Team Chain Reaction Cycles Mavic legend Sam Hill won a third place podium spot in Tasmania over the weekend at the second round of the Enduro World Series.
Team Manager Nigel Page, who also won second place in the Masters event, brings us this report:
Blue Derby delivers the goods
Blue Derby, Tasmania, hosted the second round of the Enduro World Series and what an amazing venue and seven stages it was.
The tiny ex-tin mining town turned MTB mecca has got to be one of the best mountain bike venues going. The 80km of trails on the little town’s mountains have been designed and built amazingly by Glen Jacobs’ team. They are super fun trails for beginners up to the world’s best riders.
Bring on the rain
After a gorgeous week of sunshine, typically the weather changed and it was another stormy wet and muddy race, making it a huge challenge for the riders over the 7 1/2 hour day and 30+ miles of pedalling with 5267 ft. of climbing and seven race stages.
The stages were a mix of twisty fun bike park stages with cool jumps if you wanted to show-boat for the amazing wild crowd and brand new super technical stages that would put a modern World Cup downhill track to shame – with the torrential rain it made it challenging to say the least.
Ian the race organiser put on a hell of an event so fair play to him and his team and the Tazzy crowd were out of this world on every stage, really going wild and pushing the riders on.
Our Sam Hill had the worst conditions again for the start of the race with a heavy downpour before stage one for the top 30 men and the most deteriorated tracks. Sam battled hard all day and with a smile on his face after every stage as the home Aussie favourite.
Sam scored an 18th on stage 1, then 7th, 26th, 19th and 1st, 2nd and 1st on the final 3 stages to move up to third overall for the race. Amazing work Sam well done buddy.
Sam Hill sitting in third place overall
This puts Sam in third overall now in the EWS standings on his Nukeproof Mega 275, just behind Frenchman Adrien Dailly who won the race and Ireland’s Greg Callaghan. So Sam is well on target for his 2017 goals. Keep up the great work Sam.
Pagey’s still got it
I raced the Masters category again and I have to say I have never given a race as much of a go as I did in Tasmania. I had a great battle all day with Karim Amour riding way faster than I should be these days and for the first time I was close to him.
After stage four I had a small lead but had a big crash on stage five getting all tangled up in the rocks and my bike, so I lost a lot of time on one of my strongest stages.
I ended up second for the day, just seven seconds behind Karim, who ended up with the fastest overall time of the race of 24:19. Well done mate. It just shows how much the tracks get beat up for when the top pro riders come down later in the day.
Next up, Madeira…
So that’s it for the first two rounds of the 2017 EWS; it’s been super tough but very successful for the team and Sam Hill.
The next round is in Madeira in May so we are looking to keep the good results coming. Fingers crossed.
A big thanks to all our sponsors for making the team possible and especially to Jacy Schumilak for all his hard work; Fraser Britton for the great photographs; Buck and Jude at Vertigo Bike Shuttle and thanks to Merv Hill, Sam’s dad, for coming along to support his son and the team.
Cheers for now.