The end of the season everyone was waiting for… A race that came down to the last metre and just 2.7 seconds over two days and five stages. In the end this weekend came down to the two fastest enduro racers in the world, Jerome Clementz (Cannondale) and Jared Graves (Yeti-Fox Factory Team), going head-to-head. For the Frenchman it wasn’t enough just to have the series title, the Cannondale rider wanted to show once more that he is the strongest. “Now I have two reasons to celebrate: I’ve won Enduro World Series, but I think the real winner is enduro in general as the sport is going in the right direction,” said Jerome Clementz after crossing the finish line.
But the battle wasn’t just for the top spot, the fight for third was intense too between Fabien Barel (Canyon Factory Enduro Team) and Martin Maes (GT Factory Racing). On the final stage, Caprazoppa, a small mistake from Barel lead to a crash and gifted the final spot on the podium to the young, Belgian rider. Fifth place went to Remy Abasalon (Commencal) and sixth to Nico Lau (Cube Action Team). Lau was in great form, coming off a win at the Trans Provence, but his one minute penalty yesterday left him out of the running for the podium positions, but today he carved his way through the field from twentieth last night to sixth tonight. If he hadn’t received the penalty, it looks like he would have been nearly twenty seconds clear of Clementz and Graves this weekend.
The Superenduro PRO 2013 title was decided this weekend too, going to Manuel Ducci. It was a tough race for him, finishing up well behind his usual form, but it was enough after a win, a second and two third places earlier this season. Ducci said about his victory, “To win the title in my second season racing the Superenduro Powered by SRAM is fantastic! My goal is now to become more competitive in the EWS. The race today was tough for me, it was difficult going and my sole goal became to reach the finish in one piece.”
Fastest of the Italian riders was Alex Lupato (Lapierre-FRM) in 19th position, with Marco Aurelio Fontana (Cannodale) and Francesco Colombo (Santa Cruz-Airoh Axo) finishing ahead of many of the enduro specialists. Manuel Ducci was not the only top Italian rider to have a challenging race, both Vittorio Gambirasio (GT–Team 360) and Davide Sottocornola (SantaCruz–Cicobikes Dsb) suffered technical problems.
In the women’s race Tracy Moseley (Trek) already had the EWS series title sewed up, but hammered home her supremacy today with a victory over Anne-Caroline Chausson (Ibis). In third position was Cecile Ravenelle (GT), who has shown incredible consistency all season to take the second place in the series overall this year. First of the Italian ladies was Laura Rossin (Devinci-Dream Team Genova), which was enough to secure here the Superenduro PRO series title for 2013. Valentina (Ibis-Life Cycle) and Chiara Pastore (Santa Cruz-Cicobikes Dsb) finished behind her.
Today in Finale Ligure finished a season that launched a new era of mountain biking. In the words of Fabien Barel, “Today the winner was enduro, the birth of a new era thanks to the Enduro World Series and Superenduro, who have opened a new way for the sport. I want to thank everyone who has worked towards this and brought this discipline up to this level.”
Check the time lapse that shows what went into setting up this huge event at the end of the Enduro calendar!