110 – Harry Byrne – What It Takes To Be 2019 Gravity Enduro Irish Champion
2019 Irish Gravity Enduro Champion – Harry Byrne
On episode #110 we are chatting with Harry Byrne about becoming the 2019 Irish Gravity Enduro Champion, what this has done for his confidence, how his overall season has went, how he balances bikes and books, and what it felt like to take the win in Scotland’s Tweedlove Enduro Under 21 category, one of the UK’s most-prestigious events.
Harry is super down to earth and for an 18-year-old keeping your head on straight is no easy feat. After what Harry has achieved this season and stepping up to the Elite men category, you would almost expect him to be a little more cocky. After all he achieved 1st place in Cahir, 2nd in Killaloe and 3rd in Slade, helping him well on his way to cruise home taking 4th at the final event in Carrick to take the overall win. But Harry knows there is a lot more racing still to be done and even though he doesn’t seem to have a long term plan in place, I think this young ripper has his sights set on bigger and better things. With his speed, attitude and support why shouldn’t he, he seems to have all the correct pieces in place to do so.
So tune in and see what it takes to achieve your goals and step-up to the Elites with your 2019 Irish Gravity Enduro Champion, Harry Byrne.
- How Harry got into mountain biking by chance
- Why it quickly took over from the other sports he was involved in
- How his first bike was a lender from his dad
- How Santa Claus kick-started Harry’s real obsession in mountain biking
- Where his first race was and how he got on
- How Harry has seen the Irish race scene grow over the last four years
- What his season has been like and how he feels he has done
- How Harry felt after winning the Elite Irish Gravity Enduro Championship
- What that has done for his overall confidence
- How Harry felt standing on that top spot of the Gravity Enduro podium
- What winning the Under 21 Tweedlove Enduro in Scotland meant to Harry
- How Harry gets a tone of support from his family
- How being apart of the Epic MTB club has helped him
- Why the support of his sponsors like Expert Bikes & CCM Racing mean so much
- What Harry has planned for next season and wants to attack more EWS events
- How to get in contact with Harry
We chat to Harry about how his parents play such a huge role in what he has achieved, from financing to travel to nutrition. There is so much that goes into having a successful season for a young rider and you do relay on a lot of help from other people, may this be friends, family members or club members, the help and support needs to be there and Harry acknowledges this. He knows what other people sacrifice so he can race his bike and is very thankful for that help.
Harry is also very thankful to his sponsors for helping him every step of the way. This all started when he first joined his local mountain bike club called Epic MTB. Clubs play such a large part in not only getting young boys and girls involved in biking but also to help hone their skills and everything that goes along with that. Harry has been lucky enough to have this support and help via his local club with everything from advice to sponsorship. Alfie who owns Expert Cycles and is also a member of the Epic MTB club, seen the potential in Harry and was more than happy to make him part of the Expert Cycles team, helping him with bikes, maintenance and riding gear. This type of support is crucial in developing young riders and it all starts at the club level. I often ask guests on the show why they believe we have such a pool of talented riders and lots of young rippers coming up through the ranks. Responses vary but it is easy to see that our local clubs and trail networks play a massive part in this success and without this backbone of support we simply would not be seeing the rising talent that we have today.
For next season Harry has his sights set on attending more rounds of the EWS and really pushing to see what he can achieve in this setting. After having his first taste of this in the final round of the EWS tour in Switzerland, Harry has been hooked and wants to compete in this higher level of competition. You would think you would be a little star struck when attending your first EWS event with all the factory teams, top class riders and media etc., but Harry loved the whole thing. He enjoyed the atmosphere, the hustle and bustle and being part of that larger stage. It suits him down to the ground. Harry and his father are now sitting down planning their direction of attack for next season. Seeing just what is possible and which events they cannot afford to miss. It is not an easy task and curtain sacrifices will have to be made but I am sure they will work it out and get Harry standing on a few more podiums in 2020.
So take some weight off, tune in for an hour and see what Harry has planned for next season, what he thinks of his Yeti bike and why he prefers 29ers plus much more!
Thanks for tuning in and enjoy the show!
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Thanks so much to Harry for coming on the show and sharing his story. Good luck in 2020!!
And thank you once again for tuning into the show and getting involved.
Join me next week for another MTB TRIBE Podcast show!