Feature by: Aidan Roche
This weekend the enduro circus heads to Val d’Allos, France, for the second round of the inaugural Enduro World Series (EWS). The quiet resort in the Alps will be the hub for the major event, with around 100 of the world’s most talented mountain bikers tackling the mountainous terrain in the EWS sub-category of the French enduro series. It is set to be a very different event to the first EWS race that was in the Italian coastal town of Punta Ala only six weeks ago.
One of the key issues that was recognised in Punta Ala, and the main difference between these two races, is that of practice and therefore course knowledge, a topic that has always been controversial in enduro. The organisers of the first round in Punta Ala were the Superenduro organisation who, since the conception of their series, have felt it fair to allow a course map to be released prior to the event and allow many potential days of practice. The is a complete contrast in comparison to the organisers of round two, Tribe Events, who for this round of the EWS will close the resort for riding in the week leading up and only allow a single day of practice. For now though the debate continues and most riders are simply content to have a world series with a separate governing body to the UCI.
Punta Ala: What an incredible opening round to the series. Fabien Barel simply tore the field apart, winning by nearly 15 seconds. The most outstanding ride has to have been Martin Maes: only 16, riding flat pedals and with little practice beat many riders who started racing before he was born. Jerome Clementz, the man expected to be Fabien’s main rival, managed an impressive second and Olympian (in BMX) Jared Graves came in a surprise third. In the women’s, Tracy Moseley had a similar performance to Fabien winning by a large margin with downhill rider Emmeline Ragot coming in second. The third spot on the podium was filled by Cecile Ravanel.
The Parkin brothers from DirtTV produced an awesome edit of the weekend of the first round.
If you fancy checking out some more information check out the Enduro World Series website.
Stay tuned for our coverage of the event this weekend!