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EWS Finale Ligure News: Lets talk about the stages!

With bikes prepped and two days worth of dust washed from race kits, riders gathered in Finale Ligure’s main square to listen to the all important rider briefing. As Enrico laid out the plan for the weekend there was plenty of chatter around the pits about the changing weather forecast, and the building clouds on the horizon. We took a walk around the pits to find out what riders thought of the special stages laid on for the grand finale!

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How will the trails change if the weather turns, with all practice in the dry riders enter the unknown!

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Jerome Clementz: EWS Ranked 1 and the current Enduro World Series Champion! Rides for Cannondale Overmountain

What do you think of the stages?

“I think it is a good mix, some physical bits and some technical sections. I wish the stages were a bit more flowy, it’s quite rough all the time! For the top riders it will be OK, but after 500 riders it will be really tough, with no time to relax. It’s proper Ligurian style though, and we have to deal with it. I calculate it will be around 31 minutes of timed racing so it will be tight, It’s going to be a very exciting race!”

Will the changing weather cause problems for you?

“Ha! it’s sunny, I’m not afraid of the weather, its Ligure, it will be sunny! If it rains on Sunday morning I will stay in my bed!”

What’s your perfect race breakfast?

“I eat porridge and then go to the toilet before the race so I am lighter and faster, Ha! Seriously I eat well in the morning, and I will not have lunch as I finish at 1, so I will keep going on bars and then eat after…”

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Tracy Mosely: EWS Ranked 1 and the current Enduro World Series Champion! Rides for T-MO Racing

What do you think of the stages?

“I think they are good, on a whole the most challenging we have had through the Enduro World Series! The consequences of getting it wrong are pretty massive, so I think it is a good test of everything, there are definitely some bike breaking spots, and body breaking spots. It should be a good test all round.”

Will the changing weather cause problems for you?

“I will maybe change the rear tyre, but otherwise I will run with what I have! I can’t really imagine this place turning into mud tyre territory. You just have to deal with what you have, if 5 and 6 get wet it will get wild!”

What’s your perfect race breakfast?

“Porridge with Honey, cinnamon and raisins, and some fruit on the side.”

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Gary Forrest: EWS Ranked 32nd (DNF due to injury at Val d’Isere) Rides for IBIS UK

What do you think of the stages?

“I think stage 1 is really good, it’s really fast at the top and there is only really one line choice, it’s really flowy and downhill oriented with a good climb in the middle to stop downhillers running away with it. The climb is tough and it’s hard to get in the pedal strokes.. The climbs will be all important as on the technical stuff there is not much to separate people, the top riders will be at the optimum speed! The level is perfect for a world series event! Stage 5 is one of the most fun trails round here, it’s so good you could soon forget you are racing, and just enjoy it.”

Will the changing weather cause problems for you?

“It should not be a problem really, I think the tracks will drain pretty well; I come from Scotland where it is always wet! If the wind on the coast gets on it, it should dry up pretty fast!”

What’s your perfect race breakfast?

“You canna beat a bit of Coco-Pops! 2 bowls and plenty of milk!”

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Hannah Barnes: Rides for MTB Cut

What do you think of the stages? “I think that all the stages are really good, quite technical, in fact very technical, rocky and steep! Quite different from what we ride at home and even though they are really committing, there are some incredible views over the sea. It’s awesome, but it will be a tough day with really long transfers.”

Will the changing weather cause problems for you?

“I’ve only got one set of tyres with me, these are the new Continental 650B’s for my Orange 5, and they should be pretty good if the weather changes. I have been riding them for the last few months and they have been great in all conditions!”

What’s your perfect race breakfast?

“Porridge with a banana and honey, and a big cup of tea!”

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Jamie Nicoll: EWS Ranked 8th Rides for Santa Cruz NZ!

What do you think of the stages?

“It’s Finale, it’s cool! It’s pretty rugged out there, certainly aggressive trails with a lot going on and a lot to process. I guess experience in processing information quickly will be a big advantage. Plenty of tight switchbacks will be a good challenge at race speed..”

Will the changing weather cause problems for you?

“I will pop a softer compound on the back if the weather changes, I think those smooth ancient cobbles on the tracks will create a lot of deflection, so a softer compound will improve grip.”

What’s your perfect race breakfast?

“I just keep it standard with muesli, yoghurt and fruit!”

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Greg Callaghan: EWS Ranked 46th (without Winter park or Whistler) rides for Dirt Norco.

What do you think of the stages?

“The stages are sweet, there is a good mix of everything are pretty downhilly and pretty physical at the same time! They are all really fun and really dusty! Its great to ride dust in October. I like the Madonna Trail, stage 5, certainly one of the best trails I have ever ridden! A really nice mixture of fast sections and rough ground!”

Will the changing weather cause problems for you?

“I think its so dusty now that it will take a lot of rain to chop it up. It may get a little slick in places but may be a positive keeping the dust down which will help if it is a short interval between riders. At the moment the dust is staying in the air a fair while! If you get anywhere near anyone, you cannot see a thing!”

What’s your perfect race breakfast?

“Porridge and honey is the way forward!”

Follow all the news as it develops tomorrow on www.enduro-mtb.com

Words and photos: Trev Worsey

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