Geek Stats – EWS7 – Finale Ligure
So the 2014 Enduro World Series draws to a close with Jared Graves deservedly taking the overall title but the big headline for the weekend has to be an incredible comeback for Fabien Barel. Less than six months from a broken back to standing on top of the podium once again. We also musn’t forget Jerome Clementz who came back too, to finish fourth overall. So where did Barel find the speed to take the win, and how did Graves keep it steady to take the overall? Let’s take a look with the last Geek Stats of the year…
Coming into the final round, Jared Graves knew he could afford to take it easy. He only had to finish 23rd overall to take the title but he wasn’t hanging about! After an 8th on stage 1 he moved up into 3rd after stage 2 and was sitting pretty in 4th at the end of day 1 and then made up more time to take second overall after the long final stage.
You can see how Barel almost completely dominated the race from start to finish – winning the first stage and only giving up the lead for a single stage at the end of the first day. It’s interesting to see how the last stage allowed quite a shake up in the overall positions. This stage was around 15 minutes long – nearly 40% of the total race time and it caused a few shake ups. Damien Oton managed to move from 9th up to 3rd overall in this single stage while the overnight leader, Yoann Barelli dropped down to third on stage 5 and then finished up in 5th by the end of day 2.
Looking at the time gaps it’s even more apparent how dominant Barel was. Barelli managed to stay with him and just edge in front by half a second by the end of day one but you can see all the rest of the final top 10 steadily drifting further away, and Barelli joining this trend over the last two stages. A few riders made up some time on the final stage, but by this point Barel had a big enough cushion to take the win regardless.
It’s worth noting a couple of riders who didn’t manage to make it into the top 10. Richie Rude was sitting in second place only six seconds off Barel and Josh Carlson wasn’t far behind in 8th place but both suffered snapped chains that dropped them down to 74th and 80th overall. A mechanical on a long stage like that is a cruel way to end the season!
The heatmap – Barel’s dominance shines through
The heatmap showing performance by stage just underlines what an incredible performance Fabien Barel put in at the weekend. He was the only rider to place in the top 10 across all six stages, and in fact was never outside the top 6. That is an impressive weekend for anyone, let alone for a first race coming back from a broken back! Two riders who seemed to have almost a mirror of each other were Damien Oton and Yoann Barelli. You can see the light squares in the first three stages for Oton – 13th, 28th and 10th not what he would have wanted to start with – while Barelli was consistently in the top 10 and won stages three and four, but Oton came back with 2nd on stage 4 and then won the long final stage, while Barelli faded with 19th and 11th on Sunday to drop back to 5th. Joe Barnes also had an inconsistent weekend. A decent 8th overall but a stage win, a 2nd and a 3rd was tempered by 20th, 11th and 21st on the other three stages.
So there we have it. Graves convincingly took the overall with a solid second place, but the race really was dominated by Fabien Barel. With Jerome Clementzlso coming back here to place in the top 5, I hope all these guys can stay fit and healthy for next year because it’s going to be one hell of a season if they can!