Photo Epic: New Beginnings - EWS Zermatt 2020

Aug 27, 2020
by Matthew DeLorme  



We start essentially where we left off last season. The world has obviously changed quite drastically since then, and here we are finally back at the races at the end of August. It's a bit strange to be honest. There is the feeling of things being almost normal, until the reality of the times we live in smack you in the face. Seeing old friends and going in for a hug only to remember you are wearing a mask and must retain six feet of distance. There's hand sanitizer at the entrance to the closed pits and bubbles within bubbles to keep us all safe. The excitement is there but turned down a notch or two. A feeling of caution.

News of illness has us all a bit more on edge, but the affected people have quarantined themselves and are awaiting test results before further measures can be taken. To be honest, enduro is the perfect format of racing during a Covid-19 pandemic since there's a bit of distance that's always maintained in the first place. Chris Ball and company have been working around the clock to pull this off, and given the latest spate of inter-EU travel restrictions, it's amazing to see it all come together. They have done an incredible job pulling this all off with grace.

But there are still those things, or people, who are glaringly missing - Sam Hill and Richie Rude are clearly the most obvious. Sam Hill made a solid decision not to travel with the help and blessing of Nigel Page. For Richie Rude, it was down to travel restrictions. Pedro Burns is also missing, because of said restrictions. Ines Thoma is missing due to a thyroid issue and we wish her a speedy recovery. How the Covid crisis has affected the privateers remains to be seen.

But enough of the doom and gloom. In the end, we have returned to racing, and it feels damn good to be here in the mountains of Switzerland, and a bow or an elbow bump will suffice. We have four stages of racing coming at us, a bit of foul weather in the forecast and we can't wait to get amongst it.


The pits are contained by fencing no fans allowed. The pits have an erie quiet about them. Not that EWS were quite the hustle and bustle of World Cup pits but it is a noticeably different atmosphere.
The pits are contained by fencing, no fans allowed. The pits have an eerie quiet about them. Not that EWS have quite the hustle and bustle of World Cup pits, but it is a noticeably different atmosphere.

Welcome to the new world of racing. Like everything else effected by Covid-19 it s a all about masks 6ft of distance and frequent hand washing and or hand sanitizer.
Welcome to the new world of racing. Like everything else affected by Covid-19, it's a all about masks, 6 ft of distance, and frequent hand washing, and / or hand sanitizer.

While this photo is a little tongue in cheek it is the reality of getting audio for bike checks. Phone at arms length 6 feet of distance and raised voices.
While this photo is a little tongue in cheek, it is the reality of getting audio for bike checks. Phone at arms length, 6 feet of distance, and raised voices.

For now this is the new norm. We must keep each other safe.
For now, this is the new norm. We must keep each other safe.

Chris Ball head of the EWS keys us squids in on safety protocols for the season. It s been a rapidly evolving situation and Chris Ball and the EWS staff have been working round the clock to adapt and be sure we are as safe as can possibly be.
Chris Ball, head of the EWS, keys us squids in on safety protocols for the season. It's been a rapidly evolving situation and Chris Ball and the EWS staff have been working around the clock to adapt and be sure we are as safe as can possibly be.

Interviews will be done from 6ft of distance. When it comes to racers that means a boom mic.
Interviews will be done from 6ft of distance. When it comes to racers, that means a boom mic.

Sam Hill you will be sorely missed be well champ.
Sam Hill, you will be sorely missed, be well champ.

ALN suffered a crash in shakedown that required several stitches It remains to be seen if she will race this weekend.
ALN suffered a crash in Shakedown that required several stitches. It remains to be seen if she will race this weekend.

Maes Rude and Hill. Two of these men are missing for the shortened season.
Maes, Rude, and Hill. Two of these men are missing for the shortened season.

Isabeau Courdurier and Sam Hill were the champions last year and Isabeau is still in prime shape to dominate Sam will be missing which will make for and interesting battle between Florian Nicolai Adrien Dailly and Martin Maes. Kevin Miquel is one who could really come out swinging at this first round as well.
Isabeau Courdurier and Sam Hill were the champions last year, and Isabeau is still in prime shape to dominate. Sam will be missing, which will make for an interesting battle between Florian Nicolai, Adrien Dailly, and Martin Maes. Kevin Miquel is one who could really come out swinging at this first round as well.

Richie Rude was back on form last season and he could have been a dominating force this season. Personally I was most looking forward to seeing how Richie would go but Covid travel restrictions.
Richie Rude was back on form last season and he could have been a dominating force this season.

Florian Nicolai has made the move to Trek will the move make Flo fly faster
Florian Nicolai has made the move to Trek. Will the move make Flo fly faster?

The faces you see out of the train now will all be wearing masks.
The faces you see out of the train now will all be wearing masks.

Greg Callaghan is on a new team this year. Will the fresh start give him the boost he needs to be a podium regular again
Greg Callaghan is on a new team this year. Will the fresh start give him the boost he needs to be a podium regular again?

Adrien Dailly shows the propper way to get around a Swiss Switchback turn.
Adrien Dailly shows the propper way to get around a Swiss switchback turn.

Say goodbye dust. Hello muck.
Say goodbye, dust. Hello, muck.

Shaking it down on the steep and loose. Racers have a day to get familiar with the dirt.
Shaking it down on the steep and loose. Racers have a day to get familiar with the dirt.

A horn for the Matterhorn.
A horn for the Matterhorn.

Steep and rough terrain with epic views sums up Zermatt. Though the views come race day may be obscured by clouds and rain.
Steep and rough terrain with epic views sums up Zermatt. Though the views come race day may be obscured by clouds and rain.

Media recce was more straight down to business this time around and we squids spent less time faffing about with photos and more time riding the stages.
Media recce was more straight down to business this time around, and we squids spent less time faffing about with photos, and more time riding the stages.

Noga Korem finished 2nd overall last season. She will be in the mix at the pointy end of things this year.
Noga Korem finished 2nd overall last season. She will be in the mix at the pointy end of things this year.

With Monte Rosa looking in the background TFR mechanic Andy Lund makes his way around a cliffed corner.
With Monte Rosa looking in the background, TFR mechanic Andy Lund makes his way around a cliffed corner.

If for nothing else the Gornegrat train is worth taking to the top to ride amongst the epic views.
If for nothing else, the Gornegrat train is worth taking to the top to ride amongst the epic views. We have a bit of downtime before practice starts Saturday. Stay tuned for tech bits tomorrow!



29 Comments

  • 51 0
 A real testament to the scenery and photographers when every single picture looks like a Photo of the Year finalist...
  • 10 0
 They are stunning photos though. Good art my man!
  • 4 0
 Cheers mate!
  • 3 0
 Pre-season (as in the last 2 weeks) results have Flo winning a french national round with a lot of the frenchies, but Oton smashing all of of his compatriotes in a mass start race (he didnt turn up to the national round). I'd put them as top dogs this weekend.
  • 2 0
 Caption for the second photo (or is that the third?) mentions 6 ft distancing, but photo shows two guys talking (or having a staring contest) a couple of feet apart.
  • 4 1
 Apparently that Devinci tech/rider/whoever didn't get the memo that masks are useless unless they cover your nose
  • 2 0
 You just know it's going to rain this weekend. Enduro Wet Season is back
  • 1 0
 8 years in Ch and I still haven't seen Matterhorn! There's something wrong in my life
  • 1 0
 Aargau? ha ha ha
  • 1 0
 @florepe: Basel
  • 2 2
 Interested to see the e bike climbing stage, hopefully it is steep and technical and somebody gets some video of it.
  • 2 0
 great photos
  • 2 0
 The Alps are stunning!
  • 1 0
 Amazing shots!
  • 1 0
 mindblowing!
  • 1 4
 Sure. Advertisers want they're money, but this is a joke.
Below threshold threads are hidden

Post a Comment



Copyright © 2000 - 2020. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv56 0.012789
Mobile Version of Website