Pinkbike Awards - 2015 Enduro Race of the Year Winner

Jan 26, 2016
by Pinkbike Staff  
new MTB awards logo 2015
Enduro Race of the Year Winner









Double rainbows for a rider seemingly on his way to the world champion s stripes... As his rivals faultered Richie Rude is starting to look unstoppable.

Zona Zero, Ainsa, Spain, EWS round 7

The Enduro Race of the Year is a unique award amongst the many we hand out each year. It is the one where we have no say in how it is awarded, it is decided by a vote from the sport's top riders and media - the people that were there at the races week-in, week-out. And this year their thoughts were clear, in the voting this race was head and shoulders clear of the competition: the best enduro race of 2015 was Zona Zero in Ainsa for the seventh round of the Enduro World Series.

We asked the riders to consider the location, the organisation, the atmosphere and, of course, the tracks, when making their decisions. Based on those criteria, the votes for Zona Zero were overwhelming. In the words of Curtis Keene the appeal was simple, "The tracks were awesome, crowds were insane, the prologue was super cool for everyone and the location was epic." With a five day format, riders faced eight stages spread across the hill around the town. Practice was split in the same day of racing, so on day one of practice they tackled the first four stages, then on the second day they rode the back four. On Friday there was an open day where riders could choose to either head back out to to perfect whatever was not running quite perfectly, or take a rest to prepare for the next two big days in the saddle. On Friday evening there was a prologue through the streets - it was mandatory, but the time did not count towards the race. That meant that the fans got to see their favourite riders speeding through the streets of the town, but riders didn't risk their race on the treacherous cobbles. Come Saturday and Sunday there were two long, physical days to tackle, but with just-right transfer times that hit the perfect balance of giving riders enough time to climb steadily, but without too much time waiting and getting cold at the top, the race hit a comfortable pace. Then there were the tracks themselves, riders returned to the pits each evening full of praise, they maybe weren't the most technical stages we saw all year at the EWS, but they were challenging enough for the riders to thoroughly enjoy them. With that combination of ingredients in one of the most stunning locations the EWS has yet visited, even the biblical rain storms that cancelled stage eight couldn't dampen their enthusiasm for this Spanish gem of a race.

Tracy Moseley took it steady this evening not risking anything on the risky cobbles.

In the late afternoon rainstorms came in from the mountains.

What more could you ask for from a weekend's racing? What makes Ainsa's win all the more exciting is that they are a relatively new to the scene, they had run races in the area, but never anything on this level before. This is just what the sport of enduro needs to grow - new people coming into the scene, running great races beyond the traditional heartlands of France and Italy. That the newcomers are already putting on races this good makes the future of enduro look healthier than ever.

For the voting we asked riders to list their top three races of the year. To score the votes we awards 10 points for a first place, five for second and two for third. Here are the full results of the voting:


Zona Zero, EWS 7263
Wicklow, EWS 2200
Whistler, EWS 6140
Rotorua, EWS 127
Finale Ligure, EWS 824
Samoens, EWS 422
NZ Enduro22
Trans-Provence19
Enduro Portes du Mercantour16
Trans-Savoie10
Crested Butte, EWS 510
Dirty Sanchez Enduro5
Glencoe Scottish Enduro5
Mollau, Bluegrass Tour5
Enduro du Belleville5
Megavalanche5
La Thuile Coppa D'Italia2
Tweedlove, EWS 32





51 Comments

  • + 46
 That first pic tho!
  • + 9
 Some fine MTB porn right there.
  • + 5
 is it graves or rude?, not because of the porn though
  • + 12
 Oh my God!!!! It's FULL on!! Double rainbow all the way across the sky!!(tears of joy)
  • + 8
 Pretty sure it is Rude
  • + 1
 I'm sure that it's R.Rude, his forearm is just so massive that it must be him... trust me on this one
  • + 2
 So you are saying that Graves forearms are small?
  • + 2
 @Fliberico are you making an odd masterbating reference?
  • + 1
 It's Rude. Just click on the photo and the original comes up. The caption will I.D. him.
  • + 28
 That must have been exciting as hell. Only nobody, except the riders have seen it...
  • + 10
 Seriously, if they want to promote it, and you know they do - it needs full live coverage like the DH events.
  • + 21
 Every time I see a pic of a double rainbow over an enduro course I start crying.
  • - 51
flag ReformedRoadie (Jan 26, 2016 at 9:09) (Below Threshold)
 Proof that enduro is gay?
(not that there is anything wrong with that...)
  • + 65
 Ur username says ur a roadie, dont speak
  • + 8
 but reformed, so maybe he is the most qualified to label something "gay" (his words)
  • - 10
flag ReformedRoadie (Jan 26, 2016 at 10:40) (Below Threshold)
 As I suspected...median age of responds is 21. Lighten up. It's a joke...w/ a Seinfeld reference.
  • + 1
 maybe you need to lighten up huh?
  • + 5
 @ReformedRoadie I'm pretty sure it has nothing to do with age on PB, and everything to do with your dick comment...
  • + 17
 Tweedlove. Ouch.
  • + 11
 No love for Tweedlove
  • + 4
 The shite weather probs had a hand in that.
  • + 18
 Sometimes Scotland doesn't want to be loved, sometimes Scotland just wants to piss on everyone's head for two days, or four days, or all fracking winter.
  • + 4
 De Midges?
  • + 5
 All winter!? Try all bloody year! We have honestly not had more than two dry days in a row since April!! I'm seriously considering moving to Canada!
  • + 3
 When I saw that Crested Butte was higher up the list, that really made me wince.
  • + 4
 Did it not rain in Spain too?
  • + 9
 Yes, but mainly in the plain.
  • + 1
 The wettest place in Canada is more than twice as wet as the wettest place in Scotland, just sayin'.
  • + 1
 Yeah but lakes don't count.
  • + 1
 Seriously though, I know that New York alone gets more annual rainfall than the whole UK. But it's all relative, the whole UK is tiny in comparison, you have to look at rainfall per square meter. And I'd be very surprised if anywhere on earth could beat us this year! I honestly haven't seen dry dirt since April last year. This has been the wettest year in my memory for sure.
  • + 8
 Arriving second is a victory for Ireland ! Glad I was a part of it Smile
  • + 2
 agree, Wicklow is a great spot for enduro.
  • + 2
 Ainsa is great, one of the best places for enduro I have ever been. BUT, many riders were commenting that the transfer times were way too much. They were surprised about this, and they were not happy when they were getting cold waiting at the top. It was an imposition from the EWS, not from the Ainsa's organizers, and the suspected reason for these too long transfer times is that pro riders go with a 36t ring or so imposed by the sponsors in order to achieve full speed on the descents and make it more spectacular towards the media. But the rest of riders were shocked and angry for these too long transfers. Ainsa organizers made many other nice details not included here, the food and beer was all included and unlimited for the riders, and there was a parallel track to follow the full race on an enduro bike for all those enduro lovers who couldn't participate the race!
  • + 2
 a parallel track?! that is really nice to have, considering that enduro isn't really a spectator friendly format.
  • + 2
 It's such a nice place. I spend 9 months walking these woods, wearing camo in the face, a green backpack and a gun on my shoulder, serving the country they said...I'd really want to return to ride this place!
  • + 2
 keep away from our tracks you balcony jumpers!!!..... hahahaha just joking. I love to see Ainsa in 1st place, and how Ainsa represents Spansh spirit of party and good organization at the same time.
  • + 4
 NZ Enduro top non-EWS round. Nice.
  • + 4
 very happy with Wicklow coming 2nd
  • + 3
 Yeah that first pic is the real winner. Good article too, Spain is a beautiful country.
  • + 4
 Pyrenees doing it right, taking DH and enduro, sweet.
  • + 3
 Ireland representing in second place! Smile
  • + 3
 Wicklow Was Wobed!
  • + 2
 yep, heading down to wicklow this year
  • + 0
 Does anybody know why Rotorua was dropped from the EWS? I read a comment from Chris Ball saying the riders didn't like it but no specifics.
  • + 3
 Rotorua hasn't been dropped. As I understand it, the circuit will be back there next year, which was their agreement.
  • + 2
 Cheers Matt.
  • + 2
 Yep, Curtis is right, the tracks are awesome over there, and Ainsa too
  • + 1
 NZ Enduro FTW! but which enduro was this?
  • + 0
 Grats to Kyle Warner as well for winning the 2015 North American Enduro Tour!
  • - 1
 POACHER of the year , who can cut the most corners for 2016 ?

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