It was a weekend of wild ups and downs. Cold rain. Steep, slick tracks. Mechanicals. Delays. It was all of these things combined that made this race one of the most taxing in recent memory. The raw terrain of Millau kept people on their toes, especially when the rains really started coming down. Slick narrow chutes became treacherous, the injuries started accumulating. Bike parts started failing. There was a fair amount of riders who didn't start day two after day one. We thought we might get a bit of a break from the wet last night as we went to bed, but we awoke to low-hanging dark clouds. By the time we got to the top of the hill it was raining hard, and the clay-like dirt had become greased lightning. Rae Morrison slipped a wheel on the sprint out of the gate on stage 6 which ended her day.
At the end of the day, we had a French sweep of the podium for the men and two out of three for the women. Sam Hill tried hard to find his rhythm of the French terrain. He made up time, but it wasn't enough. Greg Callaghan, with the series overall lead, struggled to come to terms with the tracks, and would ultimately give up his series lead. The big winners of the day were Adrien Dailly and Alex Cure. Alex had won the first ever EWS stage, a prolog. Today he took second place. Damien Oton was charging all weekend and took third. Cécile Ravenel. took the win for the women with Isabeau Courdurier and Anita Gehrig rounding out second and third. There were a fair number of penalties handed out over the weekend, and some not handed out because of lack of proof, the biggest issue of all was littering. Some riders thought it not fair for a penalty to be enforced at one race but not another. It's one of those things that will be watched closely the next couple rounds. Adrien Dailly was the man of the weekend taking his third win of the season and the overall.