In the weeks leading up to this year’s EWS race in Pietra Ligure, Italy, the trails around Monte Carmo were blanked with a thick comforter of summer dust. Riders had their bikes and minds set on a loose powder-cloud event. The rains finally came on the eve of the big race, adding grip in some places and slip in others. A downpour during stage three would see a handful of riders hit the deck, including Belgian favorite Martin Maes.
The top-five pilots in the women’s race included e-bike pro Melanie Pugin in first position followed by Isabeau Courdurier, Morgane Charre, Estelle Charles, and Morganne Jonnier to round out the all-French podium. This is the first time Courdurier has finished off the top step in a few years, thanks in part to an ankle injury suffered in practice a few weeks back. She still managed to take the win on the first two stages, while Pugin led the final three for the overall victory.
The men’s race was a touch more diverse, consisting of athletes from Australia and New Zealand to fill out the podium alongside three Frenchmen. Adrien Dailly took the win on stages one and five to seal the overall win, followed by Florian Nicolai, Jack Moir, Dimitri Tordo, and Eddie Masters rounding out the day. Canadians Rys Verner and Jesse Melamed each won a stage, with Verner taking the Queen’s Stage title and Melamed literally sliding into the win on stage one.
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.
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