Enduro World Series- Round 3
Monday, May 14th, 2018
“Enduro World Series- Round 3 France”
Last weekend saw the latest round of the Enduro World Series in Montagnes Du Caroux, France. Reigning champion Sam Hill finished in sixth, Elliott Heap took second place and Kelan Grant 39th.
Based in the heart of the “Mini-Pyreness” the host town of Olargues was a fitting venue for round 3. With 2 huge days racing with eight stages across Saturday and Sunday split with huge transitions (Sunday alone over 2200m of climbing!). Stages were vastly different to the opening two rounds, with a mix of exposed awkward rocky trails with a few punchy physical climbs.walking paths After 2 days of practise in glorious sunshine, Day 1 started of dry, but the storms rolled in as expected for the leading men later in the day. Making the already tricky stages, lethal!
Elliott Heap continued his great form from the last round in Colombia winning two of the four stages and only losing the other two stages by half a second. Elliott had a 10 second lead going into day two in the under-21s category.
Kelan Grant had a mixed day with a bit of a mechanical on the first stage after a brush with a tree and a crash on stage three but showed speed on stage two to keep in touch of the top 40. Sam Hill couldn’t quite find the form he had in South America on the awkward French tracks but rode really well to finish eighth, fifth, ninth (rain effected stage 3 and 4 for the top Pro’s) and 44th on the short street stage to be ranked fifth after the first day.
It continued to rain through the night and was really cold come Sunday morning. Unfortunately, Elliott’s overnight lead was wiped out after he suffered a rear puncture on the first stage of day two on jagged rocks, losing over 30 seconds, dropping back to fifth place in the overall. After a swift repair with a tube, he continue charged through the field (literally overtaking riders on the stage) and won the next three stages clawing his way back to second overall. What an achievement!
Kelan on his new Blue/ Green liveried Mega 290 had a good second day with some good stage results and times moving him up the rankings into 39th.
Sam had a similar day to day 1 – not quite finding his winning form but still riding amazing to finish sixth overall in the Elite men’s category (and continuing his amazing streak of never finishing out of the EWS top 10!) and retaining his overall lead in the championship and entertaining the awesome French crowd.
Shot out to the whole team, Nigel, Ewan and Jacy for supporting the riders all weekend. Ewan- keeping Kelan and Elliott bike running as smooth as you can on the treacherous terrain!
Jacy on the spanners on Sam’s bike
Keeping the lads organised, spirits high and a mighty fine chef too, Mr Nigel Page! Another great result for the team and hugely positive coming into a mini break now- Elliott and Kelan are heading up to the Fort William Downhill World Cup (on the Downhill bikes!)- so see you there!
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Photos: Fraser Britton
Video: Traxx Media