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Murray wins World Cup Mountain Bike Enduro

Updated: May 18

Charles Murray in action on his way to his first UCI Enduro World Cup victory in Poland
Charles Murray in action on his way to his first UCI Enduro World Cup victory in Poland PHOTO: UCI

New Zealand enduro star Charles Murray has claimed the narrowest of wins in the second round of the UCI MTB Enduro World Cup in Poland.

The Specialized Enduro Team rider managed to hold on through a wet and slippery downhill final stage to claim his first UCI World Cup victory by just 0.095 seconds from local Polish rider Lukasik Slawomir at Bielsko-Biala.


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It follows Murray’s second placing in the opening round in France last weekend, with the massive eight-hour event incorporating five technical and twisting stages with a combined 37km of trails and over 2,000m of descents including transitions on the new course.

The win has elevated Murray to the lead in the championship ahead of defending champion Rich Rude Jr (USA) and Slawomir.

Rude won the opening stage but Murray claimed stage two, the longest with a 3.7km trail and in worsening wet conditions which made the trail treacherous. The stage win moved the kiwi rider into the overall lead by just 0.4s over Rude.

The conditions, with were a mix of wet, icy and dry, created further crashes on stage three, with the lead of Murray and Rude threatened by Polish rider Slawomir who was fastest, moving him into third place.

After a long transition, Murray managed to avoid a crash on the challenging fourth stage to maintain his 2.7s lead with Slawomir again fastest.

The final stage was delayed with a red flag, before the Polish champion won his third straight stage to move into the lead. However Murray made his run, fourth fastest on the stage, which was just enough to win his first UCI Enduro World Cup by the blink of the eye.

Rude finished third overall.

“Last week I was a bit surprised because you never know where your form is coming into the season to them back it up with the win here was too good to be true,” said Murray

”Managing to keep it upright was the main thing and pedal where I could but just be smart because there were so many slippery roots out there.

“It was hard to read. One corner was saturated and icy and the next was dry so it was impossible to read what was coming.

“Last week gave me heaps of confidence which was good but kind of hard because I was so nervous this morning. I knew I could do a good result.

“My mechanic told me I had two seconds which is nothing – one mistake and it is gone. I knew it was down to that last stage. I did make one small mistake but I pedalled like a madman and managed to get it home.

“To beat the Polish in Poland is a bit of a dream come true.”

Of the other kiwis in the field, Matthew Walker was 18th , his fellow Pivot Factory teammate Ed Masters 37th, Brady Stone 42nd  and Matthew Berry 64th.

The Nelson pair of Rae Morrison and George Swift were 11th and 12th respectively in the elite women’s race won by Frenchwoman Isabeau Courdurier., with fellow kiwi Louise Kelly 25th.

Outstanding Nelson prospect, Xanthe Robb scored a top-10 finish in the under-21 females, won by Simona Kuchynkova (SLO). She was seventh after the opening stage, slipped back on stages two and three, but finished strongly to be a competitive sixth place on both the fourth and final stages for her best elite finish at this level.

Nelson’s Aidan Robinson was 24th in the under-21 men with Upper Hutt’s Lachie Ross 28th in the race won by Australian Bailey Christie.

The third round  of the Enduro World Cup will be in Leogang, Austria in three weeks.

Results Bielsko-Biala, Men Elite: Charles Murray (Specialized Enduro, NZL) 23:42.034, 1; Lukasik Slawomir (Yeti-Fox, POL) at 0.095, 2; Rich Rude (Yeti-Fox, USA) at 2.798, 3. Also NZers: Matthew Walker (Pivot Factory) at 50.584, 18; Ed Masters (Pivot Factory) at 1:37.500, 37; Brady Stone at1:50.183, 42; Matthew Berry at 2:32.515, 64.


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