The first EWS Qualifier of 2021 kicks off in Australia this weekend, with the Victoria Enduro Tour Falls Creek.
Taking place on the flowing Alpine singletrack of Falls Creek Mountain Bike Park, the 250 strong field is in for a big weekend of racing at the first event this season that offers up the chance to score EWS Global Ranking Points.
There’s some big names taking to the start line, and the hot favourite in the men’s race is none other than Connor Fearon (Kona Factory Racing). Australian Fearon is one of the few racers to have stood on an EWS podium in his career, after picking up the silver medal in Derby, Tasmania in 2019. However, nipping at his heels will be young gun Ben Mcilory, who also stood on an EWS Tasmania podium back in 2017 in the U21 Category. Also in contention will be Paul Van Der Ploeg, who has a XC Eliminator World Champs title to his name.
Ayla Armitage is a young racer to watch this weekend. Pic: Matt Rousu
In the women’s competition Rachel Hore is the frontrunner for the win this weekend. With a slew of top five finishes at national level events to her name, including a second place finish in her last outing at Falls Creek in 2018, she is very much the woman to beat. It’s fresh faces that will once again prove the strongest competition though, with Ayla Armitage and Lia Ladbrook out to make their mark on the podium.
This weekend’s race is the first EWS Qualifier of 2021, races that take place across the world allowing riders to score EWS Global ranking points closer to home which allow them to pre-qualify to race in the main EWS races the following year. A full list of 2021 EWS Qualifiers is available here, with more races being added throughout the year.