Some runners could have used the EWS-E for more training time
The very first EWS-E race took place on Friday with 34 riders competing with their engines on the rocky tracks of Zermatt. The EWS-E has followed its own course, with an uphill power stage testing riders’ technical climbing ability alongside the usual gravity-fed offerings we’ve come to expect from an enduro race. However, there were similarities between the regular EWS-E and EWS, as the Rock ‘N’ Roll and Lake Link trails (which was later canceled in the EWS) were featured in both routes.
This allowed some riders, such as Jose Borges and Melanie Pugin, to save time on the tracks before entering the EWS race. It’s a double-edged sword, as running twice in a weekend leaves little room for recovery and fatigue can start to creep in. Jose Borges said his hands were aching all day Sunday, but he struggled with the pain until he finished fifth. Of course, any runner who passed was performing well within the rules (that’s just smart!), But it will be interesting if some runners look to the EWS-E series in the future for some extra track time.
It was the shortest EWS race ever
With a winning men’s time of 15 minutes and a women’s time of 17:21, it was the shortest EWS race ever. The shortest precedent was Colombia in 2018, which had also canceled stages due to weather conditions, although it was the mud and not the snow that caused the cut. Such a short race meant mistakes were costlier than ever and all the mechanics led a driver to give up the competition. Some victims of this were Melanie Pugin and Noga Korem who both looked quick and made it to the top five of the stages but had no chance to catch up after suffering mechanical problems on the other stages.
The British and the French dominate the women’s series
Of course Isabeau Courdurier continues her perfect streak and took two stage wins and the race but Morgane Charre was not far behind with her new Pivot Factory race and Ella Connolly made a great comeback from injury for the third. Britain v France would have made a great Nations Trophy, but we’ll have to content ourselves with watching the riders compete individually for the remainder of the season.
Prepare for a Wet Cups and Enduro Wet Series season
As Zermatt, the Coupe de France at Metabief and even Stage 1 of the Tour de France this weekend have proven, wet weather skills will be crucial for riders this year and riders in wetter climates will lick their heads. chops for good results.