The Enduro World Series wrapped up round #3 yesterday in Valloire. Tracy Moseley and Jared Gaves came out on top at the end of the hard race. Details inside.
Video: DirtTV Full Highlights
Video: Polygon UR
Video: DritTV Day 2
Video: DirtTV Day 1
VICTORY AT ENDURO SERIES VALLOIRE DRIVEN BY URGE BIKE PRODUCTS PUTS MOSELEY AND GRAVES AT TOP OF CURRENT ENDURO WORLD SERIES STANDINGS
Trek Factory Racing Enduro team take 3 podiums to retain Team lead EWS moves next to La Thuile, Italy, for EWS round 4, July 12-13
Photos: Matt Wragg
June 23, 2014, Valloire, FRANCE – After 6 stages of wild alpine racing, epic hammer-down descents that lasted up to 18 minutes, and a winning overall combined time of 1h20:39.921, the final podium of the the third round of the Enduro World Series this weekend in Valloire, France, came down to a microscopic four second spread between the top three men.
A testament to the unpredictability of racing flat-out down mountains for a cumulative 12,000 metres of descent, (the largest amount of vertical covered in any EWS round yet), the weekend saw a myriad of punctures and mechanical issues shake down many of the top racers and early leaders. Every stage saw the top 10 leaderboard reconfigured dramatically.
Despite not winning an individual stage, the Aussie Jared Graves’ (Yeti/Fox Shox) consistency put him on the top step, flanked by two newcomers to the Enduro World Series podium – Frenchman Damien Oton (Devinci/Alltricks.com) who powered home on the final two stages after top 10 finishes all weekend to take second place, and Switzerland’s Rene Wildhaber (Trek Factory Racing Enduro) who took third.
In the women’s race, Britain’s Tracy Moseley (Trek Factory Racing) won all but one stage to finish in 1h29:49.767, 1:36 ahead of France’s Anne Caroline Chausson (Ibis) and 2:02 ahead of The Netherlands’ Anneke Beerten (Specialized Racing).
Beerten celebrated her first EWS podium after being so close for so long. Isabeau Courdurier (Rocky Mountain Urge BP) finished in 4th, followed by Cecile Ravanel (GT Pulse) whose powerful start to the weekend was upset by a puncture on stage 2.
The Enduro Series Valloire driven by Urge Bike Products was the 10th anniversary of the Valloire French Series Enduro hosted at the famous mountain bike hub, featuring the style of riding that forged the discipline. Both Moseley and Graves declared it the hardest round yet, with Graves telling Dirt TV in the first day’s highlight video, “It’s real riding. Your heart rate’s on max, you’ve got arm-pump, your legs are burning up and you’re just ploughing through rock gardens at 50 kms/hr. It’s awesome.”
Navigating snow patches, endlessly unfurling singletrack and menacing alpine rock at full-throttle took its toll on the field.
France’s Francois Bailly-Maitre (BMC Enduro Racing Team) started strong, winning the first stage ahead of Graves and Leov, and holding the lead after the second stage, but a spate of mechanical issues saw him drop back to 19th.
After a second place finish at TweedLove, New Zealand’s Justin Leov (Trek Factory Racing) had his eye on the top step this weekend. After winning two stages, he finished day one in the lead, only to see a 38 second lead eaten up by a puncture on stage 5. Leov rallied to win the final stage and finish 11th overall, keeping him in second place in the Overall Series Rankings.
TweedLove winner, and the current French Enduro Series leader, Nico Lau (Cube Action Team), was another threat thwarted by a puncture. Lau salvaged his race, coming back on Sunday to win stage 4 and 5 and take second on the final stage, for a top 20 result and 5th in the Overall rankings.
Nico Vouilloz (Lapierre Gravity Republic) who finished the inaugural Enduro World Series season in 5th, but has been rehabilitating from knee surgeries and a broken scaphoid, made his comeback ride this weekend, but retired from the race with fatigue, saving himself for round four in La Thuile in three weeks.
Having identified himself at TweedLove as one to watch, France’s Damien Oton proved to be the most consistent rider amongst the field, clinching top 8 finishes in every single stage to secure second place.
Bringing his deep alpine racing experience and swag of Megavalanche victories to bear, Switzerland’s Rene Wildhaber (Trek Factory Racing) held strong through the race to secure third place, his first EWS podium.
Curtis Keene (Specialized Racing Team) and Ben Cruz (Cannondale Overmountain) both rode on pace to put the USA into the top 10.
“This was the tenth anniversary of the Valloire French Series Enduro and it went down in style, securing itself as a classic that will not be forgotten by many of the riders for a long time,” says Enduro World Series Managing Director Chris Ball. “The diversity we saw in the top 10 in the men’s and women’s, in ages, backgrounds, and nationalities, is a real testament to the demands of enduro mountain biking. It’s physically and mechanically challenging. I think this weekend was a bit of a surprise to those who expected the alpine specialists to dominate.”
To indulge in further speculation as to who is primed to dominate in three weeks time when round 4 kicks off, review the results in detail and visit the Rider Results Analyser tool at http://www.enduroworldseries.com/results.php
Race coverage from Dirt TV can be viewed at enduroworldseries.com. A full race highlights edit will be released on Wednesday.
Polygon UR Enduro Team
For the 3rd round of the EWS everyone gathered in beautiful Valloire, in the French Alpes. The Polygon UR Enduro team had the big mothership truck set-up as their pits which impressed at lot of the passers-by in the resort.
French enduro means French rules so no practice until race day for all the riders. The only thing they were able to do was walk the stages on Friday, but that would have been more than 10000m of elevation in total, a bit too much for the legs!
When Saturday turned up everyone was eager to get on their bikes and ride, especially surrounded by such amazing landscapes. Day 1 went pretty well for everyone. Even though Jamie Nicoll crashed and had stitches on his hip he still finished at a really good 16th position, Aurelien had a mechanical and ended at a still good 27th place and, best team rider after 3 stages, Fabien was sitting at a superb 13th position.
On Sunday morning muscles were sore and times were tight, a few seconds only in-between the top guys after more than 40min of racing! Unfortunately Aurelien had a big crash on his last special stage, he still managed to finish his run and ended up in 21rst, great results considering the situation, he got checked out by the doctor and has a sprained ankle. We wish him a speedy recovery. Jamie has been consistent all week end and finished 20th overall. Fabien was on pace to go get his first top 10 but a small crash on the last stage slowed him down and he finished in 14th position.
After this race the overall standings are for the rider :
– Aurélien 13th
– Fabien 19th
– Jamie 25th
From everyone’s opinion it’s been one of the hardest EWS ever, more than 1h20 of racing, plus all the liaisons and practice, crazy!
Over on the other side of the Alps, Tracey Hannah was racing at the IXS European Cup in Schladming.
After qualifying first despite the very packed field of riders, she got an excellent 2nd place in the finals on Sunday just 4 seconds off Emmeline Ragot, but 8 seconds in front of Tahnée Seagrave and Manon Carpenter (the World Cup leader).
Next stop for all the Hutchinson UR Downhill team will be Crankworx Europe in Les 2 Alpes. We hope to see you there!