The Enduro World Series has reached its conclusion for the fifth time in Finale Ligure, this one was a real nail-biter right down to the end. What we witnessed on the ancient trails of Finale was history in the making and the return of the People's Champion to the top spot. Sam Hill has now proven to be the most well-rounded rider in the world, transcending disciplines, and adding another title to an already legendary career. Round eight has a massive turnout with 500 riders undertaking two days of riding that took them over 100 kilometers from the highest peak in Liguria all the way to the blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea.
With such tight racing all season and things coming close to the wire all eyes were on the battle for the Men's title. Sam Hill and Frenchman Adrien Dailly were locked in an epic battle for the top spot, and in the end, it would come down to a matter of mere seconds. Sam came out with a lead on day one, but Adrien was hot on his heels - at one point just three seconds separated the pair. In the end, Sam would hold it together on the brutal tracks of Finale to keep the third position in the race and secure his first Enduro World Champion title.
Despite their best efforts, neither Hill or Dailly could keep pace with Frenchman Damien Oton this weekend, who was absolutely flying and would take the race win. For Oton, it was his first win since La Thuile in 2014. After a race-ending crash in Whistler during round seven, Martin Maes had a brilliant ride here in Finale to finish in second place.
Reigning World Champion Cecile Ravanel would once again prove to be unstoppable on the tracks of Finale, making sure she finished the season with the race win as well as the Championship title. Isabeau Courdurier and Katy Winton were locked in a heated battle and finished the weekend and the season with Isabeau in second and Katy in Third.
Killian Callaghan had the U21 Men Championship sewn up coming into this race, and took it easy this weekend to finish in seventh place. Whistler local Rhys Verner stormed to victory in this weekend's race - giving a time that would have put him in the top 20 of the senior men. It was a similar story in the U21 Women as Martha Gill's consistent season meant she was already World Champion as she left the start gate on Saturday. British newcomer Ella Conolly made quite the EWS debut, winning this weekend's race. In the team competition Ibis Cycles Enduro Race Team are the new World Champions, Rocky Mountain Urge bp are second and Canyon Factory Enduro Team third.
What a way to finish what has been an utterly spectacular season. We have once again witnessed history in the making, and while it's bittersweet to put the season behind us now, there is comfort in knowing that next year has the potential to be even more epic.