Day Two Photo Epic: Too Close For Comfort - EWS Northstar 2019

Aug 26, 2019
by Dave Trumpore  


Photo Epic presented by ODI

Close. Uncomfortably close. In a weekend of incredibly brutal racing, the penultimate round of the Enduro World Series heated up to inferno temperatures. While Florian Nicolai was trying to protect his series lead on trails and conditions he wasn't totally fond of, Richie Rude was trying his hardest to hold off a hard-charging Sam Hill. Mitch Ropelato was on his best EWS ride ever, giving Martin Maes a run for his money. Isabeau Courdurier once again added another win to her season. Noga Korem took second place in what has to be the best form of her career. Andreane Lanthier-Nadeau took third in the overall and the win on stage five.

Coming into day two, Sam Hill and Richie Rude sat fractions of a second apart after Richie came out and put down a seven-second lead on stage one. But Sam Hill was on the hunt for that first win of the season and cut that gap on stage two. Mitch Ropelato was the Cinderella story of the day when the dust settled on day one sitting in third place. Richie laid down the winning run on the queen stage, adding significantly to his points. Mitch took second on stage three, three seconds and change behind Rude. But the day wasn't over yet. Sam Hill took the win on stage four, with Adrien Dailly just over three seconds back. Rude would finish stage four in fourth just under seven seconds off of Hill's winning time. Hill would go into the lead of the race after stage four, and even with the win on stage five, Hill would hold the lead going into stage six by slivers of a second. When the dust had settled Richie Rude would come across the line 0.81 of a second ahead of Hill. Enough for the win by the slimmest margins in EWS history. Now going into the finals round in Zermatt the points spread in the men's race in extremely close. Perhaps uncomfortably close for some as there will be no margin for error between Florian Nicolai and Sam Hill as they duke it out for the title.

Ceclie and Antoine laugh it up before race start.
Cecile and Antoine laugh it up before race start.

Last check of tire pressures before a day of smashing rocks.
Last check of tire pressures before a day of smashing rocks.

Final prep to be sure all is tight and impervious to the Northstar dust storms
Final prep to be sure all is tight and impervious to the Northstar dust storms

Mark Weir was out supporting Randy.
Mark Weir was out supporting Randy.

The spirit of Enduro also known as Eddie Masters was all thumbs up today despite his setback
The spirit of Enduro, also known as Eddie Masters was all thumbs up today despite his setback

Let s go racing
Let's go racing

Richie muscling it through the dust to take the win
Richie muscling it through the dust to take the win

Dimitri Tordo through some epic light in stage 4
Dimitri Tordo through some epic light on stage 4

Kevin Miquel was having a stellar weekend but a 37th in stage five and a 45th on stage six cost him. He took eighth overall.
Kevin Miquel was having a stellar weekend, but a 37th in stage five and a 45th on stage six cost him. He took eighth overall.

He seems unstoppable right now. Richie Rude smashing his way to another win.
He seems unstoppable right now. Richie Rude smashing his way to another win.

Isabeau Courdurier takes yet another win in what has been a perfect season.
Isabeau Courdurier takes yet another win in what has been a perfect season.

Sam Hill was so close to his first win but would have to settle for second by .8 of a second.
Sam Hill was so close to his first 2019 season win but would have to settle for second by .8 of a second.

Matt Stuttard took 14th today with an eighth place on stage five.
Matt Stuttard took 14th today with an eighth place on stage five.

Nogo Korem on on the best form of her life right now and took home another 2nd place this weekend
Noga Korem on the best form of her life right now and took home another 2nd place this weekend

Karim Amour took home gold in the maters race
Karim Amour took home gold in the maters race

Cody Kelley with his best ever EWS result in 7th
Cody Kelley with his best ever EWS result in 7th

Sam was on fire today while he and Richie pushed each other to their absolute limits
Sam was on fire today while he and Richie pushed each other to their absolute limits

Katy Winton is happy with a fifth place and a clean race.
Katy Winton is happy with a fifth-place and a clean race.

No surprise to see Isabeau out in front once again
No surprise to see Isabeau out in front once again

Mitch Ropelato was possibly the most impressive this weekend taking his first EWS podium.
Mitch Ropelato was possibly the most impressive this weekend taking his first EWS podium.

4th for Martin Maes who will now shift focus to DH World Champs next weekend in Mont St Anne
4th for Martin Maes who will now shift focus to DH World Champs next weekend in Mont St Anne

4th for Adrien Dailly
6th for Adrien Dailly

Mckay Vezina was on form this weekend and would finish 10th
Mckay Vezina was on form this weekend and would finish 10th

Another top 10 for the consistent Matt Walker
Another top 10 for the always consistent Matt Walker

on steep off the podium for Ines Thoma in 4th
One step off the podium for Ines Thoma in 4th

ALN pushed hard to pull back time after Day 1 and ended up on the podium in 3rd
ALN pushed hard to pull back time after Day 1 and ended up on the podium in 3rd

Local Evan Geankoplis was on a tear with an eighteenth eighth and a tenth place finish until he DNF d on stage six.
Local Evan Geankoplis was on a tear with an eighteenth, eighth, and a tenth place finish until he DNF'd on stage six.

Elliot Heap took seventeenth with a tenth and two twelfth stage finishes.
Elliot Heap took seventeenth, with a tenth and two twelfth stage finishes.

10th for Anita Gehrig
10th for Anita Gehrig

When she s done racing Martha Gill try s her hand at being a media squid.
When she's done racing, Martha Gill tries her hand at being a media squid.

Robin Wallner gritting it out at the end of a long weekend
Robin Wallner gritting it out at the end of a long weekend

Kevin Miquel had a wild ride down the final stage of the day
Kevin Miquel had a wild ride down the final stage of the day

Richie said he had a near perfect run on stage 6 and had to sit and wait it out for Sam to come down.
Richie said he had a near-perfect run on stage 6 and had to sit and wait it out for Sam to come down.

The look on Sam s face as he looks at the final time. To say he wanted this one badly is an understatement
The look on Sam's face as he looks at the final time. To say he wanted this one badly is an understatement

Florian Nicolai holds a 60 point lead for the overall over Sam Hill. Can he hold him off in Zermatt
Florian Nicolai holds a 60 point lead for the overall over Sam Hill. Can he hold him off in Zermatt?

Andreane Lanthier-Nadeau celebrates with her mom after finishing 3rd on the day
Andreane Lanthier-Nadeau celebrates with her mom after finishing 3rd on the day

King of Crankworx straight to third place at the Northstar.
King of Crankworx, straight to third place at the Northstar.

Beer and margaritas on the hottest for Mitch
Beer and margaritas on the hottest for Mitch

A very happy Isabeau after a very long weekend
A very happy Isabeau after a very long weekend

Rocky Mountain Race Face took home top team honors on the day
Rocky Mountain/Race Face took home top team honors on the day

Isabeau Courdurier Noga Korem and Andreane Lanthier-Nadeau cool down with some podium champagne
Isabeau Courdurier, Noga Korem and Andreane Lanthier-Nadeau cool down with some podium champagne

Richie Rude Sam Hill and Mitch Ropelato make in rain in Northstar
Richie Rude, Sam Hill and Mitch Ropelato make in rain in Northstar

Three wins out of four starts this season for the dominant force that is Richie Rude
Three wins out of four starts this season for the dominant force that is Richie Rude

With one round t got Isabeau Courdurier has wrapped up the world title
With one round t got Isabeau Courdurier has wrapped up the world title



54 Comments

  • 22 1
 Congratulations to Isabeau, she finally made it happen. On a different note the race between Richie and Sam was intense and a good one to watch.
  • 9 2
 Watch? Came on this is why everyone complainning about poor live feed at year 2019 missing this battle of giants...
  • 19 0
 Man look at Rude's shins in that second to last picture. They have seen some shit.
  • 6 0
 More scars on the shins than there are stars in the sky!
  • 6 2
 that's what your shins should look like! (minus the fact that his calves are as big as most mortals quads.)
  • 6 29
flag skycripp (Aug 26, 2019 at 8:32) (Below Threshold)
 @trialsracer: Roids.
  • 9 0
 Watching these pros (and even some amateurs) race in person is a totally different experience. The speeds in video don't give you a true taste for just how fast and skilled these riders are. For those of you who've never been to Northstar, it's as gnarly as it gets. One guy watching next to me said, "We're not even playing the same sport as these guys." I said, "We're not even the same species."
  • 6 0
 Wow just wow. Reno ex-pat here so was happy to see Northstar on the schedule this year. Can't get over the way this years pointchase has developed. Know I'm prejudiced, but this seemed the best Round ever!
  • 12 5
 Mark Weir supporting Randy... thank you.
  • 8 1
 I hope Sam is gonna take 3rd overall win in a row yewwww
  • 10 7
 EWS needs to hold gaps between riders constant. If the dust is horrible and you've caught the guy in front of you it sure didn't look lie easy passing, much less catching rocks you cant even see. EWS is already like UCI making advantages for factory guys. Im not saying factory guys aren't fast, I'm saying they need to keep everything consistent.
  • 8 0
 I believe it was stated that the Elite's got 1 minute between racers dropping in. That is fair I think.
  • 15 1
 Care to elaborate how it wasnt fair? Everyone gets a start time and a start interval. 30 seconds for amateur and 1 minute for top men and women.

No one in the top groups catch each other unless crashes or mechanicals on such short stages.
  • 5 0
 It is what it is. But I was in the top ten in the overall after passing a guy every stage. On the fourth stage I caught the rider and while in his dust crashed into a rock the size of a washing machine that I never even saw. It took me out of the race.
  • 2 0
 @davetrumpore: maybe Im not getting it right? I thought ONLY top 30 got 1min between riders...
  • 6 0
 @JesseMelamed that's just shocking!
  • 1 0
 I was wondering if anyone else had seen that!
  • 7 3
 I can't see any beer in that picture, just a PBR. Great photos as always Pinkbike!
  • 4 0
 What a race! Rude must have taken some seriously straight lines to beat Hill in these conditions.
  • 3 0
 Turning rocks into pebbles, all his raw power has to be good for something :-)
  • 7 1
 Funny you say that... It the two dusty left hand corner pics above of Ride and Hill, Sam goes outside feet up and Richie cut inside foot out. Very much the opposite of what I was anticipating to see
  • 1 0
 Can someone please explain to me how the numbering system works for the race plates? If Nicolai holds a 60 point lead for the overall over Hill, then why does Hill have the #1 plate? Why does Courdurier have a #2 plate if she has won every race? How does Maes have a #4 if he lost his NZ and Aus race wins, and then missed subsequent races because of a ban? This is a genuine question, not sarcasm...
  • 5 0
 Last year's ranking nit current standing
  • 1 0
 @davetrumpore: Thank you Dave, I appreciate the info.
  • 3 2
 Is that a cellphone on Sam Hill's pocket?
I guess he now knows the secret of the Denim Destroyer

(Most likely some sort of hip guard, but I wish that's a phone)
  • 8 5
 Definitely got the strava running.... and tinder for after the race.
  • 4 2
 @rattyboy: *looks at Sam's family... tinder... slowly shakes head... Razz
  • 3 1
 What is the 27.5" to 29" in perentage nowadays?
  • 6 0
 About 94.8%
  • 1 0
 @hirvi: who is winning? this was not supposed to be a funny question, i am really interested if all is moving to 29" in EWS and DH.
  • 1 0
 @leroy: The answer is yes. Big Grin
  • 1 0
 Watch how many dudes you see with that haircut in the lift lines be seasons end.
  • 2 0
 On the hottest! Hot seat?
  • 1 0
 Is Hill back on 27.5? Or did Nukeproof finally get a Carbon Mega 29er worked out?
  • 2 0
 Was Mitch on the Bronson?
  • 7 7
 Seems unstoppable...wins by less than a second. Isn't that the definition of stoppable?
So good to have close racing!
  • 2 1
 nice...Intense still in the game.
  • 1 0
 3rd place gets Mitch a PBR?! That ain't right.
  • 1 1
 Amy Morrison deserved a shout out and rad pic after taking a stage win against the world's best. @aemorri11
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