Final Photo Epic: Dominio Totale - EWS La Thuile 2018

Jul 23, 2018
by Matthew DeLorme  



With more unpredictable weather on the horizon for Sunday, race organizers made the call to make changes to the race order for the second day in a row. The steep hike a bike to Stage 5 and the ensuing stage were cut and in place racers would race stage 6 twice, with Stage 4 sandwiched in the middle. Confused? The race length stayed almost the same, as there were still three full stages, and the racing certainly wasn't any easier. As the day progressed, drama began to unfold on track as the chase for the podium spots heated up under the Italian sunshine.

For the women, it was Cecile Ravanel who continued to run away with it, followed by Isabeau Courdurier in tow as usual this season. Behind them, a battle was building between Melanie Pugin and Ines Thoma for the final podium spot, with Ines making time back through the day. Unfortunately for Melanie, a big crash and a damaged drivetrain on stage 4 meant the battle would end without a fight, ensuring Ines 3rd.

There was an equal amount of position swapping in the men's race, as a charging Martin Maes passed Eddie Masters in the overall and began to pressure Sam Hill for the win. But Sam was having none of it after the first stage and countered the Belgian's charge to take his 4th win out of 5 races this season. At this point, it is looking like Sam is untouchable for a repeat world title with just three rounds to go and a massive lead in the points.

The weather held almost to the very end, saving up all the rain just to dump it down in time for the podium. But with all the champagne flying, no one really seemed to care all that much

Those views are still stunning everywhere you look.
Those views are still stunning everywhere you look.

Sketchy moments for Bex Baraona on the final stage of the weekend.
Sketchy moments for Bex Baraona on the final stage of the weekend.

Full gas for Ines Thoma all day long as she reeled in Melanie Pugin to take 3rd.
Full gas for Ines Thoma all day long as she reeled in Melanie Pugin to take 3rd.

Thumbs up from Bex Baraona at the top of the weekends final long climb.
Thumbs up from Bex Baraona at the top of the weekend's final long climb.

Ines Thoma hot on the heels of Bex Barona in the rock garden on stage six. Thoma finished third.
Ines Thoma, hot on the heels of Bex Barona in the rock garden on stage six. Thoma finished third.

Steady going for Katy Winton in 5th but she knows she belongs on the podium.
Steady going for Katy Winton in 5th, but she knows she belongs on the podium.

A great ride from Anita Gehrig landed her in 4th in La Thuile.
A great ride from Anita Gehrig landed her in 4th in La Thuile.

Jose Borges rode himself up a few spots form day 1 to round out the top 10 at the close of the weekend.
Jose Borges rode himself up a few spots from day 1 to round out the top 10 at the close of the weekend.

Cecile Ravanel once again proved utterly dominant.
Cecile Ravanel once again proved utterly dominant.

Isabeau Cordurier charges through the alpine on her way to second place.
Isabeau Cordurier charges through the alpine on her way to second place.

After a brutal first day of racing day two brought the smiles back.
After a brutal first day of racing, day two brought the smiles back.

Hiding from the wind high above stage five it was time to snack and have a laugh.
Hiding from the wind high above stage five, it was time to snack and have a laugh.

Katherine Sharp finding the limit of traction on the only patch of mud in all of La Thuile today.
Katherine Sharp, finding the limit of traction on the only patch of mud in all of La Thuile.

Jose Borges takes tenth here in La Thuile. Big weekend for the BH rider.
Jose Borges takes tenth. Big weekend for the DH rider.

Iago Garay takes an 11th place finish on stage four.
Iago Garay takes an 11th place finish on stage four.

Florian Nicolai takes ninth place on the Italian side of the tallest mountain in Europe.
Florian Nicolai takes ninth place on the Italian side of the tallest mountain in Europe.

Damien Oton on his way to fifth place with jagged peaks looming in the distance.
Damien Oton on his way to fifth place with jagged peaks looming in the distance.

Youn Denaud finishes off the weekend in Seventh place.
Youn Denaud finishes off the weekend in Seventh place.

Martin Maes sucks all the big roots into the final corner en route to 2nd place in the overall.
Martin Maes sucks all the big roots into the final corner en route to 2nd place in the overall.

No roots rocks or steep terrain could slow down Sam Hill this weekend.
No roots, rocks, or steep terrain could slow Sam Hill this weekend.

Big stages in big mountains once again defined the racing in La Thuile.
Big stages in big mountains once again defined the racing in La Thuile.

Riders waiting their turn to drop in from the ominous start of stage 4.
Riders waiting their turn to drop in from the ominous start of stage 4.

The escalator up to stage 4 errrrr 5 was packed.
The escalator up to stage 4, errrrr 5 was packed.

Remi Cauvin gets loose in the chunky rocks at the start of stage 6.
Remi Gauvin gets loose in the chunky rocks at the start of stage 6.

Greg Callaghan tucks through the open corners at the top of Stage 6.
Greg Callaghan tucks through the open corners at the top of Stage 6.

Mont Blanc once again playing hide and go seek from the top of Stage 4.
Mont Blanc once again playing hide and go seek from the top of Stage 4.

What a rider for Yoann Barelli to take 8th while only racing a part time EWS schedule this season. Expect good things next round on his home turf in Whistler.
What a ride for Yoann Barelli to take 8th while only racing a part-time EWS schedule this season. Expect good things next round on his home turf in Whistler.

Back in the top 10 for Lapeyrie.
Back in the top 10 for Lapeyrie.

Last weekend Eddie Masters finished 10th at the World Cup in Andorra and this week he climbed the podium for 3rd in La Thuile.
Last weekend Eddie Masters finished 10th at the World Cup in Andorra, and this week he climbed the podium for 3rd in La Thuile.

Keegan Wright gets things started on the big rocky ledges that made up the first stage on the day.
Keegan Wright gets things started on the big rocky ledges that made up the first stage.

Hill and Osborne pedal up to stage five.
Hill and Osborne pedal up to stage five.

Man on a mission. Sam Hill was once again the man to beat and no one touch him.
Man on a mission. Sam Hill was once again the man to beat. No one touched him.

Feul up the Italian way with pasta.
Fuel up the Italian way, with pasta.

Keegan Wright is ready for something.
Keegan Wright is ready for something.

Ratty sends it on stage four.

Florian Nicolai had a strong result to take 9th but everyone knows the Frenchman is capable of much more when everything is clicking.
Florian Nicolai had a strong result to take 9th, but everyone knows the Frenchman is capable of much more when everything is clicking.

Fresh cut tracks steep switchbacks and tricky steep chutes were one again no challange for Sam Hill.
Fresh cut tracks, steep switchbacks, and tricky steep chutes were no challenge for Sam Hill.

Cool calm and collected. Sam never buckles under pressure.
Cool calm and collected. Sam never buckles under pressure.

The fastest men on the EWS circuit. Hill and Maes put on a hell of a show.
The fastest men on the EWS circuit, Hill and Maes put on a hell of a show.

This is one to celebrate. Masters has a well earned drink at the end of the weekend.
This is one to celebrate. Masters has a well-earned drink at the end of the weekend.

With 4 wins in 5 rounds Sam Hill is dominating the series right now.
With 4 wins in 5 rounds, Sam Hill is dominating the series right now.

Yet another second place for Martin Maes and he still can t stop smiling.
Yet another second place for Martin Maes, and he still can't stop smiling.

I flat on the final added insult to injury after a very very long two days of racing for Lewis Buchanan.
A flat on the final stage added insult to injury after a very, very long two days of racing for Lewis Buchanan.

A happy Iasabeau Courdurier in 2nd after a hard fought weekend.
A happy Isabeau Courdurier in 2nd after a hard fought weekend.

Hard work and determination landed Ines Thoma on the podium this weekend.
Hard work and determination landed Ines Thoma on the podium.

Cecile Ravanel on top once again flanked by Isabeau Courdurier and Ines Thoma
Cecile Ravanel, on top once again, flanked by Isabeau Courdurier and Ines Thoma.

Podium showers to clean of the dust for Sam Hill Martin Maes and Eddie Masters
Podium showers to clean off the dust for Sam Hill, Martin Maes, and Eddie Masters

Ciao Italia We will see you again in October.
Ciao, Italia! We will see you again in October.



64 Comments

  • + 91
 Thank you Pinkbike for the awesome coverage!
  • + 27
 "Keegan Wright is ready for something." rofl

Also Eddie Masters lookin majestic as f*ck
  • + 6
 From NZ, so that'll be majestical as f*ck
  • + 0
 Where is Rude and Graves?
  • + 24
 MR. WORLDWIDE!!!
  • + 20
 Fun fact: Martin Mae's was 8 when Sam Hill started destroying world cups on flat pedals.
  • + 6
 Haha.. Enormous age diff indeed, Maes still one of youngest in EWS...
  • + 11
 @Trailstunter: It's exciting to think what mtb will be like when Martin is the age Sam is now, will we have a drone following each of the top 20 riders the whole way down by then, live streaming 10k hd...
  • + 2
 @TobiasHandcock: nice thoughts indeed Tobias... I think technology will decide most in the world...
And yes... little drones that follow already exist... so I tink at some point they will perfectionize the tech for it... Wouldn't that be awesome!
  • + 1
 @Trailstunter:
"perfectionize" this needs to officially be a new word!
  • + 2
 @nickd1979: haha I thought it was Razz
But it is a nice word huh?
  • + 14
 So nice to see the ladies sitting together, having a big laugh. Far away from looking like competitors. A few minutes later, they hammer their bikes in race mode down the mountain.
  • + 4
 Used to race Maes and his brother when they were about 10-12 years old in our national enduro championship organised by his father Patrick, an ex 4x champion who drove his van like a posessed rally pilot. I was 20 years old, the kids were faster than almost all of us. I knew then I would only ever be in it for the fun.
  • + 3
 Crushed my dreams, that kid. I bet his father still drives that van like a maniac..
  • + 4
 The subtitle of Katherine Sharp photo should have been "Traction not found"
  • + 1
 Came here to say exactly that! "404 - Traction not found"
  • + 2
 Does anyone know if the EWS makes it mandatory to wear your full face helmet on all the traverses and climbs? Couldn't imagine spending to 7hr race days in a full face lid!!
  • + 17
 I believe it s mandatory to wear a helmet at all times, even first thing in morning if when you ride from your hotel to the pits. Someone got penalised for not having a skid lid in this instance a few years back. The riders experimented with hauling a half shell for the transitions in the early years but that seems to have lost favour to saunering in a full face. Big days.
  • + 0
 @ColquhounerHooner: And the backpack industry promptly responded with packs ready to carry helmets. because #enduro
  • + 5
 @Drewnobi: because if you aren't racing you have to be mad to wear a helmet when riding up a mountain for 2h in blistering heat. #downhillforlife #respectthesend
  • + 3
 @ColquhounerHooner: Someone would be wise to create an inflateable half shell that meets the minimum standard for climbing, that you can deflate and roll up and put in your back pack for the decent.
  • + 1
 @Drewnobi: #cheeckpadsonthegoogle
  • + 2
 @gravity808 : What I do when racing enduro with my Fox Rampage is I take off the cheek pads for the uphills, it's quite managable that way. Go try it.
  • + 0
 @kopaczus: that's actually quite smart. Must work even better with Proframe
  • + 3
 We need more pits videos, live faces, bring those characters closer to us. Outstanding pics.
  • + 4
 Im not a fan of carbon frames but that Bronson looks amazing!
  • + 0
 Would have thought the Nomad would have been better, as little between (.25lbs) in frame weights, and I am guessing JB would be pushing 170 forks, if only to reduce overall fatigue levels.
But having ridden with him, he could ride a shopping trolley faster than most on any terrain!!
  • + 2
 THANKS!!!!! nice way to finish my workweek , to come home and read and enjoy killer EWS race images!!! Well done to those in the trenches.
  • + 3
 Graves and Keene its over maaan
  • + 2
 I think its time for RA to start competing, the womans racing is getting boring.
  • + 14
 Rachel doesn't like to pedal. I agree that Cecile needs (more/better) competition, but until the next generation comes along, or Cecile decides to pursue moto-x or whatever, things will be the same. Cecile is totally awesome by the way, and needs more coverage. She's the first person to party, and one of the nicest people around.
  • + 4
 it seems that there is always such a "dominator" in womens racing. ACC, Tracy Moseley and now its Cecil for maybe years.
  • + 3
 @DanielDunnPhoto: RA likes winning.
  • + 1
 @DanielDunnPhoto: Cecile seems like a great person (never met her) but i would love a tight race. Wonder why Casey Brown does not compete more. Just think how good TMO was as she dominated.
  • + 1
 Can't forger Cecile has a monster engine coming from XC to go along with those incredibly strong bike handling skills. Rach has the handling skills but does she have the sustained power. The race feed said that Cecile blasted past almost all the women on a climb within one of the stages.
  • + 1
 Rat looks huge on those 27.5 wheels. Maybe he had to ride it. Seems like naturally a bigger steed would fair better at this venue.
  • + 2
 Thank you pinkbike for the fantastic coverage!!
  • + 1
 deadly coverage! killer photos!
  • - 3
 pedant mode> "Florian Nicolai takes ninth place on the Italian side of the tallest mountain in Europe." sorry, but Mont Blanc is the tallest in the EU, not Europe Smile Mt Elbrus is... And he's not riding on Mt Blanc anyway? lol!

Looks epic, wish this was my backyard!
  • + 1
 Where’s the coverage of the soccer game?
  • + 1
 Brilliant photo's, but not a single mention of U21's race???
  • - 1
 Mr Wright : Two in the pink one in the ... Smile
  • + 5
 Sink.
  • - 1
 Not a single action photo of Martin Maes, WTF
  • + 4
 Except for the 20th photo down where he's sending it over a cluster of roots.
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