bigquotesMeet the new boss, same as the old boss...

After all of the uncertainty and excitement about form coming into this weekend, it could almost feel like an anti-climax to see Jerome Clementz and Anne-Caroline Chausson sitting atop the timing sheets tonight. But that sells short the drama of what happened today. In the men's race there were five winners in seven stages, with frontrunners falling by the wayside as the day went on and the man standing on the third step of the podium has never even raced an EWS before. In the women's race Tracy Moseley and Anne-Caroline Chausson showed that the knife-edge battle for the title we saw last year isn't looking like it will cool in the slightest this year. So while the result may be familiar the road there is anything but as the first ever EWS race in New Zealand proved itself a thorough test of body and bike for riders all the way through the field.



It was an early start this morning with the first amateurs heading off in the dark at 7am.
It was an early start this morning, with the first amateurs heading off in the dark at 7am.

Anne-Caroline Chausson searching for a moment of calm before the day ahead of her.
Anne-Caroline Chausson searching for a moment of calm before the day ahead of her.
While Tracy Moseley looked slightly more apprehensive ahead of the start.
While Tracy Moseley looked slightly more apprehensive ahead of the start.

Before the pro men took to the course there was a performance of the Haka to set the mood for the day.
Before the pro men took to the course there was a performance of the Haka to set the mood for the day.

Starting off amidst the steaming geothermal vents at Te Puia. It is a truly magical place to hold an enduro.
Starting off amidst the steaming geothermal vents at Te Puia. It is a truly magical place to hold an enduro.

Jerome s custom one off jersey for the New Zealand EWS
Jerome's custom one off jersey for the New Zealand EWS

Wyn Masters may want us to think its all fun and games all of the time but we know he has been doing some serious training this off season.
Wyn Masters may want us to think its all fun and games all of the time, but we know he has been doing some serious training this off season.

Joe Barnes had a crash on stage one that he just never seemed to recover from but he came across the finish line looking damn fast.
Joe Barnes had a crash on stage one that he just never seemed to recover from, but he came across the finish line looking damn fast.

Crankworx Rotorua EWS 1
Bryan Regnier is dwarfed by the ferns.

Cecile Ravanel has the most aggressive style of the whole womens field and it propelled her to yet another third place finish today. On the finish line there was some timing confusion and the announcers gave her the win only for it to be taken away from her when the times were corrected later.
Cecile Ravanel has the most aggressive style of the whole women's field and it propelled her to yet another third place finish today. On the finish line there was some timing confusion and the announcers gave her the win, only for it to be taken away from her when the times were corrected later.

Crankworx Rotorua EWS 1
Sarah Leishman, aka Leishner's day didn't end too well, she dislocated her shoulder on stage six.

 I did one f k of a ride. Those were Fabiens words about his performance on stages six and seven. He was a little off the pace early in the day but finished strongly to claim the second spot.
"I did one f**k of a ride." Those were Fabien's words about his performance on stages six and seven. He was a little off the pace early in the day, but finished strongly to claim the second spot.

Crankworx Rotorua EWS 1
Nico Quere taming the endless roots.

Joe Barnes was less than pleased with himself this evening 19th place is not what he is aiming for these days. Especially as he felt the technical tight nature of these tracks would play to his strengths.
Joe Barnes was less than pleased with himself this evening, 19th place is not what he is aiming for these days. Especially as he felt the technical, tight nature of these tracks would play to his strengths.

Crankworx Rotorua EWS 1
Anka Martin was the first rider to come through and make this tricky knot of roots look manageable.

The tracks in Rotorua started to dry out by the end of the day and speeds picked up. There was even a bit of roost from time to time.
The tracks in Rotorua started to dry out by the end of the day, and speeds picked up. There was even a bit of roost from time to time.

Yoann Barelli didn t have a good day in the office today his times weren t where he hoped they would be early on then on stage four he had a nasty incident that lead to a torn calf muscle.
Yoann Barelli didn't have a good day in the office today; his times weren't where he hoped they would be early on, then on stage four he had a nasty incident that lead to a torn calf muscle.

Crankworx Rotorua EWS 1
Somehow Damien Oton managed to hold this. We have no idea how. An eighth today isn't a bad start to his 2015 campaign, but we would wager he was hoping for more.

Fast consistent. The more DH-oriented nature of many of the tracks he in Rotorua clearly played to Anne-Caroline Chaussons strengths.
Fast, consistent. The more DH-oriented nature of many of the tracks here in Rotorua clearly played to Anne-Caroline Chaussons strengths.

Bulldog looking pinned as always.
It was a creditable 17th today for Brook Macdonald.

Crankworx Rotorua EWS 1
Jerome Clementz was not just going for stage wins, but liaison domination too today.

While there are some DH riders who are a bit down on enduro Sam Hill isn t one of them and apparently he has been keen to have a go at some enduro racing for a while now. Crossing the finish line he still seemed pretty fresh asking Enrico Guala if they could have more stages next time... And on the final more DH-style stage he smoked everyone on his signature flat pedals.
While there are some DH riders who are a bit down on enduro, Sam Hill isn't one of them and apparently he has been keen to have a go at some enduro racing for a while now. Crossing the finish line he still seemed pretty fresh, asking Enrico Guala if they could have more stages next time... And on the final, more DH-style stage he smoked everyone on his signature flat pedals.

Martin Maes is making steady gains. He left off last season with some very solid results and has come into this season looking better than ever.
Martin Maes is making steady gains. He left off last season with some very solid results, and has come into this season looking better than ever.

Crankworx Rotorua EWS 1
Things didn't go to plan for Curtis Keene today and in the end he retired before stage seven.

Lorraine Truong seems to be taking to her new factory team well this year posting a solid eighth place today.
Lorraine Truong seems to be taking to her new, factory team well this year, posting a solid eighth place today.

Adam Craig foot out and... mostly flat out.
Adam Craig foot out and... mostly flat out on his way to twelfth.

This trail side snack will have you thinking the world is all rainbows and unicorns and then you ll be rather ill.
This trail side snack will have you thinking the world is all rainbows and unicorns, and then you'll be rather ill.

Crankworx Rotorua EWS 1
Maes has been looking fast all week, but he could only convert that pace to eighteenth on the day.

Crankworx Rotorua EWS 1
Nico Vouilloz, ET, the only man who can ride flatout with his eyes closed... He was happy with a solid sixth place today.

Jesse Melamed has been all business all week not more sketchy hucking for the cameras it seems. Over the winter he has been putting in the work on his fitness and he narrowly missed out on a top 20 today.
Jesse Melamed has been all business all week, not more sketchy hucking for the cameras, it seems. Over the winter he has been putting in the work on his fitness and he narrowly missed out on a top 20 today.

Crankworx Rotorua EWS 1
Rosara Joseph was unlucky to only get seventh today, issues on stage three hurt her chances of a top five finish on her home soil.

Florian Nicolai was charging hard all day. Though seven challenging stages his form and speed remained top notch.
Florian Nicolai was charging hard all day. We pegged him for top five or better today, and he bagged fifth... If he didn't flat on the final stage it could have been even better. He's definitely one to watch this season.

Crankworx Rotorua EWS 1
According to Iago Garay, hucking is the new enduro.

Dan Atherton was pushing hard through the dark woods of stage one this morning.
Dan Atherton was pushing hard through the dark woods of stage one this morning.

Wyn Masters held out first place in the stages and had the home court advantage here in Rotorua.
Anybody who follows the DH World Cup knows how fast Wyn Masters is, even if he has maybe never quite had the results his talent deserves. When downhillers cross over to enduro they tend to have no shortage of raw pace, but struggle on the overalls on sheer fitness. Wyn shattered that mold today, and maybe also shattered the freewheeling image he has built for himself. Quite simply, to put in a result like this you need to be seriously fit - smashing out a few downhill laps then heading for a beer won't get you to this end of the field. And for the home fans in New Zealand, to see one of their own on the podium is a big deal. He says he will be back racing the EWS at round three - after today there will be a lot of people excited to see what he can do.

Justin Leov started strongly this morning winning stage two.
Justin Leov started strongly this morning, winning stage two.

Jerome Clementz noticed that we weren t too sure about his chances in yesterdays article. Talking about his winter form he explained that he had been putting in a lot of fitness work so was racing fatigued. This week he was fresh and ready though and proved beyond doubt that last years industry is behind him and he knows better than anybody else how to win enduro races.
Jerome Clementz noticed that we weren't too sure about his chances in yesterday's article. Talking about his winter form he explained that he had been putting in a lot of fitness work, so was racing fatigued. This week he was fresh and ready though, and proved beyond doubt that last years injury is behind him and he knows better than anybody else how to win enduro races.

Vouilloz and Barelli have a chat before the transfer between stages four and five. Barelli injured his calf and decided to pull out of the race.
Vouilloz and Barelli have a chat before the transfer between stages four and five.

While things may not quite have gone Tracy Moseleys way today she was swapping seconds with Anne-Caroline all day in a race that she felt didn t suit her too well and the next two rounds in Ireland and Scotland look set to be more her cup of tea.
While things may not quite have gone Tracy Moseley's way today, she was swapping seconds with Anne-Caroline all day in a race that she felt didn't suit her too well and the next two rounds in Ireland and Scotland look set to be more her cup of tea.

Fabien Barrel came back this year with a bang. For me this track is much different than what I m used to. I come from a place that is dry and rocky. I didn t expect to do well here but I think because I kept lucidity and was mindful not to make mistakes it made all the difference for me. Then on stages six and seven I could go full gas.
Fabien Barrel came back this year with a bang. "For me, this track is much different than what I'm used to. I come from a place that is dry, and rocky. I didn't expect to do well here, but I think because I kept lucidity, and was mindful not to make mistakes, it made all the difference for me. Then on stages six and seven, I could go full gas."

Anneke Beerten finished today in what must be a familiar-feeling fourth place.
Anneke Beerten finished today in what must be a familiar-feeling fourth place.

Clementz wasn t leaving anything on the table as he dropped towards the line on the lower section of the DH track.
Clementz wasn't leaving anything on the table as he dropped towards the line on the lower section of the DH track.

Fabien Barel signs autographs for young fans.
Fabien Barel signs autographs for young fans.

Ever the sportsman Justin Leov congratulates Jerome on his win. It was fourth today for Justin but his consistency is clearly there once more with front-running times in six of the seven stages and were it not for the 16 seconds he dropped on stage five he would have right up at the sharp end come podium time.
Ever the sportsman, Justin Leov congratulates Jerome on his win. It was fourth today for Justin, but his consistency is clearly there once more with front-running times in six of the seven stages, and were it not for the 16 seconds he dropped on stage five he would have right up at the sharp end come podium time.

After a long road back to good health Jerome Clements had plenty to smile about at the end of the day.
After a long road back to good health, Jerome Clementz had plenty to smile about at the end of the day.

It was a long tough day today - there is only one righteous type of refreshement for that sort of situation.
It was a long, tough day today - there is only one righteous type of refreshment for that sort of situation.

We re back and it s good to be here. While we didn t ride the stages today for coverage the media camaraderie is like no place else here in the EWS. It s good the roll with such a merry band of pirates.
We're back, and it's good to be here. While we didn't ride the stages today for coverage, the media camaraderie is like no place else here in the EWS. It's good to roll with such a merry band of pirates.



117 Comments

  • + 187
 Some fantastic photos there, props to the photographers.
  • + 59
 The pink bike photography crew are amazing at bringing the events to the fans.
  • - 13
flag steve9train (Mar 28, 2015 at 12:13) (Below Threshold)
 black and white pics with red mushrooms is too Enduro
  • + 1
 That pic of Jerome's smile made my day. So proud and his win is well deserved.
  • + 4
 props if the photographer ate the aminita muscaria...
  • + 3
 Agreed. These photographers have delivered.
  • + 4
 Yeiiiii.....mexican beer in New Zeland !!!!!!! thats a long way from home. Cheers
  • + 3
 Super photography here indeed! That shot of Damien Oton is absolutely sick!!
  • + 55
 SAM HILL!!!
  • + 4
 I'll second that.
  • + 5
 Sam for World champ
  • + 20
 9th place ! on flat pedals !
  • + 3
 He won stage 7! Impressive
  • + 2
 Ninth!!!!! Go on flatboy. Has he got bionic calves?
  • + 1
 Hill CRUSHED it!!!
  • + 40
 Didn't expect to see Sam Hill beat riders like Adam Craig in his first ews, impressive.
  • + 15
 Wyn Masters in 3rd as well. Likely a little home-court advantage, but he still had to race his runs against some stiff competition. Mad props to both!!
  • + 4
 Call me out if I'm way off the mark but I'm hearing comments of 'fitter than ever' about Sam, so, if a top downhill gets the fitness, they're gonna do well right? Skills? Check. Fitness? Check. Is there an 'enduro tactical' mind that must be achieved? Nonetheless, mental first result. In reality, was there anyone else in the entire field on flats? Let alone top ten. In fact, has anyone ever been crazy enough to race pro enduro on flat pedals?
  • + 1
 I think Maes is still on flats.
  • + 1
 Nope, he uses CB Mallet 3 normally (didn't check it in the pics. But that is what he normally uses. Rode his bike once Wink )
  • + 19
 Meggie Bichard, 5th in ladies, privateer, but not a photo or minor mention here. I wonder how many more times this year she will have to put in a top 5 before people start to take notice. Watch this space......
  • + 2
 I have to be honest I don't know about Meggie,but PB should definately do a privateers section on all the EWS stuff (and DH, although the nature of DH makes the likelihood of a top placing that much more difficult Important) to raise a few profiles and give a bit of those doing the races off their own backs a bit of extra prestige.
  • + 16
 I'm happy for Jerome, especially since he dropped Monster earlier.
  • + 12
 The photos are amazing. Thank you for the great report!
  • + 5
 Tracks and racing looking frickin awesome. Stoked to see pics of Fab signing things for the kids, and Justin congratulating Jerome - I'm sure he was hungry for a win here. It's nice to know that the rockstars of our sport are so down to earth.
  • + 4
 Kiwis are sure fun to be around cheering! Smile
At stage 1, whenever a rider has fallen, he would be counted 1 to 10, shouted "Get Up Mate!", or played a happy birthday tune from a megaphone.
At one point, when 2 riders are coming, one went down, everyone is cheering with all hands and fists waving, ALL IN UTTER SILENCE you can only hear the tires and crickets! Only when the rider asked "Where's the noise people?" that everyone started shouting! Hahaha!
  • + 5
 So, a few DH guys running some EWS races this year...

Hill, MacDonald, and...?

Are there any XC guys racing Enduro? And I do mean currently active on the XC circuit, much like the DH guys above...
  • + 2
 Marco Aurelio Fontana and Manuel Fumic, both part of the Cannondale XCO World Cup team, raced the last EWS in Finale last year. Looks like Fontana got 39th and Fumic got 42nd. They are quick but not Graves, Clementz, Otton, Lau quick.
  • - 1
 Blinki
  • + 1
 nino schurter also raced in finale EWS and he was so fast!!
  • + 1
 Wyn Masters took 3rd!
  • + 3
 um I thought BradJ and crew said there were no rocks in RotoVegas? myth busted, great shots (@Justin Leovs pic, this is minor section of Rock, compared to all of RHPS)

Fabian awesome


Curtis got his arse handed to him eh,

Wyns a dam legend


SamHill wanted more a said it before dam shame they dropped the lower section of the EWS track of Rocky Horror as he and Fabian who was missing his home of rock would have ate it up, some of the steepest and narliest rock going, very Canadian bacon like, my fav section in whole forest too, Sam would have had his wish!

Id like some closer looks a tire choices, just seeing how some struggled on Stage 1 Kataore, Hatupatu stage and EWS, Id say to lower profile, these guys gals are insanely skilled and I've ridden those all in the wet clipped in, abeit not at theyre pace, I wish.

Still piccs are amazing!
  • + 3
 Magic Marys (Magic Marker if your tire sponsor isn't Schwalbe) all around....
  • + 1
 You have to wonder about the psychology behind tire marketing. The tire gets more attention (ie: on pinkbike) if it's blacked out. Tire company would be better off giving out blacked out tires than regular ones! Wonder if this happens?
  • + 8
 Flat pedals ninth !!
  • - 18
flag b26-4-Life (Mar 28, 2015 at 9:05) (Below Threshold)
 shoulda clipped in, wouldve gone better!
  • + 13
 I think every person who managed to come to some average level of riding and beyond, may wish to free his shoe/pedal related part of the brain occupied with arguments for one of those idiotic debates. Then he may fill the cleared space with thoughts of keeping his heels down and supple at all times. In this way he will greatly improve his riding.
  • + 9
 Did you lick the photo of the mushroom?
  • + 4
 No Lurch, I found one and stuck it up my bottom for quicker and more flamboyant effect. Chopper Reid says Hi!
  • + 4
 I was just thinking to myself the other day that the best part about 27.5" wheels and Boost 148 is that nobody cares about pedal choice anymore. My mistake, LOL. (For the curious, I ride flats. Always.)

Stoked to see Sam Hill in the top 10, regardless of pedals.
  • + 4
 They have different advantages for different riding styles. end of story.
  • + 2
 I just decided to make this comment to refute yours..."end of story" I think not!
  • + 4
 you're not part of the story
  • + 6
 Great photojournalism! They really told a good story
  • + 3
 I raced this and flat pedals would probably have helped. Tracks went from awkward, treacherous and pedally to flat out DH tracks. So greasy And tricky I was clipping out a lot.
  • + 3
 That Yoann Barelli huck- what is this, Rampage? That ain't Enduro. Actually, it's some nice framing by the photographer, but it's a sick shot!
  • + 4
 Thanks Pinkbike for the fantastic coverage of the event! The video quality of the live broadcast, the pics, the interviews!
  • + 3
 Awesome. Can't wait to endurolise my local spots, could just do with the weather getting on board with this BST thing and I'm all over it.
  • + 1
 "Wyn Masters may want us to think its all fun and games all of the time, but we know he has been doing some serious training this off season" heh, also assisted by this not actually being the off season in NZ Smile
  • + 4
 Curtis Keene on Maxxis Shorty's with blacked out logos...
  • + 0
 You have to wonder about the psychology behind tire marketing. The tire gets more attention (ie: on pinkbike) if it's blacked out. Tire company would be better off giving out blacked out tires than regular ones! Wonder if this happens?
  • - 1
 Was this comment worth making twice in the same comments section?
  • + 1
 Yeah I was putting a donk on it just to make a point...
  • + 2
 I was referring to B650wagon's tire psychology comment. I think it's really very interesting Keen was on the Shorty's. Doesn't look like they helped him much.
  • + 1
 Shorty + Mary = .......... Donk?
  • + 1
 Sorry Donk I was being a bit snippy there. Couldn't help but laugh at 650's reply though!

Racers will use a tyre that they think will give them an advantage or at least put them on the same performance/grip level as their peers even if it means potentially ruffling sponsors feathers by running another manufacturers tyre with logo blacked out. This has been going on as long as there has been racing.

Having run both Shortys and all of Specialized newest tyres I can see why Curtis Keene chose to go with Maxxis. It was definitely a course for Shortys but unfortunately as you said it didn't seem to help him much anyway!

Oh and the "putting a donk on it" was reference to a classic/cultish/awful British techno tune from the late 2000's. Obscure I know! I've got to put a link in to it now: youtu.be/ckMvj1piK58
  • + 1
 It's likely the case but maybe there is more to the story? More hype is created if racers use blacked out tires vs their sponsor's tires. If racers are willing to use a competing brand's tire blacked out, fans assume it's because they are kick ass tires. I'm just suggesting that companies would have incentive to get pro riders to ride their tires blacked out, maybe even more than regular sponsor. At the end of the day they want to sell as many tires as possible.
  • + 3
 Well done on the photo essay - great job capturing the essence of this event.
  • + 4
 Awesome pics, props to the photographers
  • + 4
 Excellent report!
  • + 2
 Jerome is back with a vengeance from last year's injury! Too bad Graves wasn't around on this stage.
  • + 3
 Awsome pictures !. Very hight quality Smile
  • + 1
 I wonder how Jerome would get on if you dumped him in a world cup dh race? Sam doing enduro got me thinking.
  • + 1
 Amazing photos. Curtis Keene has now more material for his next over dramatic RedBull video series.....
  • + 1
 when i see the pic of nic vouilloz i tell myself wow enduro looks so fun you can even sleep in your race run
  • + 1
 Still blown away by Wyn's result. That's an amazing result against a stacked field...
  • + 2
 What is this thing vouilloz has on his left wrist?
  • + 4
 looks like a support he may have a wrist injury he is recovering from
  • + 2
 spirit of enduro is strong here... jandals and all
  • + 1
 Where are the full results? Slacking pinkbike.
  • + 1
 Jerome just made me go buy a jekyll
  • + 1
 Very professional! The scenery is very beautiful! Great man!
  • + 1
 Curtis Keene's front wheel lookes cooked!
  • + 2
 Did Dan atherton bin it?
  • + 2
 Yeah Dan crashed.
  • + 1
 Great Photos but whats up with the Skinny guy doing the HAKA?
  • + 5
 Occasionally we let one join in just for kicks.
  • + 7
 There should be a routine called HUCKA
  • + 1
 Was Curtis injured or was it a mechanical?
  • + 1
 looks like he taco'd his front wheel in the photo, doubt that helped.

GC got 10th!! dan 37th jasus, not bad for a kid ;o)

www.enduroworldseries.com/downloads/results/2015/New%20Zealand%20-%20Giant%20Toa%20Enduro.pdf
  • + 2
 Yeah looking at that pic again I think you're right. It's a shame but plenty or rounds left! I hope he does the On Track video series again this year!
  • + 2
 Hows Cedric?
  • + 1
 Looks like he finished 40th.
  • + 1
 Pretty sure he was plagued with punctures, got one almost every round.
  • + 1
 Damn, Dan Atherton was on for a solid top 10 going by his stage times
  • + 0
 hahahahahha buried bike for curtis keen
  • + 1
 J.F.P !
  • + 1
 Wyn-dur-bro!!! Smile
  • + 0
 I take it that most riders were on 650b, were there any 26 or 29ers?
  • + 1
 Justin leov and tracy moseley on 29er trek remedy..
  • + 1
 Great photos!
  • + 1
 mmm Fly Agaric tasty
  • - 1
 Dan Atherton? One pic but nothing else...
  • + 6
 Crashed and didn't finish the race
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