Finale Ligure: An EWS classic and racer favorite. This was the perfect venue for the intense overall title battles to continue, as well as another round of the EWS-E. With only one more race after this, athletes were under pressure to perform, and the people of Finale came out to watch the action. The courses in Finale were dry, dusty, and technical, making it easy for riders to mess up, crash, or have a mechanical. Even the best of the best would need to be on top of their game in order to get those valuable overall points.
Thursday (9/16) was the second round of the EWS-E series, and racers were challenged with long course loops and a tiring day in the saddle. Maxxis saw success in this new series once more with Laura Charles (Orbea Fox Enduro Team) taking the win in Elite Women, and teammate Damien Oton (Orbea Fox Enduro Team) sliding into fifth place in Elite Men. This new type of enduro racing has proved to be grueling, and we’re stoked to see where it will go next.
Saturday (9/18) held the start of the EWS race as riders took on the Pro Stage. Fans lined the course, and everyone gave it their all. Maxxis athlete Miranda Miller (Kona Bikes) surged into third place in Elite Women – a phenomenal result for her. Jack Moir (Canyon Collective) and Richie Rude (Yeti Fox) took second and third in Elite Men. Maxxis was in a good place going into the main event, but nothing could’ve prepared us for what was to come.
On Sunday (9/19), racers headed out on a course with very short transfer times, meaning most racers would get to the top of their climb and have to start the stage immediately – an insanely tough task. This race was a must-win for Jack Moir if he wanted to stay in contention for the top overall series spot because he was injured in the last race and didn’t place as well. As he plowed forward, making up time on Sunday, Jack had a mechanical and bent his rear wheel out of shape. In a miraculous turn of events, Jack pulled out all of his trailside mechanic skills, hammered his wheel back into shape, and won the Elite Men category. Jesse Melamed (Rocky Mountain Raceface) also had a great race, placing behind Jack in second place. Richie had a couple of bobbles and ended up in fifth, transitioning Jack back into the overall leader’s spot for the series title. But the results don’t stop there for Maxxis athletes: Morgane Charre (Pivot Factory Racing) was absolutely pinned and took the win in Elite Women by over 17 seconds. Bex Baraona (Ibis Enduro Team) also found pace and ended up in third behind Charre. Sophie Riva (Ancillotti Team) and Polly Henderson (Juliana Bicycles) nabbed second and third in U21 Women, while Jack Menzies (Forbidden Synthesis) and Alex Storr (Forbidden Bikes) did the same in U21 Men.
Another exciting EWS event is over, and there’s only one more to go for the season. Tune in on Sept. 30 – Oct. 3 for the thrilling conclusion to this year’s EWS Overall Series Title battle.