Wow, what a weekend! Now that the Punta Ala dust has settled it’s time for the official recap on what went down at this historic race. Before that though it has to be said that EWS top man Chris Ball and his band of helpers have pulled off what looks set to become one of the best race series that the sport has ever seen. We always knew that they had the potential to create something great, but they have managed to surpass even our wildest expectations after only the first round. It just shows what can be done if the people behind the racing are just as passionate about it as the fans and the riders, and that you don’t need some needlessly dictatorial governing body! Anyway, enough of that, here’s the press release…
DH, 4X, BMX, XC and Enduro Riders Share First Ever Enduro World Series Podium
Proving Ground of the All-Round sees former DH World Champs, Fabien Barel and Tracy Moseley, on top
8am GMT, May 20, 2013, Edinburgh, UK – Just seven months after the creation of an Enduro World Series was announced, the first round took place over the May 18-19 weekend in Punta Ala, Italy.
Over 500 riders from every mountain bike discipline and almost every nation arrived to take part in one of the most anticipated mountain bike races ever.
Locals from the seaside resort came out in force to experience the opening night time trial, the Prologue, and witnessed the world’s fastest mountain bikers tear through the rain-slicked medieval cobblestone streets of Castiglione della Pescaia. France’s Alex Cure (Urge Team) and Anne Caroline Chausson (Ibis) finished the Prologue in the top position.
The podium results indicate what a true test of the all-round rider enduro racing is, with French downhill champion Fabien Barel (Canyon Factory Team), French enduro specialist Jerome Clementz (Cannondale Overmountain) and Australian BMX Olympian and 4X World Champion Jared Graves (Yeti-Fox Factory Team) taking the top 3 places. (Narrowly missing the podium was 16 year old Belgian rider, Martin Maes (GT Factory Racing.)
While Clementz took an early lead, winning Sunday’s first stage, Barel put in the performance of the race on the longest, most technical trail, the race’s second stage and special Red Bull Time Rush, where he took a 13 second lead.
Former DH World Champion and enduro racer, Tracy Moseley from the UK (Trek Factory Racing) beat out current DH World Champ Emmeline Ragot from France (Lapierre International) and XC Olympian Cecile Ravanel from France (GT Skoda) in the women’s field.
For Managing Director of the EWS, Chris Ball, the event had the perfect mix of epic clashes of top athletes, drama and challenge with riders posting World Cup downhill speeds, instagramming during the liaison stages, and big names like Chausson and Nico Lau crashing out, Vouilloz racing to maintain a decent overall position after a puncture, and Cedric Gracia snapping his chain at the start of stage 4 and having to run his bike through the entire stage and 10km liaison before picking up a replacement chain for the final stage.
Combined with the spectacular setting, great hospitality from the organisers, perfect trail-ending on the beach by the Mediterranean, and intrigue from the pits as prototype bikes and gear set-ups were tested out, the amazing vibe of the weekend set the bar for the Enduro World Series’ debut.
“The riders took enduro to a whole new level today and the racing was some of the most exciting I have ever followed,” says Ball. “We have a lot to learn and a lot to develop both in the following 2013 rounds and in the years to come but I feel that this weekend marked a whole new chapter in enduro history. We couldn’t have asked for a better start and I greatly thank all of our members and supporters for allowing this historic race to happen here in Punta Ala.”
A video highlight edit of the first round of the Enduro World Series from Dirt TV will be released on Tuesday.
Full results, including team rankings, will be live later today, and will undoubtedly be scrutinised, as the quest to become first Enduro World Champion will be based on overall performance across all seven races in the series.
The Enduro World Series moves next to Val D’Allos, France, where riders will be met with chairlifts for uplift and a slightly different format that will provide another opportunity to test riders in the quest for the most versatile all-round mountain bike athlete in the world.
About the Enduro World Series
The Enduro World Series was created in October 2012 with the aim of uniting the world’s mountain bike enduro racing community. The Enduro World Series links the largest mountain bike enduro events in the world with the best trails possible and exists to deliver the best racing, most relaxed atmosphere and rider-focused organization possible. The team behind the Enduro World Series has one goal – to globally develop and progress the discipline of enduro for the riders, the sport and the industry. With the shared experience of Italian Super Enduro, French Enduro Series, Crankworx and World Cup racing, the Enduro World Series will offer international competitions unlike any before it.
The Enduro Mountain Bike Association’s (EMBA) Board of Directors is supported by an industry Advisory Board, to reflect and respond to the riding community, that includes Santa Cruz Bicycles’ Rob Roskopp, SRAM’s Jeremiah Boobar, Fox Shox’ Mark Fitzsimmons and riders Tracy Moseley, Jerome Clementz and Curtis Keene.