MANGLED! Attempting to Survive the Enduro World Series

The Enduro World Series is a big deal, right? The elite-level, gravity-loving, stage racing series that sends riders to every possible corner of the globe has blossomed through growing pains ever since its inception in 2013. Part postcard, part travel tourism advertisement, the goal of its participants is purely race results with some espresso shots in between. Good race results are never easy to come by. Exceptional race results are nearly impossible, reserved for the select few who have focus, training and a little bit of luck on their side.

Mark Scott didn't have the best of birthdays on Saturday in Maderia. Tweaking his wrist badly, he chose to strap it up and finish the race on Sunday. He has finished every single EWS since the inception of the series.

Vital has covered every single Enduro World Series race thanks to Sven Martin and any hearty soul who will saddle up with him to cover miles of racing trail, taped or untaped, throughout the season. Thousands of photos, hundreds of stages and hours of interviews have come through our inbox to land in our EWS slideshows. Over the years, we've learned that crashing isn't new to the EWS and struggle, despite the espresso and picturesque views, has always been the name of the game for anyone willing to take on an Enduro World Series. Pain, scabs and mangled bike parts are expected and must be managed to succeed, let alone finish a race.

This is what Adrien Dailly looked like at the end of Saturday because of what happened on stage three (where he earned 2nd place). He raced to 4th place overall with fresh stitches and swelling on Sunday. Dailly said getting the stitches hurt worse than any crash or suffering during the race.

As we went through the photos and audio interviews that Sven and Boris sent from Madeira, Portugal, this week, the brutality seemed more oppressive than from any EWS we could recall. Riders had taken themselves out before the race, they were battered during practice and over the course of two days of recorded racing, bodies and bikes were left in pieces. The winners and average pack-filling survivors almost all had some kind of off-bike contact with the local soil, and the resounding gong of sentiment from the victors rang "conservation," "take it easy," and, "don't push too hard or you'll crash."

Keegan Wright had a big crash and a scare during training. A visit to the hospital cleared him of any fractures or internal injuries.
Keegan's aftermath from his crash in training. It looks gross, it hurts a lot, but he still raced, earning 42nd in Madeira and retains a Top 10 overall ranking.

Lessons come hard on the EWS and while plenty crashed so hard they were out of the race, others stitched up, taped up and buttoned up to finish. Is it worth it the bloodshed and bruising? That's a decision for each EWS competitor to make for themselves. By the looks of it, bloodshed and bruising seem to be taking a backseat to reasoning and self-preservation.

Man down! Luckily there was so much dust, it must have felt like landing on a pillow.
Martha Gill committed. Still clipped and gripped #iGotThis

David McMillan hurt his thumb in training, so his cockpit needed some mods.

Sam
Hill
Down

Matt Koen after stage one. Bullet head and covered in dust, but still smiling.

Eddie Masters has been fasting prepping for the EWS. With the Fort William DH coming up, he's back on fried foods.
Even if you don't go down, you're still taking lumps.

Greg Callaghan had a bad crash before the race and will watch his first EWS from the sidelines. After the race, he had learned from spectating that many riders don't sprint to each stage finish, losing valuable milliseconds, and that the fastest riders were often the most conservative looking. A tough way to gain race experience, but priceless knowledge for the future.

Greg Callaghan in Audio

One of many off-bike excursions.

Best wishes and a speedy recovery to Morgane Jonnier who went down hard just after this was taken. Broken collarbone.

Vital thanks Orbea and ENVE for supporting our 2019 Enduro World Series coverage


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