The Enduro World Series kicked off its second-to-last round in Crans Montana, Switzerland. Surprising weather forecasts and a relatively short race meant riders would have to be on the very edge of control to take the win. Jesse Melamed (Rocky Mountain/Race Face) and Richie Rude (Yeti/Fox) are in a battle for the 2022 overall title with just one race left after this round.
First up was the next race in the EWS-E series. Riders faced tough stages of e-bike enduro racing with brutal climbing sections. Yannick Pontal (Blackbox Test Pilot Program) took the win in the Men’s division while Flo Espiñeira (Orbea Fox Enduro Team) and Ines Thoma (Canyon Bikes) placed second and third in the Women’s race.
Saturday meant it was Pro Stage time for the EWS – but a slight curveball was thrown into the mix. Overnight, the Crans Montana valley received snow, especially in the higher elevations where the Pro Stage started. Racers bundled up and bravely sent it down the slippery slopes. U21 Women saw Sophie Riva (Ancillotti Team) take first place while U21 Men had Emmett Hancock (We Are One Composites) in fourth. Ella Connolly (Cannondale Bikes) charged to a third-place finish in Elite Women and Jack Moir (Canyon Collective) looked to be back at his best, taking the Pro Stage win in Elite Men. In fact, Maxxis claimed the top five Pro Stage positions in Elite Men, with Martin Maes (Orbea Fox Enduro Team), Jesse Melamed, Youn Deniaud (Giant Factory Off-Road Team), and Rhys Verner (Forbidden/Crankbrothers Synthesis) slotting behind Moir.
While everyone thought that Sunday would showcase a fierce battle between Jesse Melamed and Richie Rude, many forgot to consider Jack Moir. The Aussie put on a show, winning every single stage of the race and taking the victory. Martin Maes also had a stupendous day on the bike, taking second place behind Moir. Ella Connolly finished in fourth place on the Elite Women’s podium while U21 Women racer Emmy Lan (Norco Factory Team) snagged the win.
Another insane week of EWS action is in the books, with only one race left plus the Trophy of Nations. We can’t wait to see how the end of the 2022 season unfolds!