An arid Ainsa played host to the penultimate round of the EWS over the weekend. Following a three year absence from the Series, Spain delivered scorching heat and dusty trails, a welcome break from the rain that has plagued most of this season's racing.
EWS Ainsa Results
Richie Rude - 37:17.96
Martin Maes - 37:25.86
Damien Oton - 37:50.94
Kevin Miquel - 38:12.65
Florian Nicolai - 38:25.50
Cecile Ravanel - 43:24.99
Isabeau Courdurier - 44:20.74
Andréane Lanthier Nadeau - 45:02.86
Anita Gehrig - 45:32.75
Noga Korem - 45:39.21
Richie Rude staked his claim from the off. 3 stage wins on day 1 saw him take a 12-second advantage over Martin Maes into day 2, a lead that he maintained to claim his second win of the series. A typically consistent performance saw Martin Maes take second, just 2 weeks after his silver medal heroics at the World Champs. Damien Oton rounded out the podium in third, 32 seconds back on Rude.
Sam Hill, looking to seal the series, suffered a front puncture and twisted pedal on day 1, costing the series leader just too much time to make up. 128th following stage 2, Hill pushed as much as he could, managing to claw his way back to 11th. No celebrations just yet for the reigning champ.
In the women's Cecile Ravanel claimed victory on 5 of the 7 stages to take the win and continue her domination of the series. Victory on the final two stages saw Isabeau Courdurier take second and Andreane Lanthier Nadeau completed her best race yet to take third.
In the Under 21's it was a French 1-2, with Louis Jeandel taking the win ahead of Nathan Secondi. Elliot Heap rounded out the podium in 3rd to retain his lead in the overall.
With the final round of the Series set to take place this weekend in Finale Ligure, Italy, there's barely a chance to catch a breath as the season reaches its climax.
Full results here