at UCI Enduro World Series
Charles Murray on the podium (left) at the UCI MTB Enduro World Series opening round in Finale Ligure in Italy. PHOTO: SEB SCHIECHK

New Zealand enduro star Charles Murray secured an impressive podium in the opening round of the UCI Enduro 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 Jr.


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

Rude finished in a combined 31:53:201 with Murray 15.273 seconds behind and German Martin Maes third.

Murray, from Wanaka, aid 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 were the Nelson trio led by multi-national champion Rae Morrison in 15th, George Swift in 24th and Louise Kelly 25th.

Christchurch’s Matthew Fairbrother was the best of the Kiwis in the under-21 men in ninth with Lachie Ross (Upper Hutt) 11th and Yeti Fox rider Joe Millington from Rotorua in 15th 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 Men: Rich Rude Jnr (USA) 31:53.201, 1; Charlie Murray (Specialised, NZL) at 15.273, 2; Martin Maes (GER) at 24.590, 3. Also 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 Women: 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, 5th; George Swift at 33.564, 24,sd Louise Kelly at 42.762, 25

Under-21 Men: JT Fisher (USA) 5:11.440, 1; Bailey Christie (AUS) at 7.795, 2; William Brodie (GBR) at 10.180, 3. Also NZers: Matthew Fairbrother at 18.880, 9; Lachie Ross at 20.177, 11; Joe Millington (Yeti Fox) at 21.542, 15; Aidan Robinson at 30.266, 30; Asher Hart at 37.131, 43; Harry Kneebone at 41.669, 45

Under-21 Women: 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) at 1:57.777, 6


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