Race locations don’t come much more scenic than Val Di Fassa
The Enduro World Series (EWS), heads to the Italian Dolomites this weekend, where the third round of the season will take place amongst some of Europe’s most dramatic scenery for EWS Val Di Fassa Trentino.
Racing kicks off on Saturday with the EWS100 amateur race, followed by the top riders hitting the Pro Stage in the afternoon. Sunday’s race features four big stages across 42km, with an impressive 2800m of descending. And whilst the total distances may be shorter than round two last weekend in Austria and Slovenia, these notoriously technical trails will prove every bit as tough.
Jesse Melamed leads the series after his win in Petzen-Jamnica
In the men’s race the stakes couldn’t be higher; former champion Richie Rude (Yeti/Fox Factory Team) and round two winner Jesse Melamed (Rocky Mountain Race Face Enduro Team) are currently tied on points in the overall standings. Melamed won the last race so technically leads the series, but there’s nothing in it points wise, and whoever comes out on top at this race will lead the series at the end of this block of racing.
In the rest of the men’s field, it’s Eddie Masters (Pivot Factory Racing) who rounds out the top three, but the points tighten behind him with Martin Maes (Orbea Fox Enduro Team), Rhys Verner (Forbidden Synthesis), Cole Lucas (Ibis Enduro Team), Slawomir Lukasik (Canyon Collective Dainese) and reigning champ Jack Moir (Canyon Collective) all within touching distance.
Isabeau Courdurier leads the series – but by the slimmest of margins
It’s a similar story in the women’s race, with series leader Isabeau Courdurier (Lapierre Zipp Collective) leading the series by just 15 points ahead of Ella Conolly (Cannondale Enduro Team). With a win apiece this season, these two are way out front on the leaderboard, but the contest for third is hotting up. Bex Baraona (Yeti/Fox Factory Team) lies third, but is less than 100 points clear of Morgane Charre (Pivot Factory Racing) in fourth.
Reigning Champion Melanie Pugin (BH Enduro Racing Team) is coming back from illness, but she only just missed out on a podium finish last weekend and she’s definitely capable of breaking into the top three this weekend. After a disappointing finish due to a mechanical at round two, expect Harriet Harnden (Trek Factory Racing) to be doing her best to claw back series points - she’s definitely a rider to watch this weekend.
Full details of this weekend’s races can be found here.
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