The storms have come and gone, trees are down , many knocked by Coillte themselves to clear the forests. Where there were trees now there are open spaces. Often this is good as it opens the possibility of new routes, sometimes not so good as it removes more traditional paths.
Either way with a rocky base Tinahely is rideable in most conditions even with more rain forecast this week. Sure will be great.
Such is the reputation of the event as being a “good old fashioned time card event ” it has always attracted a few non locals to bash bars with our own . Italian Andrea Bassi has been here a few times as has Scottish farmer Euan McConnell now semi retired and young Cornish rider Josh Gotts . Bassi is otherwise disposed ( has to work !) this year but we hear on the grapevine that McConnell is washing his steed to travel as is Gotts travelling from the very hard final German EWC round to Cornwall via Tinahealy. Must be using a GPS ! They will add to the event.
Speaking of the EWC, we did mention that the structure of the series was under serious pressure, much to do with the inability of the promoter ( French) and the enduro commission president ( French) to take on board the opinion of the majority of the riders / teams, insisting to run to their own format. It did not work resulting in a very depleted entry level and of more serious consequences the very possible withdrawal of KTM and Husky. As if now those factories have cancelled contracts for 2018 . They may or may not support the series or do so in a different way possibly through private teams .
For 18 , the tried and tested format of 5 classes is returned E1 E2 E3 EJ EY with an overall EGP winner from all combined classes. The biggest class change is the addition of 250 2T and 4T in the same class. Today with the 4T development that is much more even on performance and rideability.
Is it too late for the EWC ? We will see , the French have had to swallow a bit of humble pie.
Steve Holcombe has clinched this seasons GP crown with brothers Danny and Jamie Mc canny at the top of E2, Freeman the EJ winner . The ACU are in a good place .
Tinahealy for a EWC round ? That would be a proper test.