It was another wet and wild start to the Enduro World Series as rain hammered the riders at the Shimano Enduro Tasmania for the second race of the season.
The dry and dusty conditions of practice were quickly forgotten as the riders set out in torrential rain to tackle seven stages which covered 57 kilometres and 1500 metres of climbing. Stages that had been hailed as the most fun ever during practice became a lot more intimidating in the wet and caught many a rider off guard come race day.
However, as with round one in Rotorua, the tough conditions made for exciting racing, with an ever set of changing results in the men’s race. In the end it was Adrien Dailly (Lapierre Gravity Republic) who reigned supreme - taking his first win since moving up from the U21 category. Despite leading after stage six, a crash on the last stage of the day cost Greg Callaghan (Cube Action Team) dearly and pushed him back into second place. A late resurgence from Sam Hill (Chain Reaction Cycles Mavic) saw him win stages five and seven and clinch third place in the process.
Speaking after the race Adrien said: “I was very happy but also really surprised to take the win. I’ve won as an U21 before but this is my first win in the men’s category and it means a lot. I loved the trails here in Derby and the crowds were amazing, it was such a great event. I’m really looking forward to the rest of the season now."
In the women’s race Isabeau Courdurier (SUNN) made her intentions clear from the start, winning the first three stages. Cecile Ravanel (Commencal Vallnord Enduro Team) rallied to take stages four and five, but it wasn’t enough to match Isabeau’s pace and the young French rider took her first Enduro World Series win. Cecile had to settle for second place and a hard fought battle by Ines Thoma (Canyon Factory Enduro Team) saw her take a very deserved third place.
Isabeau said: “I was not expecting this after Rotorua. I’ve been sick and today I was feeling quite good but I was thinking just ride calm, just ride safe, you need to finish this race. The conditions were really tough because I’m not used to riding in the wet but I just kept calm and chose some nice lines and it worked. I have no words for today - It cannot be better than this.”
In the Master’s Men it was Karim Amour (BH Miranda Racing Team) who won, with Nigel Page (Chain Reaction Cycles Mavic) in second and reigning World Champion Michael Broderick in third. Mary Mcconneloug won Master’s Women, with Australians Jodi Newton and Sharon Heap in second and third respectively.
In the U21 men it was Australian Ben McIlroy who stormed to the win, with fellow Aussie Blake Pearce coming in second and New Zealand’s Ben Friel in third. Martha Gill was the lone U21 Women but posted a very competitive time nonetheless.
Rocky Mountain Urge bp picked up Team of the Day, with Canyon Factory Enduro Team in second and Ibis Cycles Enduro Race Team in third. GT Factory Racing still lead the overall team competition though, followed by Canyon Factory Enduro Team in second and Rocky Mountain Urge bp in third.
The Enduro World Series returns on April 13 for round three from the beautiful Atlantic island of Madeira for the Enduro World Series Powered by Freeride Madeira.