Today, the 2018 Enduro World Series kicked off just the way in ended 6 months ago on the beach in Finale Ligure. And while the venue here in the Andes Mountains could not be any more different, the result sheet sure looks very familiar with Sam Hill and Cecile Ravanel leading the charge in Lo Barnechea, Chile. With a venue as epic as the one we have this weekend, it comes as no surprise that the day's racing action was right there to match.
Sam Hill would finish the day with a 19 second lead over second placed Adrien Dailly, with Martin Maes back in third. Richie Rude however was on a mission from the start to turn around the disappointment of 2017, convincingly taking the lead on stage 1. Unfortunately a front puncture on the 11km long stage two cost him dearly but he still came back with authority to win the third stage of the day. Despite being way down on the result sheet, it is certainly safe to say the two-time World Champ is back.
In the women's race Cecile Ravanel proved why she's the reigning World Champion, winning all three stages and putting 56 seconds into closest rival, Isabeau Courdurier. Katy Winton lies in third, and it is currently a career best for Bex Baraona, who lies in fourth on her first outing for her new team, Ibis Cycles Enduro Race Team.
Tomorrow, racers will roll the dice once again over three more very long, rough and dusty stages. While the running order looks pretty sorted right now, anything can happen here on the slopes of the Andes, and no lead, no matter how big, is safe.