- Bike Checks
Jerome Clementz wasted little time showing people who is the boss of Les Deux Alpes, pulling out an incredible 25 second lead on stage 1 - using his familiarity with the Enduro format and his fitness to full advantage on the very physical stage 1 no doubt. When you know how tight Enduro World Series racing is, a 25 seconds lead basically translates to being able to more or less manage the remaining 3 stages...which Jerome did a great job of.
The DHers moved to the front of the pack on the steep and technical descents that make up stages 2-4. Series leader Jared Graves blew a corner due to missing course tape on stage 1 and lost 1 minute climbing back up to his point of exit (as per the rules) which effectively put him out of contention for the day - but he finished within the top 3 on each of the remaining 3 stages to take 6th overall and salvage valuable points.
Loic Bruni (racing in his first EWS event) pulled out the fastest stage time on stage 3 (a 4-minute track), with Dan Atherton, Jared Graves, Fabien Barel, and Sam Blenkinsop completing the stage 3 top 5 - clearly a DH affair. Jerome Clementz finished 6th on the stage (3 seconds ahead of Vouilloz in 9th), but still protecting a solid overall lead.
Only stage 4 remained. When the dust settled, Clementz had another steady run for the 6th time on the stage, taking the top spot on the podium with Vouilloz in second and another Enduro newcomer Sam Blenkinsop with a sensational third place (after putting in the best time on stage 4)!
Clementz now moves into the lead in the series overall, with Graves just holding onto second place ahead of charging Vouilloz (TBC).
In the women's category, Emmeline Ragot blasted the first stage, but was off the pace in the second, leaving Tracy Moseley leading after 2 stages. Moseley then took her first stage win of the day on stage 3, putting her world-class DH skills to good use on the short and steep track. Anne-Caro Chausson was a bit off pace early on, probably not fully recovered from her time off the bike due to her crash in the opening round in Punta Ala. She would however get the final say of the day with a stage win on stage 4. Although Ravanel and Ragot finished ahead of Moseley as well on stage 4, it was not enough to threaten the top spot. Moseley makes it three in a row to take a commanding lead of the series overall, with Ravanel second and Ragot third.
In the Junior category, Loris Vergier held off a spirited charge by Martin Maes to take the win in Les Deux Alpes, with Maes holding onto the overall series lead going into round 4.
The Enduro World Series circus now heads across the Atlantic for the first of 2 races on the North American continent.