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www.mbr.co.uk

Seven things we learned from the France EWS - MBR

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A Thoma and Winton podcast needs to happen!

The return of Richie Rude and the continuing dominance of Ravanel are only part of the fascinating story from EWS Olargues.

Enduro World Series Round 3 Olargues, France results

Men

  1. Richie Rude 50:29:59
  2. Adrien Dailly +0:05:79
  3. Martin Maes +0:29:05
  4. Florian Nicolai +0:36:50
  5. Damien Oton +0:44:17
  6. Sam Hill +1:24:54
  7. Mark Scott +1:51:96
  8. Camille Servant +2:01:81
  9. Robin Wallner +2:10:35
  10. Lewis Buchanan +2:11:95
  1. Cecile Ravanel 59:52:49
  2. Isabeau Courdurier +2:46:04
  3. Ines Thoma +3:05:35
  4. Melanie Pugin +3:15:58
  5. Caro Gehrig +3:37:47
  6. Katy Winton +4:15:51
  7. Raewyn Morrison +4:34:20
  8. Morgane Charre +4:56:44
  9. Bex Baraona +5:22:11
  10. Becky Cook +5:33:22
  1. Sam Hill 1,380 pts
  2. Robin Wallner 1,150 pts
  3. Damien Oton 1,140 pts
  4. Dimitri Tordo 990 pts
  5. Mark Scott 970 pts
  6. Martin Maes 870 pts
  7. Florian Nicolai 870 pts
  8. Gregory Callaghan 850 pts
  9. Youn Deniaud 820 pts
  10. Lewis Buchanan 810 pts
  1. Cecile Ravanel 1,200 pts
  2. Isabeau Courdurier 1,050 pts
  3. Katy Winton 920 pts
  4. Ines Thoma 870 pts
  5. Carolin Gehrig 840 pts
  6. Bex Baraona 830 pts
  7. Noga Korem 790 pts
  8. Becky Cook 720 pts
  9. Martha Gill 610 pts
  10. Rae Morrison 530 pts

Sam Hill had something of a ‘mare in France. Obviously a Sam Hill ‘mare is an excellent result by most racers’ standards. But Sam Hill isn’t most racers. Hill just wasn’t feeling it but still showed a typically high level of professionalism by not spitting his dummy out, keeping calm and carrying on. A race series is won on your off days, after all. The return of Richie Rude to winning ways was a sight to see. A slippy European course. A bike with 29in wheels. Neither of these would seem conducive to a Rude victory. But win it he did. And with some style. He actually won the event on Day 1. It was a done deal by the time the overnight race hit and made Day 2’s stages a death-defying ice rink in places.

2. Women’s race is a done deal

The women’s racing on the other hand is pretty much done. Ravanel utterly dominant. The interest here is now seeing just how many rounds and stages she can win throughout the whole EWS 2018 series.

They may not feature much in the official race reports or highlights videos but for the true enduroheads there is plenty of interest to be had in poring over the results sheets and spotting the off-screen duels going on. For example, EWS virgin Phil Atwill beat seasoned Canyon enduro racer Joe Barnes. A result that Propain will be loving no doubt. There’s also Brits Bex Baraona and Becky Cook duking it out in the low reaches of the top 10. And how about Mark Scott? Silently slugging away. Never really getting any attention or podiums but check it out, he’s now in 5th overall.

4. Big wheels for gnar, 27.5 for smoothies

The MTB racing world is slowly getting to grips with the evidence that 29ers are faster when the courses are rougher. It’s 27.5in wheels that seem to have the edge when the trails are calmer and faster rolling. It makes no sense. Yet its true. Sure, the riders are the most important factor but the evidence is slowly piling up that big wheels do better on rough ground and 27.5in wheels do better on smoother terrain.

5. Was Stage 7 too hard?

Watching the videos and reading racers’ social media posts, it does seem like Stage 7 was rather OTT for the vast majority of the EWS field. When Sam Hill, Cecile Ravanel and a shocking amount of others racers come off their bikes on the jagged rocks, it’s probably time to have a think about what enduro is, and isn’t.

6. Enduro Wet Series

Don’t book a holiday anywhere when the EWS is visiting. It is guaranteed to rain. The EWS should tour some drought-stricken parts of the world and do the world a favour.

7. An Ines Thoma and Katy Winton podcast would rock

They have the best voices in enduro. Not only that though, they have the best attitudes, Someone make it happen.