A DOUBLE AND A FIRST-EVER AT THE 30TH EWS EVENT
The 2016 Enduro World Series drew to a close in its traditional home of Finale Ligure as our fourth round of champions were crowned. Starting high in the Ligurian mountains 400 riders spent two days and seven stages riding through sun drenched trails down to the inviting waters of the Mediterranean far below. After a long season of racing around the globe, the Bluegrass Finale Enduro powered by SRAM will go down in the history books for a myriad of reasons.
DRAMATIC SHOWDOWNS, ENDURO STRIPES FOR SAM AND APOCALPYTIC WEATHER IN VALBERG
The seventh round of the Enduro World Series will be remembered as the race where Sam Hill earned his enduro stripes.
In a race that promised drama from the start thanks to an apocalyptic weather forecast, forcing the cancellation of the prologue on Friday and stage two on Saturday, the stage was set for an epic showdown. The promised storms never emerged but even with the cancelled stages, riders faced a huge day on Saturday featuring 1600m of climbing and 2500m of descent over 51km.
A fierce battle between two legends of mountain biking – Sam Hill (Chain Reaction Cycles Paypal) and Nico Vouilloz (Lapierre Gravity Republic), all whilst being chased down by young Jesse Melamed of Rocky Mountain Urge bp, made for a nail-biting showdown until the end.
HIGH OCTANE AND HIGH INTENSITY ON ONE-DAY WHISTLER RACE
Both Rude (Yeti Fox Shox) and Ravanel (Commencal Vallnord Enduro Team) each staged incredible comebacks after their days got off to a bad start.
Cecile suffered mechanicals on both stages one and two, whilst Richie had to contend with a flat tyre on stage two. This put both of them at a disadvantage going into the next stages – with Cecile only just making her stage three start time.
A CHANGING OF THE GUARD UNDER A HOT COLORADO SUN
They say that enduro is a game of averages, that you need to perform in every condition imaginable and manage your skill, fitness and equipment all the way to the finish line. And that could never be clearer than in the first day of racing in Aspen Snowmass.
Racing under a hot Colorado sun at an elevation of 10,000 feet is no mean feat, but Graves and Ravanel made it look effortless as they dominated their respective fields. But the fight was most intense for the remaining spots on the podium.
EPIC IN EVERY WAY
The La Thuile Enduro World Series powered by SRAM proved epic in every way; big mountains, big crashes and big wins for the unstoppable Richie Rude and Cecile Ravanel. The Italian Alps provided the perfect backdrop for the fourth stop of the series, as 400 riders raced their way around the Aosta Valley amongst the impressive mountains that flank Mont Blanc.
FAIRYTALES AND POTS OF GOLD
In a race that changed direction with each of the seven stages, Wicklow once more proved that a little hill can create big dramas. The Emerald Enduro presented by Biking.ie was almost a complete rerun of last year’s incredible race, with sunshine, some of the craziest fans the series has ever seen, and Greg Callaghan (Cube Action Team) and Tracy Moseley (Trek Factory Racing) walking away with the top honours after a great one-day race on Carrick’s fast and technical trails.
DUST CLOUDS AND HUGE CROWDS
It’s the first time the series visited Argentina and riders were blown away by this famous ski town on the shores of Lake Nahuel Huapi in Patagonia. In this two-day race, riders challenged the high Andes and its wild, exposed trails.
EARTH, WIND AND FIRE
The 2016 season kicked off in Patagonia with a two-day race in beautiful Corral, Chile. This stunning coastal venue offered riders something very different to the series’ first foray into the country in 2014–the high Andes were replaced by rolling hills with incredible single track that led all the way down to the South Pacific Ocean.