The South West of France played host to Round 3 of the Enduro World Series. Following the controversy of last year's French stage, there was a level of scepticism heading into Montagnes Du Caroux. An early downpour on day 1 did little to quell the initial trepidation, but as the weekend unfolded, the stages proved to be a lot better than anticipated. Conditions continued to improve into day 2 and the tight, rocky tracks regained much of the grip that had absconded with the rain. 

EWS Montagnes Du Caroux results

Men

Richie Rude - 50:29.59

Adrien Dailly - 50:35.38

Martin Maes - 50:58.64

Florian Nicholi - 51:06.09

Damien Oton - 51:13.76

Women

Cecile Ravanel - 59:52.49

Isabeau Courdurier - 62:38.53

Ines Thoma - 62:57.84

Melanie Pugin - 63:08.07

Caro Gehrig - 63:29.96

In the men's field, Richie Rude delivered a masterclass, managing to put an end to his conspicuous absence from the top step of the podium. Locked into a weekend-long battle with Adrien Dailly, Rude was just one second up heading into the final stage of the event. With his first win since Whistler 2016 within reach, Rude managed to wrestle 5 seconds out of the final stage to clinch the victory. Completing the top 3 was Martin Maes who put down a blistering run on stage eight, beating out Florian Nicolai.

Sam Hill did not have the weekend he'd have hoped for, admitting that he wasn't feeling this round. 6th overall and almost a minute and a half back on Rude's time, but valuable points in the race for the overall.

In the women's, a commanding performance by Cecile Ravanel saw her follow a podium finish in Losinj with victory in seven of the eight stages and maintain her authoritative position at the top of the pack. The series is surely now hers to lose. Meanwhile, Isabeau Courdurier managed to recover from a nasty crash in practice to take second and Ines Thoma rounded out the top three in third.

What was an already tense series has just been ignited. Hill maintains his leadership, but the margins are tight and a win here will have Rude smelling blood heading into Round 4 and the first cross-border event in the Series.

Rude wins the battle, the war continues.

Full Results