The Specialized Trail of the Year Award is always a fiercely contested title - as each of the eight Enduro World Series venues vie to have one of their stages designated the very best of the year.
Cody Kelley having fun on the Kumma Gutza
And 2019 was no exception, and despite four brand new locations included in the calendar (Val Di Fassa, Les Orres, Northstar and Zermatt), it was Tasmania that once again took top honours. Riders, team managers and media who had attended every round of the season voted for Stage 1 Kumma Gutza into Are Ye Gan as their favourite stage of the year. The Award was accepted on behalf of Derby by Australian rider Josh Carlson at the annual EWS Awards Dinner in Finale earlier this month.
Each of the 2019 organisers were given a Specialized Trail of the Year tool for their nominated Tool
It’s the second time that Derby has received the award, having also won it in 2017 for Detonate - a trail that became infamous for the images of riders squeezing through that rock gap in the race. The winner of the award wins $2000 - and in 2017 the company behind Derby's trails, World Trail, generously donated it to Break the Boundary Inc., an Australian charity that helps people with disabilities live healthier and happier lives by using adaptive mountain biking as a way to break the physical, mental and social boundaries to the great outdoors. It acts as a central hub for people seeking information about adaptive mountain biking around and runs a range of clinics, camps and programs around the country - they have since used the donation to build a storage hub for their equipment at their locals trails in Perth.
Tasmania also won Trail of the year for Detonate, pictured during the 2017 EWS race
The EWS has now visited Derby twice, and both times it’s finished the season with the Specialized Trail of the Year Award - a fitting testament to the hard work that has gone into creating the incredible trail network that has reinvented this former mining town. Ian Harwood is the man behind the Tasmanian EWS, he said: "We feel truly honoured to have won. I told the EWS at the start of the year that Kumma Gutza was going to win this award - it's such a fun bit of trail. Everyone involved with the event is delighted that the riders enjoyed racing the stage as much as we enjoyed creating it."
To learn more about how some iconic EWS destinations, including Tasmania, develop and maintain their trails, then check out our latest video in association with Soil Searching.