The Enduro World Series heads to Madeira this week for the third race of the year, the Enduro World Series powered by Freeride Madeira sponsored by Absolute Black.
Nestled in the Atlantic between Portugal and the coast of Africa, this tiny island is about to serve up some big racing. Famous for the diversity of its terrain, riders will be faced with every kind of trail imaginable over two days of racing this weekend. From rocky singletrack down steep sided volcanoes to tight trails through native forests, riders will get to experience an incredible array of both natural and purpose built stages that will test every aspect of their riding.
A rain drenched start to the season at rounds one and two saw some of the big names struggle to retain their usual dominance in the points, something they’ll no doubt be looking to rectify come race day. In the men’s race Adrien Dailly (Lapierre Gravity Republic) leads the rankings after his win at the Shimano Enduro Tasmania, but just 30 points back in second is Cube Action Team’s Greg Callaghan and in third it’s Sam Hill (Chain Reaction Cycles Mavic) who is only twenty points adrift.
The ever dominant Cecile Ravanel (Commencal Vallnord Enduro Team) leads the women’s race, with Ines Thoma of Canyon Factory Enduro Team in second and Trek Factory Racing Enduro Team’s Katy Winton in third. However, Isabeau Courdurier (SUNN) took her first EWS win at the last round and she’ll definitely be looking for some more time at the top of the podium this weekend.
In the U21 Men Benjamin Mcilroy and Killian Callaghan both sit on 420 points and it will be interesting to see if either can pull ahead after two days racing on Madeira’s challenging terrain. In the U21 Women Martha Gill leads after back to back wins at the first two rounds.
Karim Amour (BH-Miranda Racing Team) leads the Master Men, but faces stiff competition from Nigel Page (Chain Reaction Cycles Mavic) and reigning World Champion Michael Broderick who sit in second and third respectively. In the newly formed Master Women’s category it’s Mary Mcconeloug out front, with Melanie Blomfield in second and Jodi Newton in third.
In the team standings, the competition couldn’t be closer, with GT Factory Racing leading, but Canyon Factory Enduro Team just five points back in second and Rocky Mountain – Urge bp sitting third.
Chris Ball, Managing Director of the Enduro World Series, said: “Madeira is set to be a classic EWS venue. Diverse and exotic with trails that lead all the way from volcanic summits to jungle like coastlines. It’s a huge change in trail type from rounds one and two in New Zealand and Tasmania but it’s the wide variety of challenges in the EWS that will lead us to find the best mountain bike racer in the world.”