The marmots in la Thuile were whistling louder than ever during round four of the Enduro World Series, excited to see tight racing and a bit of drama on their home slopes. They’re also tired of the pandemic.
The storms that drenched the final few riders on Saturday’s Pro Stage continued, leaving the roots and rocks properly slipper come start time on Sunday morning. With no new clouds on the menu, the race organizers were able to move the stage starts to their original higher elevations, making for some fast runs under the video helicopter.
Harriet Harnden of Trek Factory Racing had the race of her life, smashing every stage on Sunday to win her first ever elite EWS round. Harnden rode fastest on two of the four stages and earned second and eighth on the other pair. Andréane Lanthier Nadeau was slated for the win earlier in the day, but a nasty crash on the final stage put her out of the running. ALN had injured her foot during the Pro Stage the day prior, which likely played a part in the following crash and mechanical that ended her bid for the win. It’s great to see tight racing and and regular mixups at the razor’s edge of this field.
In the elite men’s race, Zakarias Johansen continued his forceful charge toward the front, finishing in third place on three stages and second on the final lap to come in third palce on the day. Jack Moir and Richie Rude traded wins on every stage but the penultimate one where Rude lost nearly twelve seconds to the tall Australian to stand on the second step of the podium. Jesse Melamed and Kevin Miquel closed out the round four podium, both putting in powerful runs to earn their UCI points and paychecks.
If not riding then I'm writing, or quite possibly cooking something. I play bass with nine-and-a-half fingers, eat vegetables and fruit, and prefer movement as frequently as possible. I find discomforts and challenges more useful than most things, particularly what emerges from them. If I died and could return as anything I would choose a camp fire.