The fifth round of the Enduro World Series (EWS) in Les Orres, France will go down in history as one of the closest fought races of all time.
Located high in the Hautes-Alpes, this ski resort played host to a dramatic race that saw an ever changing lead in the men’s competition. After four stages on day one, Adrien Dailly (Team Lapierre) delighted the home crowd by leading the race, with just a two second lead over Eddie Masters (Pivot Factory Racing) in second and then just one second further back was Richie Rude (Yeti/Fox Shox Factory Racing) in third.
Sunday morning saw a storm blow through the resort, forcing the cancellation of stage five, the first of the day. But there was more than enough action to pack the remaining three stages – as Masters entered the final stage of the day with a mere 0.4 second lead over Rude in second place. Masters held on to the lead to cross the line just one second ahead of Richie to claim his very first Enduro World Series win. Dailly rounded out the podium in third place. Florian Nicolai (Canyon Factory Racing) retains the series lead.
In the women’s competition Isabeau Courdurier (Intense Mavic Collective) controlled the narrative from the start, but was denied a clean sweep of the stages by Raphaela Richter. The 21 year old from Germany hadn’t raced an EWS since 2017, but came back in style to win two stages and occupy the second step of the podium. Miranda Miller (Kona Factory Racing) put in a consistently strong performance throughout the weekend to take third. Courdurier extends her series lead in the overall points, and with just three rounds left is on course to take her first championship.
In the U21 Men Antoine Vidal (Commencal Vallnord Enduro Racing Team) showed no sign of ending his winning streak, taking the win and further cementing the series lead. New Zealand’s Brady Stone took second, whilst Francescu Camoin (Specialized Racing Team) was third. In the U21 Women Lucy Schick took the win, just as she did in Italy last weekend, with Leah Maunsell in second and Harriet Harnden in third.
Karim Amour (Miranda Racing Team) fought hard to take the Master Men win, with Cedric Ravanel (Commencal Vallnord Enduro Racing Team) missing out on the top spot by less than half a second, with Bruno Zanchi in third. Louise Paulin (Ibis Cycles Enduro Race Team) claimed the Master Women’s win, followed by Alba Wunderlin in second and Suvi Vacker in third.
Canyon Factory Racing were named Team of the Day, and now also lead the Team Rankings.
The series now turns its attention to Whistler for round six, the CamelBak Canadian Open Enduro presented by Specialized.