All images thanks to Matt Wragg/EWS.
The high French Alps have a reputation for creating high drama – and Samoens Enduro World Series driven by Urge Bike Products didn’t disappoint.
Richie Rude (Yeti/Fox Shox Factory Team) and Tracy Moseley (Trek Factory Racing Enduro Team) overcame the storms, sweltering heat and the long, physical stages to take the win. The top of the podium is familiar territory for Tracy, but it was the first Enduro World Series win for Rude.
Tracy’s dominance was predictable after Anne Caroline Chausson (Ibis Cycles Enduro Race Team) was forced to retire due to illness, but it was a different story altogether for Rude. In possibly the tightest final stage of any EWS race to date, Nico Vouilloz (Lapierre Gravity Republic) and Richie Rude went into the final stage of the race with just two tenths of a second separating them, with Vouilloz leading Rude by the smallest of margins. But the combination of Rude’s strength and a mechanical for Vouilloz saw Rude take the stage by six seconds – and winning himself the overall in the process. Vouilloz had to settle for second place, with Fabien Barel (Canyon Factory Enduro Team) coming in third.
Richie said: “I went into the race expecting a top five but I got really into the tracks here and the weather was great and I’m just glad I came away with it. The French style of enduro is definitely one of my favourites because you get a good look at the track and then you can ride it pretty quick on your second run. Big congratulations to the two French legends behind me – I think it’s any kid’s dream to be on the podium with them!”
In the women’s race Cecile Ravanel (Commencal Vallnord Enduro Team) put in a strong performance to win two stages to secure second place, with Anneke Beerten (Specialized Racing Team) in third. Isabeau Courdurier (Rocky Mountain Urge BP Rally Team) continued her great season by picking up fourth place.
Speaking after the race Tracy said: “It was a really good weekend – I enjoyed coming back to French style enduro, it feels like a totally different sport to the last three rounds of the series, but equally exciting and equally tough. Having Anne pull out yesterday definitely changed it up a lot, I hope she gets better and comes back strong and we can continue a bit of a fight for the rest of the year.”
In the Under 21 categories the French came out on top, with Adrien Dailly (Lapierre Gravity Republic) and Axelle Murigneux claiming the victories. In the Master’s race Remo Heutschi clinched the title.
Despite a twelfth place finish for Justin Leov (Trek Factory Racing Enduro Team) today he still leads the series, but Florian Nicolai (Rocky Mountain Urge BP Rally Team) is not far behind in second place with Richie Rude in third. Tracy Moseley still leads the women’s ranking, with Cecile Ravanel in second and Anneke Beerten now sitting in third.
In the team competition it’s still Trek Factory Racing Enduro Team who are still out in front.
At the end of the month the series will switch continents and head over the pond to Crested Butte, Colorado for round five – the Yeti Cycles Big Mountain Enduro presented by Shimano. Taking place over the weekend of July 31st and August 1st/2nd, the race promises to push riders as they take on three days of riding at an altitude of 12,000 feet.