Round two of the 2022 EWS-E season saw one of the toughest courses to date play out under a blazing sun in Petzen-Jamnica.
This unique venue, that stretches across the Slovenian - Austrian border, put the EWS-E riders to the test on a course that encompassed seven stages, over 60km of pedalling and nearly over 2600m of climbing.
Series leader Laura Charles’ race was over before it started after a mechanical on stage one ended her race
There was drama straight out the gate when round one winner Laura Charles (Miranda Factory Team) suffered a race ending mechanical on the first stage. The race favourite was out of contention and Florencia Espinera (Orbea Fox Enduro Team) was more than happy to fill the void, winning three stages and leading the race going into the final stage of the day.
Sofia Wiedenroth took the Power Stage win and boosted her series points in the process
Stage seven, the aptly named Thriller, was to prove Espinera’s undoing. At nearly five kilometres long, the mammoth stage saw Espinera’s lead slip away, as Alia Marincelli (Fulgur Factory Team Valdinievole) put down a blistering time that was enough to not only win the stage, but also propel her to her first EWS-E victory. Espinera claimed second and Sofia Wiedenroth (Specialized Racing) took third position and picked up some extra points along the way thanks to a win on the Power Stage.
In the men’s competition Antoine Rogge (Lapierre Overvolt Team) took the first stage of the day, but from here on in the top three changed from stage to stage. Hugo Pigeon (Scott SR Suntour Team), Edgar Carballo Gonzalez (Orbea Fox Enduro Team) and Jerome Gilloux (Lapierre Overvolt Team) all had stage wins to their name, but ultimately it wasn’t enough to topple race winner Yannick Pontal (Blackbox Test Pilot Program).
Yannick Pontal won the first ever EWS-E in Zermatt 2020 and backed it up today with the win in Petzen-Jamnica
Frenchman Pontal won stage four, but it was his final stage of the day that sealed the deal. The winner of the first ever EWS-E in 2020 was back on top, finishing the race just two seconds up. Tiago Ladeira (Miranda Factory Team) rode consistently all day to secure second place and round one winner Edgar Carballo Gonzalez was forced to settle for third place this time around.
Team of the day went to Orbea Fox Enduro Team, with Miranda Factory Racing in second and Haibike in third.
The EWS racers get to experience Petzen-Jamnica next when they race this Saturday and Sunday, while EWS-E returns for round three on the 2nd and 3rd of July in Valberg, France.
Full results from today’s race can be found here.