Race Action 1 from EWS Aspen

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The first three stages of the Enduro World Series in Aspen proved to be challenging, but in the end, Jared Graves and Cecile Ravanel swept the day undefeated. The air stays thin as the dust settles on Day 1 of 2.

This graph compares the time gaps between the top 5 men on Stage 3 and the elevation profile of the stage. The numbers on the right show the seconds between riders as they drop down the mountain.

A quick glance at the graph above shows that Jared held a steady lead from the first singletrack section to the finish, but the stage gets really interesting when you look at his fellow competitors it the top 5.

They say that enduro is a game of averages, that you need to perform in every condition imaginable and manage your skill, fitness and equipment all the way to the finish line. And that could never be clearer than in the first day of racing in Aspen Snowmass.

Graves, current day 1 leader, and Curtis Keene, currently in 4th place both look to have held consistent speeds throughout this monster 15 minute stage. Neither as the graph shows, had any dramatic change in speed. And their solid end of day results today back that up.

However, let’s take a look at Martin Maes, Damien Oton and Nico Lau, who round out the top 5 on stage 3 today.

Lau having started fast clearly runs into difficulty early on before recovering as the stage got steeper, faster and longer. A bad start and a strong finish for the Frenchman. Pulling himself from a brief 5th to an eventual 2nd place.

Maes contrastingly started strong and came close to going into the lead briefly but as you can see by the major drop in his trajectory at the end caused by a crash after riding into the dust of the rider in front. Proof though that Martin is a dangerman out there, and back on form after his recent injury.

Damien Oton, currently ranked 2nd in the World Series did well to finish as closely as he did after a major crash at the 2.5km mark dropped him briefly way out of contention. You can see just how much impact that crash had, with Oton’s trace dropping so far south he was at his lowest point 20 seconds behind a charging Graves. However, in a great display of ability, through the steepest section of course, Damien jumped right back up into contention showing us again after his great La Thuile ride, that when it gets steep and technical, he’s right there.

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