The Enduro World Series continues its most packed calendar to date in its most iconic of venues this week with Bluegrass EWS & EWS-E Finale presented by Vittoria.
Events kick off with the second round of EWS-E on Thursday, when a stacked field will take on a truly epic one day race that encompasses 12 stages over three loops, featuring over 3000 metres of elevation and 72 kilometers in total. Finale is no stranger to e-bikes; the region is home to some of the world’s first dedicated e-bike trails and hosted the first EWS-E test event back in 2018.
Tracy Moseley, Laura Charles and Sofia Wiedenroth remain the main podium contendors in Finale this week
In the women’s race Laura Charles (Orbea Fox Enduro Team) will start the race as the top seeded rider, after she took the round one win last week in her first ever EWS-E race. Her main competition will come from Sofia Wiedenroth (Specialized Racing) and the inimitable Tracy Moseley, who were her podium counterparts in round one.
Vouilloz will be the last man down the hill on Thursday as the top seeded rider
Nico Vouilloz (Lapierre Overvolt Team) is the favourite in Finale after his round one win in Switzerland, but there’s a big field of men who will be trying to stop him - not least his team mates Kevin Marry and Antoine Rogge who placed second and third respectively last week. Five times cross-country world champion and two time Olympic gold medallist Julien Absalon will take the start for his first foray into EWS-E, a name sure to strike fear into fellow competitors. There’s more than a smattering of regular EWS racers trying their hand too, including Charlie Murray (Specialized Racing), Florian Nicolai (Trek Factory Racing) and Emannuel Pombo (Canyon Collective).
Rude leads the series ahead of Moir – but only by 90 points
At the weekend the focus switches to the penultimate round of the EWS, and first up for these racers is the Pro Stage on Saturday, followed by four more stages on Sunday. In the men’s race Richie Rude (Yeti/Fox Factory Team) leads the series, but the title is far from a foregone conclusion, with Jack Moir (Canyon Collective) still within touching distance in the points. Despite the shoulder injury he sustained in Crans-Montana last week, Moir still managed a tenth place finish, enough to keep his championship hopes alive and proof that the season-long battle between him and Rude shows no signs of waning. Danger could also come in the form of Jesse Melamed (Rocky Mountain Race Face Enduro Team), who took the win last time the series raced Finale in 2020 and was just six seconds shy of a win at the last round.
Pugin on her way to winning in Switzerland last week
Melanie Pugin will be on the hunt to extend her already sizable points lead in the overall, buoyed by her win in Crans-Montana last week. However 2020 Finale winner Morgane Charre (Pivot Factory Racing) may well have other ideas; she’s yet to win a round this year but she’s stood on four of the seven podiums so far this season. Chasing her down will be Harriet Harnden (Trek Factory Racing) who is tied on points with Charre in the series championship - and the stakes are even higher when you realise that Isabeau Courdurier (Lapierre Zipp Collective) is just five points back in fourth.