5 things we learned from EWS Zermatt

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It was a baptism of fire For the EWS and the organizersIt was never going to be easy, right? Organizing a race in the midst of a pandemic at the dawn of fall in a high-altitude alpine village is no small feat and EWS has taken up the challenge of launching a race admirably this year.

Zermatt was not postponed this year, so the weather would have hit anyway, but there was no way to know the COVID pandemic was coming when the race was first scheduled. Yes, there was a fear of COVID after three people had to be quarantined and tested, which left the pits looking uneasy for an afternoon, but it should be noted that the potential contact s ‘is produced outside the EWS bubble and the EWS dealt with the problem in an effective manner. With the social distancing, the bubbles and the masks, the race could run in relative normalcy and bring fans the race we’ve been waiting for all year.

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

In Zermatt, only two riders managed to break the Anglo-French domination of the top 10 among women with Anita Gehrig fourth and Miranda Miller tenth. The dominant female enduro in France is nothing new and we have to go back to 2015 to find a year when the general was won neither by Isabeau Courdurier nor by Cécile Ravanel but a wave of British riders will challenge them for the first places. this year.

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

Welcome to the new normal. Any international race we have this year will be fraught with anti-COVID measures and, possibly, rain. The racing calendar is just beginning where it would normally end with mountain towns starting to prepare for the winter season. If all the currently scheduled races go ahead, we will be almost in November by the end of the race.

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.

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