Practice Photo Epic: Amongst Giants - EWS Zermatt 2019

Sep 21, 2019
by Matthew DeLorme  


We knew it was going to be a long and hard day. With lengthy tracks, big liaisons, and more switchbacks than you can throw a stick at, this final round of the Enduro World Series is nothing to brush off for a one day round. It's rough, rocky, and it never seems to let up. With so much at stake here for Sam Hill and Florian Nicolai, along with Martin Maes and Richie Rude coming on strong, it's anyone's guess what could happen. That said, it was hard to tell who was looking best in practice. Lines were pondered and speeds seemed a little more subdued than normal. All being done to ensure it goes just right tomorrow, or as close as possible.

The Matterhorn is everywhere you look
The Matterhorn is everywhere you look.

Richie Rude has been on a tear lately and these long and rough stages should certainly suite him
Richie Rude has been on a tear lately and these long and rough stages should certainly suit him.

ALN navigates the loose and rocky stage 5
ALN navigates the loose and rocky stage 5.

Katy Winton has had a rough go of this season but is looking to wrap things up inside the top ten if she can. Katy will be wanting to come back charging next year.
Katy Winton has had a rough go of this season but is looking to wrap things up inside the top ten if she can. Katy will be wanting to come back charging next year.

Stage one will be a painful sprint off the start that view will be a blur.
Stage one will be a painful sprint off the start. That view will be a blur.

The Commencal team rolls up to the start of stage one.
The Commencal team rolls up to the start of stage one.

Kasper Wolley leaning into it on stage 3
Kasper Wolley leaning into it on stage 3.

Spencer Rathcamp taking the high line as the Matterhorn keeps watching the distance
Spencer Rathcamp taking the high line as the Matterhorn keeps watching the distanc.e

Can you spot Cecile Ravanel No she is not raving just here training with her team.
Can you spot Cecile Ravanel? No, she is not racing, just here training with her team.

Pedro Burns will be looking to finish the season inside the top twenty.
Pedro Burns will be looking to finish the season inside the top 20.

Stage one starts slow and picks up speed as the rider race to the valley floor. The big question is can Florian Nicolai hold onto his points lead for the overall
Stage one starts slow and picks up speed as the riders race to the valley floor. The big question is, can Florian Nicolai hold onto his points lead for the overall?

Damien Oton
Damien Oton

Damien Oton is healed up from some big injuries and racing his first EWS of the season
Damien Oton is healed up from some big injuries and racing his first EWS of the season.

Kevin Miquel is looking to hold onto the number three spot in the overall this weekend
Kevin Miquel is looking to hold onto the number three spot in the overall this weekend.

Alway bring the locals something to eat when you take a shortcut through their yard
Always bring the locals something to eat when you take a shortcut through their yard.

Katy Winton Flexes for a big day of riding bikes.
Katy Winton flexes for a big day of riding bikes.

Kevin Miquel sorts out the rough stuff on stage three.
Kevin Miquel sorts out the rough stuff on stage three.

Sam Hill is the chaser with nothing to lose and everything to gain
Sam Hill is the chaser with nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Matt Walker on stage 1
Matt Walker on stage 1.

First in points Florian Nicolai has all the pressure on his shoulders this weekend
First in points, Florian Nicolai has all the pressure on his shoulders this weekend.

Unrelenting roughness. It s going to be a hard last day of racing.
Unrelenting roughness. It's going to be a hard last day of racing.

Cecile Ravanel gets in a full day of practice. She will have to sit out this round of racing unfortunately.
Cecile Ravanel gets in a full day of practice. She will have to sit out this round of racing, unfortunately.

ALN rolling some big slabs. Will she take one last podium
ALN rolling some big slabs. Will she take one last podium?

Bex Baraona around one of what feels like a few hundred rocky switchbacks
Bex Baraona around one of what feels like a few hundred rocky switchbacks.

Isabeau Courdurier can relax this weekend as she has the overall locked up
Isabeau Courdurier can relax this weekend as she has the overall locked up.

Remi Gauvin drifting in the dust of stage 1
Jesse Melamed drifting in the dust of stage one.

Can richie Rude take one last win this season
Can Richie Rude take one last win this season?

Stage three may be almost over here but there s still 1000 meters of descending to do when it s done.
Stage three may be almost over here, but there are still 1000 meters of descending to do when it's done.

T Lap finding enough flow to make shapes.
T Lap finding enough flow to make shapes.

Martin Maes was one of the last riders on track today. Taking his time and making sure he has all his lines dialed
Martin Maes was one of the last riders on track today. Taking his time and making sure he has all his lines dialed.

It s not all rocks out there. Stage 2 is below tree line and full of big roots
It's not all rocks out there. Stage 2 is below the tree line and full of big roots.

The rugged glacier that sits just above stage 4
The rugged glacier that sits just above stage 4.

Joe Barnes carving turns on the steeps of stage 5.
Joe Barnes carving turns on the steeps of stage 5.

Ines Thoma on the home stretch of stage five.
Ines Thoma on the home stretch of stage 5.

Florian Nicolai pushes through the fin al switchbacks of practice.
Florian Nicolai pushes through the final switchbacks of practice.

Ella Conolly is racing for the fist time after a broken elbow took her out back in Les Orres
Ella Conolly is racing for the first time after a broken elbow took her out back in Les Orres.

Jesse Melamed on the gas near the bottom of stage 3
Jesse Melamed on the gas near the bottom of stage 3.

The tram to stage 3 full of riders and bikes
The tram to stage 3 full of riders and bikes.

After two seasons of yelling BEEEEER at Mark Maurissen when he rides past in practice today on stage five was the day he pulled one over and I had one waiting for him.
After two seasons of yelling "BEEEEER!!!" at Mark Maurissen when he rides past in practice, today on stage 5 was the day he pulled one over and I had one waiting for him.

Because two Matterhorns are better than one
Because two Matterhorns are better than one.

Ines Thoma has been on form at the close of the season and is a threat for the podium once again
Ines Thoma has been on form at the close of the season and is a threat for the podium once again.

The final race of the season starts tomorrow. We can t wait to see how it unfolds.
The final race of the season starts tomorrow. We can't wait to see how it unfolds.


Regions in Article
Zermatt


30 Comments

  • 24 2
 @davetrumpmore is so good at cameras. Almost as good as Zermatt is at gorgeous.
  • 8 0
 Matt Delorme too
  • 3 0
 @davetrumpore: for sure! Credit to both of you!! Thanks for the pics!
  • 10 1
 Sam Hill for the win!!!!! Get it on and bring it on home.
  • 7 1
 If there is still another 1000m of descending after the finish line on S3, why not race it?
  • 4 0
 There must be a reason, but that's crazy that they literally have more vert than they know what to do with.
  • 2 0
 It’s basically a ski run down or a gravel road. We raced the ski run in the Conti series last year. It was decidedly un-fun.
  • 5 0
 How do you even ride out there, I would be stopping every 2 minutes to take pictures. We have great scenery from east to B.C. but that is crazy.
  • 3 0
 You wouldn't believe how many guys fly over the pond to visit the (admittedly gorgeous) national parks in the states and hardly even process what they have in front of their doorstep...
  • 4 0
 Great content as always! (ps. you got Jesse and Remi mixed up in one of the shots)
  • 5 0
 "Remi Gauvin drifting in the dust of stage one." - That's Jesse Melamed
  • 4 0
 Is that a new Ibis that Box is railing?
  • 1 0
 Must be, at least the cable routing is different than the current HD4.
  • 1 0
 For sure. Different lower link (similar/same as the Ripmo and Ripley) gives it away.
  • 3 0
 Richie on a fork with black stanchions? Could it be a 38?!
  • 1 0
 Yep, lookslikeit. Other sources stated it ran the 38mm stanchions plus they spotted an air pressure valve as seen on the Fox 40s... wow!
  • 1 0
 I love how these photos capture not only the beauty of the scenery, but also the mood of the end of the season. They all feel like fall, shorter days, and the end of racing.
  • 3 1
 Genuine question, is "blind racing" still a thing at EWS?
  • 1 0
 no and i think it never was?
  • 4 0
 @pAzk: never was... They get 1 practice run
  • 2 0
 These photos should come with a content warning. Outrageous!
  • 1 0
 Did you mean outgorgeous?
  • 1 0
 That shot of Pedro is POY. Inspiring!
  • 1 0
 Stunning photos!!! thank you!! will it be a Rude ending??
  • 1 0
 This place is unreaaaaal!!
  • 2 0
 Actually it's a real place
  • 1 0
 This venue is beautiful! Holy shit
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