The first EWS Gold Qualifier of the year went off with a bang in Tasmania with Enduro Fest in Maydena Bike Park, with 150 riders tackling some of the park’s most challenging trails.
Spectators were treated to some exciting, extremely close racing over eight stages and approximately 3,000m or vertical descending. After some light rain through the week, race courses were drying out Saturday morning, with absolutely prime conditions greeting riders across the majority of race stages.
Kona’s Connor Fearon was the top seeded rider in the men’s competition
It all started on Saturday evening with the Queen Stage taking riders through an enormous, 700m vertical descent. Maydena local, Dan Booker, led out the men’s field with a blistering time of 8:00.9, with Connor Fearon (Kona Factory Racing) only seven seconds back, and Josh Button rounding out the top three. In the women’s event Lucy Mackie took out the first stage with a time of 10:52 with Zoe Cuthbert only two seconds back, and Laura Craft rounding out the stage one podium.
Day two kicked off with a shuttle to the top of the hill and sending riders down a natural tech course ‘Sideshow Bob’ followed by another shuttle back up the hill from midline to get riders to stage three out on the Outer Limits Trail. In the men’s Dan Booker won both stage two and three by 0.6 and 3 seconds respectively over Connor Fearon. Laura Craft came out swinging on day two taking the win on the first two stages by four and five seconds respectively.
Laura Craft won seven of the weekend’s eight stages
The fourth stage was a tough one for racing with a number of short pinch climbs throughout, which tested the rider’s fitness. Laura and Dan again won the stage over Zoe Cuthbert and Connor Fearon. Stages five and six were both technical trails, with stage six being a crowd favourite. Both stages were again taken out again by Dan Booker with Connor Fearon continuing the battle only one second behind on each stage. Laura Craft continued her run of wins by taking both stages. Adelaide rider, Shelly Flood took her first stage win of the weekend on stage seven, beating Laura by four seconds. Laura hit back on the final stage taking the win and the overall by 42 seconds over Shelly Flood and Zoe Cuthbert in third.
Nukeproof’s latest signing Dan Booker taking the win in style
The close battle in the men’s field continued into the final two stages with Dan winning stage seven and Connor Fearon took his first stage win of the weekend on the final stage.
In the e-bike category Josh Carlson (Giant Factory Off-Road Team) took a clean sweep of the stages to land on the top step of the podium.
With a truly massive course, encompassing a wide range of length, technically and physically challenging descents, Enduro Fest 2021 crowned true champions across all event categories.