The third and fourth rounds of the Enduro World Series took place in La Thuile, Italy, over the past few days where Team Chain Reaction Cycles took on some of the toughest trails in Europe.
As well as racing in the Masters category, Team Manager Nigel Page was there to bring us these race reports:
Enduro World Series Round Three: La Thuile
The steep mountains of La Thuile provided an epic third round of the Enduro World Series. Stage one was chair lift access with a shortish pedal to the top of the stage then a long pedal up to the top of stage two on the opposite side of the valley, back on the chairlift for stage three and again for stage four.
All the tracks had fast flat-out sections, technical steep rooty and rocky sections and a good-sized climb on stage four before the steepest part of the track.
Elliott finishes in 11th place
Elliott Heap had another amazing race finishing in 11th place overall, just five seconds off the top-10 with two crashes on the final stage. Elliott is absolutely flying and is right up there at the sharp end of the very stacked pro men’s field; he finished 6th, 16th, 16th and 22nd on the stages which is consistent and just shows his riding and training has paid off. Well done mate, we are all super proud of you!
Kelan improves with 33rd overall
Kelan Grant had a much better race this time after his disappointment in Val di Fassa and finished 33rd overall in a hugely stacked men’s field, with a 39th, 65th, 46th and 16th place finish on the stages. Kelan is riding great and hopefully this is a start for where he wants to be in the EWS results. Well done mate.
Sam still finding race pace
Sam Hill is riding amazingly, but just can’t find his race pace yet and ended up in 40th overall with 31st, 18th, 21st and 70th. It is strange seeing the three-time EWS champ down in the rankings, but I guess you can’t “win em all” as they say.
Nigel takes fifth overall
I raced the Masters 35+ category again where I ended up fifth overall. I struggled to let go on a lot of the stages, but I did manage a stage win which was nice!
Enduro World Series Round Four: La Thuile
Round four of the Enduro World Series and the second race of the week in La Thuile was another tough one.
This round had a Pro stage on Saturday afternoon followed by four stages on Sunday.
For the Pro stage the sun was shining all day and the tracks were starting to dry out nicely in lots of sections. The Pro stage was a shorter variation of what would be the final stage five on Sunday.
Elliott Heap started out with another great race on the Pro stage finishing top 20 again in 19th place even with a crash on the steep last few turns. There was a tough climb in the Pro stage and Elliott was one of the strongest riders up the climb, his strength and training he has put in the off season is showing this year!
Sam Hill managed 30th position just three seconds back from Elliott.
Kelan Grant was having a good run until he tucked the front wheel on at the bottom of one of the very steep sections into a tight right-hand corner and had a big crash leaving him back in 98th place.
I managed a fifth place in the Masters category.
When we were all just enjoying the faster drier conditions, the heavens opened again, and we had rain all night making the tracks for Sunday even slipper than the previous race.
Elliott 12th overall!
Elliott had another amazing consistent race right up at the top end of the results with 15th, 12th and 17th on both of the last two stages. This put Elliott 12th overall for a fantastic result again! Well done mate, I am super proud of you.
Sam finding his mojo
Sam Hill had a much better race getting some stage results closer to the top of the rankings with 16th, 16th, 15th and 24th showing that the three-time EWS champion hasn’t lost any of his riding skills. Sam ended up 17th overall and seems to have put the fire back in his belly. There is a break now before the next block of races. Sam flies back to Australia today where he must do a two-week hotel quarantine, but he is going to work hard and come back strong for the second half of the season, so it will be exciting to see how he can go at the next rounds.
Kelan down on his luck
Kelan Grant just isn’t getting the ‘luck of the Irish’ it seems, after a good start to the day with 40th, 51st and 60th on the first three stages, he got a rear flat on the final big stage which placed him 122nd for that stage dropping him down to 83rd for the race. Kelan was disappointed, and it was hard to see him so down! Racing at this level is so hard and when things aren’t going your way, it’s tough physically and mentally. We all know Kelan has the ability to do a lot better and hopefully after this break he can regroup and have a better second half to the season.
Nigel fifth overall
I rode too safe in the Masters category. It was really slick when we were racing early and I ended up fifth again overall, but still in one piece for the drive home.
All-in for the second half of EWS racing
It’s been a challenging tough first half of the 2021 season, but it’s been great to be back racing and amazing to see Elliott progressing to be challenging the very fastest racers in the world. Elliott is ranked 12th in the world currently and is going to work hard in the break to try and get into that elusive top-10 by the end of the series! You can do it mate.
A big thank you to all the team for the past month and to all the sponsors for their continued support!
After all the travel, races, covid tests and extra forms we must do in these current times, it will be nice to get home to see our families.