Course Preview: Paradise Island - EWS Madeira 2019

May 9, 2019
by Matthew DeLorme  


After a short break from the first two rounds in the southern hemisphere, the Enduro World Series returns to a favorite among riders and media alike - Madeira. This tiny speck in the Atlantic Ocean has some of the most diverse and visually stunning trails of all of the places we visit. The people are friendly, the Poncha is delicious, and the seafood is fresh. Madeira ticks all the boxes.

We return to the two-day format this round, and the racers will set out from the coastal village of Machico. There will be a total of eight stages and 4100 meters of descending with 2480 meters of climbing and a total distance of 70 kilometers. Martin Maes and Isabeau Courdurier are in the lead after winning both Rotorua and Tasmania. Sam Hill is healthy after fighting through the flu in the first two rounds and will be looking to take his first win of the season. Come take a ride with the media squids as we sample this year's stages.

So far it s been nothing but sunshine
So far it's been nothing but sunshine.


A sea of frothy white clouds meet Madeira s jagged higher peaks rolling up the cliffs and then falling back.
A sea of frothy white clouds meet Madeira's jagged higher peaks, rolling up the cliffs and then falling back.

The locals come out of hiding around sunset at the higher elevations.
The locals come out of hiding around sunset at the higher elevations.

Lots of riders have been enjoying the laid back atmosphere over the past few days.
Lots of riders have been enjoying the laid back atmosphere over the past few days.

It s not uncommon to run into some cloud cover near the top of the mountains in Madeira.
It's not uncommon to run into some cloud cover near the top of the mountains in Madeira.

The alpine zone is full of beautiful textures.
The alpine zone is full of beautiful textures.

Racing will start and finish right by that sandy beach in the middle of the photo.
Racing will start and finish right by that sandy beach in the middle of the photo.

Ludo May through some lush Madeira forest back in 2017 when the EWS first came to Madeira
Ludo May through some lush Madeira forest back in 2017 when the EWS first came to Madeira

Last time the EWS raced here the rain came pouring down on more than one occasion. Right now everything is dry and dusty and everyone has their fingers crossed that it will stay that way.
Last time the EWS raced here the rain came pouring down on more than one occasion. Right now everything is dry and dusty, and everyone has their fingers crossed that it will stay that way.

Thomas Lapyerie took the win on stage one but a flat on three would wreck havoc for his lead.
There was plenty of cloud and driving rain in 2017 to make things wild.


The riders take to practice on some lovely single track.
This lovely slice of single track may not be in the race this year, but the folks a Freeride Madeira have been hard at work cooking up some nice new stages.


With a handful of stages finishing right in town we can expect to see some crowds getting rowdy in sections.
With a handful of stages finishing right in town we can expect to see some crowds getting rowdy in sections.

That Madeira dirt though.....
That Madeira dirt though.....

That quintessential Madeira view. We can t wait to get racing on this ridge line.
That quintessential Madeira view. We can't wait to get racing on this ridgeline.

Sven Martin always trying to up the ante.
Sven Martin, always trying to up the ante.

Massive mountains right out of the ocean make Madeira a truly unique island locations
Massive mountains right out of the ocean make Madeira a truly unique island location.

The classic cliffside views of stage 7
The classic cliffside views of stage 7

Water and riders heading into town at the end of stage 7
Water and riders heading into town at the end of stage 7

Even the liaisons here follow some beautiful terrain.
Even the liaisons here follow some beautiful terrain.

Loose and dusty stage one is going to be a rowdy good time.
Loose and dusty stage one is going to be a rowdy good time.

Dave takes the last few dusty corners on stage two which may be the roughest stage of the race.
Dave takes the last few dusty corners on stage two, which may be the roughest stage of the race.

Bebe and James Parkin descend a foggy Gamble trail.
Bebe and James Parkin descend a foggy Gamble trail.

The final stage of the weekend will make it s way through the locals back yards to finish right in town.
The final stage of the weekend will make its way through the locals' backyards to finish right in town.

Hopefully riders do not get distracted by the views that they will encounter on Day 1.
Hopefully riders do not get distracted by the views that they will encounter on Day 1.

If you blow some corners on stage 2 you might end up in the ocean.
If you blow some corners on stage 2, you might end up in the ocean.

Chris Ball surfing the dust on stage 1.
Chris Ball surfing the dust on stage 1.

Dave lets it slide as he rides to the Atlantic.
Dave lets it slide as he rides to the Atlantic.

Tommy Caldwell pushed through the dust on stage one.
Tommy Caldwell pushed through the dust on stage 1.

The dust here is real right now and will be a real problem for riders if they get to close to one another in practice
The dust here is real right now, and will be a real problem for riders if they get to close to one another in practice.

SO much dust on stage 1
SO much dust on stage 1.

Definitely not muddy in Madeira this year.
Definitely not muddy in Madeira this year.

Stage 1 is tight trees up top before dropping out in to some rocky open bits above town.
Stage 1 is tight trees up top before dropping out in to some rocky open bits above town.

Dave has a dust uni-brow and a pretty big smile after sampling some Madeira dirt.
Dave has a dust uni-brow and a pretty big smile after sampling some Madeira dirt.









Pedro Burns Burns is flying the TFR flag solo this week. He found the upper elevations to be similar to his home in Chile .
The time to goof around is over, let's get to the business of racing.



17 Comments

  • + 14
 What an island , god I miss the open restaurants eating beef skewers and drinking red wine listening to the local music watching dancers dancing ! Wish I’d hired a bike but will next time :d
  • + 2
 I was on Madeira back in 2015...wish I could go back every year! Beautiful place!
  • + 5
 Espatadas!
  • + 6
 It's going to be 7°C and rain heavy at times here. Trails still not open. What is this dust thing of which you speak?
  • + 3
 30° here in BC and all but high elev trails primo!
  • + 5
 Holy christ Sven is an absolute animal
  • + 1
 That was bad ass
  • + 3
 Went last October - now every time I plan a trip it's: 'Should I go to [x] or Madiera?"
  • + 1
 Would you recommend October? Trying to plan a trip out there and October is on the short list.
  • + 1
 @larnomx: all year is good but late spring early summer is perfect !
  • + 3
 holy smoke! that's a beauty, PinkBike Porn indeed.
  • + 3
 Is this another topless fat Gee sighting?
  • + 1
 one of the best places on earth to ride bikes i think!
  • + 1
 I'm looking to go biking there in October, can't wait!
  • + 1
 There 2 weeks ago..... get there it’s fantastic,,
  • + 1
 Beautiful!

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