The demanding trails of Britain’s Tweed Valley took their toll on the Enduro World Series’ top riders this weekend, while revealing a depth of technical prowess amongst local riders.
“I think both the physicality and the technicality of the trails here caught a lot of riders off guard,” said Organiser of TweedLove and the Santa Cruz TweedLove World Enduro presented by Sweet Protection, Neil Dagleish. “A lot of people told us they thought this was the hardest round of the EWS so far. The trails here are steep, technical and slippery which a lot of riders aren’t used to but people who live round here have grown up on them – and that was evident in the results.”
Great Britain saw four top 10 finishes in the Men’s race and six top 10 finishes in the Women’s, with Tracy Moseley dominating the women’s race, Tweed Valley native Gary Forrest taking 10th, Scotsman and World Cup downhiller Ruaridh Cunningham winning stage 2, and Scotland’s Joe Barnes enjoying his first EWS podium ever.
The second round of racing concluded June 1 with an awards presentation to three podium newcomers and a rousing birthday serenade to the sling-wearing 2013 EWS World Champion Jérôme Clementz, who is recovering from shoulder surgery for an injury sustained racing the French Enduro Cup. It’s apparent that the battle for the 2014 Enduro World Series World Championship has opened up.
1. Nico Lau France
2. Justin Leov Australia
3. Joe Barnes Great Britain
1. Tracy Moseley Great Britain
2. Anne Caro Chausson France
3. Cecile Ravanel France
Tracy Moseley (Trek Factory Racing Enduro Team) commanded the women’s race, taking all 8 stages ahead of rival and round 1 victor, Anne Caroline Chausson (Ibis Cycles), and Cecile Ravanel (GT Pulse), who finished in second and third place overall, respectively. (Overall Series points now see Moseley and Chausson sharing the top spot with 750 points apiece. EWS organisers awarded Overall lead position to Moseley, as the more recent winner.)
France’s Nicolas Lau (Cube Action Team), New Zealand’s Justin Leov (Trek Factory Racing Enduro), and Scotland’s Joe Barnes (Canyon Factory Enduro Team), finished in the top 3 spots in the Men’s race, marking first EWS podiums for all three, and entirely shaking up the overall rankings.
Lau now holds the Series lead as the Series goes into the third round. He is ahead of Leov, France’s Florian Nicolai (Rocky Mountain Urge BP) who came 4th this weekend, and Australia’s Jared Graves (Yeit/Fox Shox Factory Team), and Belgium’s Martin Maes (GT Factory Racing), both of whom came back from difficult first days to finish in 9th and 7th position, respectively.
Says Enduro World Series Managing Director, Chris Ball, “The course involved massive distances and climbs, all human powered, and with no outside assistance permitted, riders really had to play a long game and be as tactically savvy as they were technically proficient. It was probably the biggest challenge any riders have faced to date.”
Moseley’s victory on home turf, Kiwi Justin Leov’s first podium (2nd place), and Swiss Rene Wildhaber in 12th once again proved a powerful combination, keeping the TREK Factory Racing Enduro team at the top of the team leaderboard. Rocky Mountain Urge BP remain in second, thanks to the 3rd place finish from Florian Nicolai, Isabeau Cordurier in 9th and Alex Cure in 11th.
“The local community was buzzing about the arrival of the EWS all week,” said TweedLove’s Neil Dagleish. “To see the likes of Tracy Moseley and Cedric Gracia riding on their home tracks really is a dream come true for many of them. I can’t even begin to explain how amazing the community have been here – they have got behind both TweedLove and the Enduro World Series in a huge way and shown us nothing but support. That level of support seemed to be really appreciated by the riders, who in return embraced our community and helped out at kids events, signed autographs and maybe even picked up some riding tips along the way.”
The complete integration of kids into the festival, from a pro skills night to rolling off the start line or surrounding the podium, bodes well for the future of UK mountain biking, too.
From the Chilean Andes to the pastures of Scotland, the third round of the Enduro World Series now moves to the northern French Alps for round 3, Enduro Series Valloire driven by Urge Bike Products, June 21-22.
Next up, the Alps!