Spoke Magazine

EWS4 – La Thuile – Wildhaber & Chausson lead after day one

Posted by Caleb Smith on Sunday July 13 2014

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Jared Graves, 7th after 3 stages on day 1.

It wasn’t a bad day at the office yesterday for the Kiwis after the first day of racing at round 4 for the Enduro World Series in La Thuile. Justin Leov continued his fine form finishing the day in 9th and Nelson’s Jamie Nicoll is not far off the pace back in 21st. Rosara is leading our ladies with a 7th after the three stages, French transplant Gabby Molloy sits in 15th and Anka Martin is a couple of positions back in 17th. Check the full press release and results below. Good luck to all the Kiwis involved for a solid day and some improved results today!

After waiting for days, finally the racing weekend of La Thuile started. The fourth round of the Enduro World Series kicked off this morning and the first three Special Stages have just concluded. Again, the weather has been challenging the riders, as they started their day under the sunshine but then had to deal with the cold and the icy rain at the top. Luckily enough, the conditions were improving at lower elevation, down toward the valley. Not an issue for the unfolding of the race thanks to the serious number of marshals and volunteers along the course.

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Not Justin Leov’s day, but then with three stages left tomorrow he’s not out of reach, 9th after day one.

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The whole EWS hasn’t been that friendly to one of its original superstars. Remy Absalon has struggled to make the podium in this new global format. Tenth after day one isn’t all bad but it’s not where Remy once was!

The efforts of the local organization have been impressive. The riders all have appreciated the conditions and the high level of security reached on the trails and how every detail had been taken into account. The first time of La Thuile as venue for the Enduro World Series has been outstanding also thanks to the presence of athletes coming here from 25 countries.

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Poor Gabby, some stellar racing landed her in 15th in the women’s field on day one, but the only shot in the press release was this one of her stuffing her face in between stages.

Throughout the first Special Stage, the riders faced the longest and the most challenging of the courses, Superkappa, almost 10 kilometres long and with a descent of about 1000 m. The PS “Piloni alto” closed the day, with the Swiss René Wildhaber (Trek Factory Racing) leading the first-day ranking with only one and a half second advantage on Damien Oton (Devinci Alltricks.com), who crashed in the last corner. The provisional third place goes to another rider from France, Francois Bailly-Maitre (BMC Enduro Racing), while among the women the French Anne-Caroline Chausson (Ibis) is leader in front of her compatriot Cecile Ravanel (GT Pulse) and of Tracy Moseley (Trek Facroty Racing) from Great Britain. Denny Lupato (Lapierre – FRM Factory Racing) got the first place among the Italian riders, with his forty-fourth position in the general ranking, while Laura Rossin (Devinci – Dream Team), reached the twentieth spot.

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Fellow Kiwi (adopted) and NZO rider Anka Martin is in 17th position just behind good friend Gabby after 3 stages.

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With the absence of Jey Clementz, Nico Lau seems to be Mr Consistency, landing another top five spot.

Both the male and the female races have been fought down to the wire and, with three Special Stages still to go, every prediction about the tomorrow final winners is almost impossible. The level of the riders is so high that we can only anticipate an exhilarating final and a Round that will be closed not earlier than the last PS.

The schedule for tomorrow sets the start at 8.45 and includes the PS “Superkappa”, “Piloni Basso” and “Mulino”, with a time check planned after the first two PS. The day should be slightly less demanding for the riders, as 80% of the climbs will be done using the uplifts of the Funivie Piccolo San Bernardo.

 

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Out of 235 male racers BMC/Giro’s Adam Bradford managed a respectable 24th. The top 30 also featured a few other North Americans: Adam Craig in 19th, Curtis Keene in 17th and Bay Area shredder Ben Cruz in 14th.

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