It’s hard to believe the second season of the Enduro World Series is nearly over – but what a season it’s been. The six rounds of 2014 have taken place in some of the most breath taking scenery on earth and provided some of the most exciting racing imaginable. With just one race left in Finale until we crown our new world champions, here’s a little reminder of the season so far.
The first round in Chile saw 2013 Champion Jerome Clementz take the win – but his success was short lived after a crash at a local race in France ruled him out of the next five rounds. Injury also plagued Fabien Barel – he too missed five rounds after breaking his back during the race in Chile.
This season will be remembered as the year that the young guns started to break through into the top three. The first four rounds of the year saw four different winners – and two young Frenchman in particular made their mark. Nico Lau and Damien Oton each clocked up their first wins in Scotland and La Thuile respectively. Jared Graves took the win at round three in Valloire – a theme that continued as he then went on to win in Colorado and Whistler as well. And now, with just one round left, Jared is sitting pretty at the top of the points table and only needs to place 23rd or higher to be crowned the 2014 champion. But there’s still six stages and two days of racing to go, and Damien Oton and Justin Leov, who sit second and third in the overall standings, could still cause an upset and throw the Aussie from his throne.
In the women’s race the story of the season has been the struggle between Anne Caroline Chausson and Tracy Moseley. Anne chalked up the first win of the year in Chile, but Tracy then dominated the top step of the podium for the next three events. Anne found her form in Colorado and came out on top – but then Cecile Ravanel bettered them both to take her first Enduro World Series win in Whistler.
Heading into this weekend just 80 points separate Anne and Tracy – a win for either lady here will secure the coveted World Champion title. But consistent points from Cecile all year mean a first place in Finale could still keep her in contention for the overall.
In the Junior category Sebastien Claquet leads the points after a strong season for the 17 year old from France. Wins in Scotland, La Thuile and Whistler put him 100 points clear of nearest rival Robin Matot of Belgium. Ireland’s Conor Lavelle sits in third place in the rankings, but with over 600 point separating him from Matot, the title is now out of his reach.
Primoz Stancar leads the Master category by nearly 700 points – so is assured of the World Champion title this Sunday. The real battle for this category is for places two to four. Mika Kangus is in second place on 520 points, but only 30 points back are Emmanuelle Abate and Emmanuelle Millard who have 490 points apiece. The Master’s category has been posting some blistering times all year so expect to see some tight racing amongst these guys.
So there you have it – after six rounds, six countries and over 18 days of racing, everything comes down to this weekend. Just six stages stand between the riders and the end of the season – and where better to end an incredible year of racing and crown our new champions than the iconic trails of Finale Ligure?
To keep up to date with all the action in Italy as it happens head to www.enduroworldseries.com/race-feed for live timing and real time race commentary.