The EWS is back after not even a week’s hiatus, this time in Crans-Montana, Switzerland. The battle between Jack Moir (Canyon Collective) and Richie Rude (Yeti Fox) for the Elite Men World Title was raging, while Morgane Charre (Pivot Cycles Factory Racing) was looking to continue adding to her impressive overall standing in Elite Women. With a not-as-wet forecast for the week, everyone was excited to be racing again so quickly.
Before the EWS race took place, the first race of the EWS-E kicked off. E-bikes are gaining popularity at an enormous pace, already gaining their own World Enduro Race Series. However, don’t write these athletes off as any less physically fit than the normal EWS racers; the course included three loops, nine stages and 60km (37.3mi) of racing in a single day. It also included a special climbing segment called the “Power Stage,” during which riders can earn additional points. Maxxis racer Laura Charles (Orbea Fox) came out on top of the Elite Women category, besting the legendary Tracy Moseley (Trek Bikes).
Saturday (9/11) marked the start of the EWS race with the Pro Stage. Racing through bike park-style berms and fast turns up top, steep and loamy terrain in the middle, and a short urban section at the bottom of the stage, riders were definitely challenged. Many racers had bad crashes, including the Elite Men series leader, Jack Moir, who fell down the rankings after a wreck. At the end of the day, Richie took the Pro Stage win with Jesse Melamed (Rocky Mountain Race Face) nearly four seconds back in second place. In Elite Women, Morgane Charre slid into second, putting herself in a great position for the following day’s continuation of the race.
To cap off a great weekend of racing, riders tackled four more stages on Sunday (9/12). Jack Moir, with the wreck during the previous day’s Pro Stage, was questionable with a shoulder injury, but ended up taking the start in an attempt to stay in contention for the overall title. Fans were out cheering racers on, and the stoke levels were high by the end of this long day of competition. Once again, it was Richie Rude on the Maxxis Assegai taking the top step in the Elite Men, with Jesse following right behind in second place. Morgane Charre followed up her performance in the Pro Stage with a very impressive second place in Elite Women. In the U21 categories, Nathan Sterckx (RST Velosports) and Sophie Riva (Ancillotti Factory Team) captured second place in U21 Men and Women. The Canyon Collective still holds a large lead in the team category overall, with Pivot Factory Racing and the Ibis Enduro Team rounding out the top three.
With the end of the season starting to draw near, the overall title races are getting tight, and we can’t wait to see how it turns out! The next race will be the Bluegrass EWS Finale on September 18-19.