Epic race day pic: just as things heated up – EWS Finale Ligure 2020

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It took a while to get used to this new world of racing. All parties involved have had to adapt quickly to the rapidly changing rules surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. Let’s not be subtle in this case – yes, it’s good to be back racing, but for all parties involved, it’s been scary. To say that we are sad that SAP came to an abrupt end, just as we thought we could all achieve our goal in this brave new world we live in, is an understatement. It’s also a relief f * $ king it’s over. The stress of orchestrating all parts of such a race is taxing under regular circumstances. Much less in the era of COVID. The EWS crew deserve a salute here. They worked their asses for it. Was it perfect? No. Could it have been? No chance. They did their best to lend the hand given to them and did so with grace and commitment to the rider, staff and the community. Having to make the call to remove the grip early in the last two laps must have been heartbreaking, but it was a wise move.

So here we are at the end of a really short season. In fact, there were some spectacular races. We could speculate on what would have happened if the series had continued, but suppose it would have ended knee-deep in the snow at this point. Anyone looking at the forecast in Austria will understand. Four stages of the legendary Finale Ligure awaited us this morning, and the sun was shining, even though yesterday’s front brought rather cool temperatures behind.

With Isabeau Courdurier with torn ankle ligaments, the race went to Morgane Charre and Melanie Pugin. Charre took steps one and two and the day was his. Estelle Charles took her first podium in third place. It was all of France for the first three women. Katy Winton came back to finish fourth and Anita Gehrig fifth. In the men’s race, Jesse Melamed ran away with the first stage and never looked back. The great Canadian would end the day with his second victory of the season. Florian Nicolai would take second place and Theo Galy third.

Now that the temperatures are getting colder, some of us will be heading to Austria for a bit of Whiteout Whip Offs, and whatever this fucked up season has in store. To be honest, maybe they should do a DS course on snow, put screws through some mud spikes, then call it all right for 2020. Whatever they smoke, that makes them think the next race will be on. as expected, we want them to share.

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