Rider Perspective: Kilts Off At EWS 2 In Peebles, Scotland

Jun 3, 2014 at 16:34
Jun 3, 2014
by Yeti Cycles  
 
You must login to Pinkbike.
Don't have an account? Sign up

Join Pinkbike  Login

Rider Perspective Header

The second round of the Enduro World Series is now behind us. While Jared Graves suffered several crashes and struggled to find a rhythm, his teammate Richie Rude improved over his previous result by quite a margin. In the women’s race, Rosara Joseph took home an impressive 6th place. Check out Jared's account of how the race unfolded.

Yeti Images from the 2014 EWS in Scotland

After a month back home after EWS #1 in Chile and some good riding and training under my belt, it was time for EWS #2 in Scotland.

It’s fair to say that this race was one that I had been thinking about a fair bit. With the weather in Scotland (wet and cold) and the unfamiliar terrain, it was going to be a battle just to be prepared with everything you need to be self-sufficient out in the hills. It’s always a long drag to fly from Australia to Europe, and even longer to keep flying across to the UK. But, the trip was actually really good; I managed to get some good sleep and the flights weren't packed (gotta take those when you can get them!). The whole team met up at the Edinburgh airport on Monday afternoon and we had a quick drive down the road to the race venue/village in Peebles. As usual, bikes were built and a quick spin was had to check out the area.

Yeti Images from the 2014 EWS in Scotland

Yeti Images from the 2014 EWS in Scotland

Tuesday:
We had five big days ahead of us and the body was feeling pretty tired, so we spent the day trying to get over the jet lag and get some quality sleep. Shaun got our bikes dialed in and we were able to take it easy and get our bearings of the area a little more.

Yeti Images from the 2014 EWS in Scotland

Wednesday through Friday – Practice:
We had three days of practice. That may sound like a lot, but when you consider that you have almost 100km to travel on dirt roads and single track just to ride all eight race stages for the weekend, you need all the time you can get. Our plan was to try and do two runs of each course over the practice days. We accomplished our goal, but it meant 13 hours on the bike over the three days with about 90% of that time spent climbing back to the tops of hills, all while trying to stay fresh enough to be able to race at 100% on the weekend.

The trails here were definitely fun to ride, but they are far from what I consider my strengths to be. Practice was made even trickier by constantly changing weather and track conditions. But by the time the final practice run on Friday was finished, I was feeling reasonably comfortable with the practice I had done.

Yeti Images from the 2014 EWS in Scotland

Yeti Images from the 2014 EWS in Scotland

Saturday - Race Day 1:
As the sun finally came out for the first time since we had been here, I rolled out at my start time and made my way to Stage 1.  The first couple turns of Stage 1 were going to set the tone for my day to come. The bright sun for the first 200m of trail before dropping into the heavily wooded first tree section was like somebody switching out the lights…with the eyes adjusted to sunshine and then dropping straight into darkness. I could not see anything and rode straight off the track into some trees. It wasn’t a great way to start, but I knew better than to panic and try to make up lost time. The sun had turned the mud to a thick sluggish peanut butter and any small mistake was magnified by loss of momentum and time.

Yeti Images from the 2014 EWS in Scotland

Yeti Images from the 2014 EWS in Scotland

For the remainder of Stages 1 and 2, I simply struggled to find any form of flow, and small mistakes with the super tight trees meant I was losing time in every turn. To kick me a little more, I burped half my air pressure out of my front wheel halfway down Stage 2 and rode with a very low front tire, which meant even more time lost. It was just one of those days where nothing was clicking…one of those days when you want to pack up and call it a day. I’ve had plenty of those days during the past 17 years that I've been mountain biking, but they've never happened on a race day. 

Yeti Images from the 2014 EWS in Scotland

We had a break after Stage 2 and I was feeling pretty gutted with the race going terribly. But, you have to regroup, think big picture and get on with it.

Yeti Images from the 2014 EWS in Scotland

Yeti Images from the 2014 EWS in Scotland

Stage 3 was the longest and had the steepest, sloppiest, most technical sections of the weekend. I rode much better and was top-10 on the stage despite a big stall out and dismount/run on a flat section. Stage 4 should have been much better. For whatever reason, the Starter kept me in the start gate for 3-4 seconds after I was meant to leave, and then was like, "Oh, okay, off you go." It’s normally not a big deal since we have timing chips that start and stop our time as we cross the start and finish lines. But, they had issues with the electronic timing and had to switch to manual timing for the stage. This meant they started the clock on your exact designated start time. With the Starter holding me back, time had already been ticking away before I even pedaled off the line…cool deal. It was just another example of how my entire day was going.

Yeti Images from the 2014 EWS in Scotland

Sunday - Race Day 2:
The weather was holding off and things were drying out a bit for Sunday’s racing. Despite starting the day sitting in 30th position, I knew Sunday’s racing had some better stages for me. I was confident that if I rode like I normally do, I could pull back to a top-10 overall finish for the weekend and salvage some decent points.  To cut a long story short, I did just what I had hoped for. My confidence was still a bit off, but it grew with each stage and I started pushing harder and riding a lot better. I was continually getting into the rhythm of the trails, getting closer to the limit of the grip levels and racing smarter. The final stage was one of the better stages for me and I wanted to end on a high note…to leave Scotland with the confidence to carry me to the next round of the series in Europe. It went perfectly to plan and I took the stage win. It was still a disappointing weekend overall, but I had clawed my way back to 9th overall for the weekend. The Stage 8 win was the best way to finish it.

Yeti Images from the 2014 EWS in Scotland

It was cool to see Richie finding his enduro feet a bit more this weekend, and he finished Sunday’s racing with top-10 results in all of the last three stages. He's on the right track to be pushing for overall top-10's as the season continues.

Yeti team images by Sebastian Schieck at EWS 3 2014

So, all in all, it was a very up and down weekend for the team and we left with things on the upswing. The conditions and trails in Scotland were far from my strengths, but to pull some solid stage results has my head in the right place as we move back to the big open French Alps for the next round. I can't wait to get back to the massive alpine hills; it’s what it’s all about for me!

Yeti team images by Sebastian Schieck at EWS 3 2014

Bike setup:
Frame: YETI SB66c medium (yes, still 26 inch wheels)
Fork: 2015 Fox Float 36, 75psi
Shock: Fox Float X, 175psi
Wheels: DT Swiss, 240 straight pull hubs, aerolite spokes, EX 471 rims
Tires: Front - Maxxis Shorty 2.3 EXO 3C prototype, 25psi.   Rear -  Maxxis Minion DHR2, 3C EXO, 28psi
Brakes Shimano XTR 987 Carbon Race levers, Saint calipers, 180mm rotors
Cranks: Shimano XTR 170mm
Power meter - Stages XTR with Garmin Edge 500 head unit.
Derailleur: Shimano XTR Shadow Plus
Pedals: Shimano XTR Trail
Chainguide: E-13 TRS
Chainring: – Shimano Saint 36t
Bar/Stem: – Renthal FatBar Lite Carbon, 740mm/Renthal prototype stem 60mm
Seat/seatpost: Thomson Elite Dropper, WTB Devo Yeti team edition
Grips: ODI Troy Lee Designs.
Headset: Chis King

yeticycles.com
Must Read This Week






38 Comments

  • + 28
 I love these first person recaps! I find myself rooting for Jared because of them. He comes off as such a normal, likable dude. Keep up the good work! Best of luck going forward. I will be pulling for ya!
  • + 8
 I rode in the E1 category too, which was probably a mistake as I was at the edge of my ability!
heres my rider perspective
rode the UKGE round at innerliethen the week before so traveled up on thursday with the wife and kids from london (7hr drive)
ukge practice friday, qualifying saturday, race sunday, very wet, mudy and steep did ok, but not great,
family sightseeing monday, tuesday, family bike ride wednesday towing kids in trailer! thursday- practice did the 4 stages at caberston/ innerleithen,- all very steep. wet and sketchy and stage 5 at glentress was more less gnarly.
Friday; rest
It has to be said that of the 350+ entrants in the E1 category at least 80 didnt actually race, dunno whether through injury, mechanical or just plain shitting their pants at the steep stages and tough transitions?
Saturday- transition were long and tight 50km, lots of looong climbs, raced very poorly, kept panicking and grabbing the brakes on the wet roots and mustve crashed about 4 times on each stage
Sunday- transitions still tough only 37km but more climbing, happier on the trails, washed out on a corner on stage 1 but held it together for the rest of the day, trails were drier faster and more fun, did ok but got overtaken by my 20 second man on stage 2- dh racer Fergus Lamb and tried to follow him, ended up binning it at high speed and loosing quite a bit of time.
204th out of 230
Overall disappointed at my lack of skills and fitness, but pleased to have raced with the likes of graves, lau, maes, moseley, chausson, peat and gracia and made it round the same course as all of them!
bike
kona process 153
1x10 30t RF narrow wide with mrp upper guide
light bicycle carbon rims on pro2 hubs
hpe m4 race evo brakes
HR2s
ks dropzone
  • + 1
 atually crashed on stage 4 not 2 and my shoulder is now a big bruise
  • + 9
 Always the consummate professional. I look forward to these race recaps and bike setup notes almost as much as the racing.
  • + 9
 *patiently awaits fellow 26er fanboys* :3
  • + 8
 Yay. Pictures and words.
  • + 12
 Not sure if you're being sarcastic, but if not I definitely agree. Weird as it is, videos get boring. More fun to read and check pics
  • + 2
 I agree. Especially these write ups. Gives us an inside look.
  • + 4
 Yep I find my self skipping more and more videos and having far more interest in well written articles
  • + 2
 love hearing the pro's views, Jared really is a top ten rider but i think, in my opinion, he's lacking something with his riding style, his background is 4X, big Jumps, generally smooth tracks with some rock features thrown in to mix it up, he's also a top Olympian in BMX, again smooth tracks with jumps.Everybody knows in these disciplines its all about the snap out of the gate, if you get that right then your'e pretty much guaranteed a spot on the podium, He's had a go at DH and where did he do best...(3rd) Pietermaritzburg in South Africa, well known for being very pedally, he even did it on his AM bike because it suited this track and him better.I.E. lots of pedalling
I was at this event marshalling (EWS Scotland) and the tracks were the same for every rider, the first day was at Innerleithen in which the first 2 stages of Off Piste trails were used....very steep, muddy, rooty, off camber, very technical in nature with not much opportunity to get a pedal stroke in, which is why...in my opinion...he probably struggled, Day 2 was at Glentress and this probably suited him better because lots of it were part of the bike trails that everybody uses, so again plenty opportunity to get the pedal strokes in.
Enduro racing is about having all round excellent bike handling skills and if your strongest point is pedalling then you will struggle sometimes due to the nature of the stages I.E. the steep, muddy,rooty,sections....surely he must realise that if he wants to be on the top step of the podium he will have to get the practice in on the really hard stuff.
Still, saying all this i hope he proves me wrong because i i do like him as a rider and he comes across as a really descent bloke
  • + 1
 kevcar,
IMO I think that Jared's main problem for this EWS was a mental one, not his bike handling skills. It was a big opportunity for him to take the lead in the series, and it seems to me he went really hard right out of the start gate and blew the 1st corner, on exactly the type of trail he might have backed off on just slightly....One thing followed another, and then he was really struggling. I don't know about anyone else but when I feel my body "stiffening up" after a couple of mishaps or falls I know I am in some sort of trouble for that day. In the pressure of a multi stage, very difficult endure it would be very difficult to recover from.

He did well to come back on day 2, albeit on trails that more suited him.

He will come back. He is too good not to
  • + 1
 Beerhunter You may be right also, i know that feeling, if it doesn't go right on the first corner well that's it all over really, France next so we'll see, he says it suits him better, more open mountainous terrain, if he wins here, great, makes for an interesting series, loving it so far,
  • + 1
 Kevcar43: that's a valid observation, but remember that he crushed the last stage of the whistler EWS (also well in other stages), which has shit your pants steep bits and extremely rough.

Off day with tough conditions can make a really off day
  • + 2
 Kevcar has this spot on I think. I've stood at the top of some of the Inners trails and they are ridiculous. It's not just steep and rough, it's twisty too and that will really sap any flow you have if you get it wrong. I wouldn't be surprised if the top guys were hardly pedalling at all a lot of the time. At GT they were on the trail centre trails for a lot of the racing. For a pro these are easy and suit guys who can put down serious power, like Jared.
  • + 1
 Prospacker ? just about the steepest trail in the valley,starts off not bad then you hit the undulating forest floor, then the tight twisty stuff with barely enough room for 750mm wide bars, no flow whatsoever, that what your talking about ?
  • + 1
 I think so, to be honest all the off-piste stuff looks very steep to me! Need to get shown around sometime, maybe wait until it dries out a bit though. GT was soaked today.
  • + 1
 Going to GT tomorrow night, get my Endoooro heid on lol
  • + 1
 Take some dry stuff with you, I just did the red and ended up with two sealskins full of water and now have a pair of 5:10s stuffed full of newspaper. I was tempted to do the final stage but thought I'd leave it for a couple of weeks.

Did you know you can fit a full Herald into a pair of 5:10s...
  • + 1
 how are your Sun mammoth wheels taking the abuse, ( i remembered :-) )
  • + 1
 Hahaha, very well so far and the purple Hopes certainly get a lot of comments :-) At least it makes me recognisable out there!
  • + 1
 I'm curious as to why he's not running an e-13 narrow wide ring and ditching the guide?

Weather it's a lack of confidence in the n/w ring or if the shimano contract prohibits it?

Always an interesting read anyway! Love these!
  • + 3
 Or they don't work as well as marketed
  • + 3
 Because a thrown chain in a race run equals not winning.. Ive thrown my chain several times with a RF narrow wide and clutch derailleur...adding a top guide
  • + 1
 Good answer, I also own a NW ring and have never dropped a chain, hence the curiosity.
  • + 1
 About the dropped chain thing, lots of riders were using a 1x10 or11 set up with a NW up front, clutch mech on the rear, some with some kind of guide some without and i still saw lots of dropped chains.....i have it too and so far its been spot on but then again im not a racer. Put these sytems in certain situations and they still fail so it isnt foolproof
  • + 4
 Everyone now will run their fork at 75psi and shock at 175psi.
  • + 1
 I'm embarrassed to say what I run my fork and shock at on my SB66c. Any idea how much Mr. Graves is weighing these days?
  • + 1
 pretty much all the top racers run a guide, even with xx1, n/w works well but the tracks are rough, their speeds are insane and you cant afford a mechanical in a race run
  • + 2
 26" so Enduro!

Jared rock's good to see Justin J-LO doing do well, Kiwi vs Aussie braaap!
  • + 1
 excellent. not a bunch of hooha about bits and widgits...its about mindset, conditions and riding.... like salespunk said "consumate pro" ...
  • + 2
 Richie rude places way better than before on a techy/steep/Dh track , give the kid a DH bike and get him back on the WC
  • + 3
 what do you expect using old-fashioned wheels? *ducks* Big Grin
  • + 2
 YEEES!! "still 26 inch wheels" He knows what is goodSmile
  • + 2
 It's pretty cool to see that even pros get stymied by course conditions.
  • + 1
 Totally sweet. With words, numbers and set up. Id love more set up data
  • + 2
 Quality....
Below threshold threads are hidden

Post a Comment



Copyright © 2000 - 2017. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv56 0.042479
Mobile Version of Website