Until Richie Rude, the Enduro World Series was a pension plan for active elders who had recently retired from pro downhill racing. Like most of enduro's brightest lights, the 2013 Junior DH World Champion also transitioned from the World Cup gravity circuit - but at a much younger age. Richie had the skills, but few believed the 200-pound Yeti rider could get up to speed in a venue that favored leaner men.
So, Richie taught himself how to pedal, and in 2015, he earned his first EWS victory at Samoens, France, in a battle against the legendary Nico Vouilloz that came down to a final-stage shootout. Richie's long-awaited win set him on fire. He stormed to the overall title that year and came out swinging in 2016, dominating the first two races in South America, and then shrugged off a mid-season shoulder injury to earn his second EWS Series title. At only 21 years old, Richie's best years lie ahead. Be afraid.