The Enduro World Series continues to outdo itself; this weekend provided steep challenging trails that culminated in a final stage duel between a veteran and a phenom.
EWS #4 brought long days, long transfers, and technically challenging trails to test the world’s best. An EWS first; this race spanned two countries, Slovakia and Austria, and at one point riders crossed from one to the other through an almost pitch black tunnel carved out through the mountain.
Ines Thoma put in solid performances throughout the weekend, taming the difficult trails and helping the Canyon Factory Racing Enduro team to secure the day’s team victory.
As Cecile Ravanel’s domination continues it becomes more and more fascinating. With all the obstacles the EWS can throw at a rider it leaves those on the sidelines wondering if there are any conditions that she can’t handle? The perfect season continues.
Sometimes things just don’t go your way. An array of crashes kept Mark Scott from a result he was capable of but with the true determination we’ve come to expect from the Santa Cruz rider he fought on, salvaging 14th place and staying 5th in the championship.
Unsure if he’d even race due to a recently healed collarbone, Jesse Melamed arrived in Europe with the mindset of taking things one day at a time. He stuck to his plan all race long and finished an impressive 10th place!
Solid and consistent as always, Florian Nicolai slots into 8th place, proving he can excel on any type of race that is thrown his way.
2018 brought a fresh challenge for Ruaridh Cunningham, taking up the test of EWS racing onboard the Trek Factory Racing team. With the speed of a World Cup Downhill racer, it was only a matter of time before the Scotsman would figure it out. 4th place for Cunningham this weekend.
Martin Maes was on a flyer all weekend, capturing multiple stage wins and being in race winning contention right up until the final stage. In the end he would concede the victory to EWS champion Sam Hill but you know his time is coming!
Photos: Boris Beyer & Sven Martin