After an amazing day of racing in Val d’Isere, it really has been a day of two halves. With storms threatening the forecasts many riders were surprised to wake to clear blue skies, but as predicted, just after the first stage was complete the skies darkened and the rain came. This did not stop the racing action, for long anyway, and once again the EWS has put on an amazing show. Here are some photos and results from the first days racing.
This morning over 300 riders stated the journey to the chilly alpine peak above Val d’Isere to kick of round 6 of the Enduro World Series.
With big views and long stages, Val d’Isere is a worthy host for the Enduro World Series
After the tough push riders congregated on the Bellevarde peak, catching up with old friends and as practice began, gathered around the top turns to watch and heckle the top 10 as they cut fresh lines through the loose surface. With just one practice run allowed before riders put it all on the line for timed 2 race runs, there was a lot of terrain to learn. The good natured banter on the peak demonstrated the healthy camaraderie burning through the sport, however as soon as practice was over it was all about business as riders prepared to put in two fast timed runs!
Time for quiet reflection while the race was delayed.
Serious weight saving going on here, every gram counts!
Stage 1, unridden by the racers before the event!
Unfortunately serving to highlight the serious nature and technicality of the big mountain stages, the race was delayed while an unlucky rider was airlifted off the mountain after going over a steep bank. With sections of Stage 1 featuring significant exposure, organisers had carefully fenced off the worst sections and posted marshals to help control speed.
With significant exposure in stage 1, warning signs highlighted the most treacherous sections.
Accidents do happen, but luckily France has one of the finest mountain rescue teams
Despite clouds building on the horizon, stage one was raced (2 timed runs) in the hot sun and the unridden track soon bedded in, with deep dusty berms and fast open sections a main line began to form and the pace was rapid. Watching from the sidelines highlighted just how astonishingly fast the elite riders cover ground, dispatching technical terrain fully pinned.
With just a single practice run, this is surely the fairest way of racing Enduro!
Big mountain riding in the Alps, there are few better places to race!
At the end of stage 1, it was the power of Jared Graves that saw him take the lead with a time of 11:27.105. After seeing him blast past it was no surprise to see the youngster Martin Maes take second place with a time of 11:29.928, he looked totally pinned. Trek rider Justin Leov was in 3rd with a time of 11:30.769. Surprise of the stage was IBIS UK rider Gary Forrest coming in 14th place!
Jared Graves smashing his way to victory on both timed runs of stage 1
Anne Caroline Chausson looks back on form and took a decisive victory in the ladies, with a time of 12:48.383, with Tracy Moseley and Cecile Ravanel in 2nd and 3rd with times of 12:57.946 and 13:12.647 respectively.
Anne Caro on form and taking the wins in both runs of stage 1.
After heading back to the peak for a second run, the track was bedding in and again Jared Graves took the stage win running 5 seconds faster with a time of 11:21.612, Justin Leov took second with a time of 11:24.296 and again Maes took a podium position with a time of 11:27.020.
Tracy Moseley on her way to second in Stage 1
Again Anne Caroline Chausson looks took the win in the ladies, with a time of 12:48.383, with Tracy Moseley and Cecile Ravanel in 2nd and 3rd with times of 12:57.946 and 13:31.947 respectively.
Cecile Ravanel on pace and roosting in Stage 1, coming in 3rd.
As predicted the storms moved in and the riding got a lot wetter!
As predicted the weather turned for the worse, sunshine was replaced with driving rain and the peak became a wild place, forcing race organisers to abandon the first timed run on stage 2 and seek shelter in the race office. The weather kept on unrelenting, but the race was given the green light for the second timed run on stage 2. Conditions had changed completely, dust was replaced with slick mud and racing was fast and loose. Riders are still on the hill at the moment but initial results indicate that Jerome Clementz has found his speed and is currently leading with a huge 10 second advantage at 13:09.104 with Fabian Barel chasing hard with a time of 13:19.474 and Nicolas Lau in third with 13:34.195. In a turnaround Cecile Ravanel is leading the ladies with 16:36.217 with Tracey Moseley in 2nd and Anne Caro in third with 16:49.064 and 17:04.919 respectively.
With another days exciting racing still to go, and the mass start nations race, keep following us for the latest news:
For full results check out http://www.tribesportgroup.com/tribeevents/
Words and photos: Trev Worsey
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