Round Three, Racing on an Island Paradise
Enduro's elites head to the tiny Portuguese island for round 3
The third Enduro World Series of the year heads to the island paradise of Madeira, Portugal. This tiny island in the Atlantic ocean is one of two autonomous regions of Portugal (along with the Azores) and made its EWS debut in 2017, when Greg Callaghan and Cecile Ravanel came away with the wins. The diverse, technical trails are built and maintained by Freeride Madeira and proved a big hit with riders from around the world two years ago.
This will be the first two full days of Enduro World Series racing that the riders will be undertaking this season after racing one day in Rotorua and the bulk of the racing happening on Sunday in Tasmania. Let's refresh your memory on what happened in Madeira in 2017, take a look at the course and the upcoming weather conditions and get primed and ready for the weekend.
The CourseStage 1: 3.10km - 5m UP - 440m DOWN
The longest stage of the race, starting below the golf course on the left side of the valley of Machico. A super flowy and smooth track with a gentle gradient and a couple of sprint sections, crossing eucalyptus and acacia forest on the upper section then switching into the open on the lower section with amazing views over the valley of Machico. Stage 2: 1.55km - 5m UP - 230m DOWN
This is one of the oldest paths of the island that we recovered for mountain biking a few years back. With a fantastic view over the Peninsula of São Lourenço, the far East of the island, this coastal trail will challenge all your abilities. It’s fast, it’s rocky, has tight switch backs and a couple of short uphills in between. Don’t get distracted by the view!Stage 3: 2.05km - 2m UP - 295m DOWN
This trail was used to finish the event in 2017. You will be flowing down a smooth old farmers path, through agriculture terraces until you reach the tarmac road. The lower part takes you onto a fast grassy slope with a machine built section with three jumps in a row making things a bit more exiting for riders and public.Stage 4: 1.85km - 2m UP - 310m DOWN
Located above the capital of Madeira, in the Ecological Park of Funchal, this track was built for the current Downhill World Champion, Loic Bruni, for his segment on the “Gamble” film. The top third is all machine built with big berms, jumps and rhythm sections, all overlooking the basin of Funchal. The bottom is all hand built where speed is the main ingredient!Stage 5: 1.05km - 0m UP - 220m DOWN
This trail was named Rat Boy after a video with Josh Bryceland for Santa Cruz Bicycles. It drops slightly North through a beautiful Pine forest, the shortest track of the race is fast and fun with some small berms and drops but also with some rocks and roots, demanding full concentration top to bottom.Stage 6: 2.10km - 3m UP - 290m DOWN
Starts with an easy and owy gradient which can become physical, then half way down turns into a steep rooty and rocky Portuguese National Downhill track. It was one of the most intense sections for bikes, riders and public! Get ready, get rowdy!Stage 7: 2.20km - 10m UP - 375m DOWN
Isolated and far away from civilization, Boca do Risco is one of the most mythical paths of this race. Steep, narrow and quite technical till you cross the abyss that always spices up the adventure. This trail is an iconic piece of riding on the island and suffered some changes since 2017! The bottom part is completely new, becoming wider, faster and smoother. This is the Queen Stage of the event, so no joking around!Stage 8: 2.70km - 3m UP - 400m DOWN
An extended version of SS3 that adds a couple extra meters going through some iconic streets of Machico and finishing right at the beach in the event area.
What Happened in 2017
The event in 2017 was one for the history books. The weather was wild, tracks that were long and taxing on the racers, and mechanicals were aplenty. The race was a true war of attrition and being consistent was the key to winning. Jesse Melamed had a commanding lead coming into day two when he broke a wheel on stage seven. Many other riders also flatted or broke something that cost them precious time. Madeira served up a race that was pushing everyone to the breaking point, both mentally and physically.
Greg Callaghan was the man who held it all together and took the lead when the race started to fall apart for others. A late charge from Martin Maes put him into the mix late in the game, and if it weren't for a big crash on the final stage he might just have ended up on top. Cecile Ravanel stayed fast and consistent throughout the weekend to take the win in the women's race ahead of Isabeau Courdurier.
1st. Greg Callaghan 49:24.49
2nd. Martin Maes +00:05.26
3rd. Damien Oton +00:18.84
4th. Jared Graves +00:30.48
5th. Sam Hill +00:44.55
1st. Cecile Ravanel 57:19.74
2nd. Isabeau Courdurier +01:08.97
3rd. Noga Korem +02:06.75
4th. Ines Thoma +02:33.85
5th. Miranda Miller +03:34.93
See the full 2017 results here
The forecast for this weekend looks ideal for racing. It's not too hot, not too cold, not too windy, and, for once, not too wet!
Thursday, May 9
- Practice Stage 1, 2, 3Mainly sunny // 20°C // 0% precipitation // wind 9km/hFriday, May 10
- Practice Stage 4, 5, 6, 7, 8Mainly sunny // 20°C // 20% precipitation // wind 9km/hSaturday, May 11
- Race Day #1
(Stage 1-3)Mainly sunny // 21°C // 10% precipitation // wind 21km/hSunday, May 12
- Race Day #2
(Stage 4-8 )A mix of sun and clouds // 23°C // 20% precipitation // wind 18km/h
Weather forecast from the Weather Network
as of Tuesday, May 7.
The ScheduleThursday, May 9
• 9-12:30 Stage 1 Training
• 13:00-17:00 Stage 2 + Stage 3 TrainingFriday, May 10
• 8:30-10 Stage 4 Training
• 9-10:45 Stage 5 Training
• 9:30-11:30 Stage 6 Training
• 11-13:00 Stage 7 Training
• 13:00-15:00 Stage 8 Training
• 18:30 Rider BriefingSaturday, May 11
• 9:00-17:00 Race (Stage 1-3)Sunday, May 12
• 9:00-17:00 Race (Stage 4-8 )
• 18:00 AwardsNote: All times are local and subject to change by the event organizer.
Pinkbike will be providing you with the best daily coverage from our team in Madeira this week. Tune in to Pinkbike to catch photo epics, videos and results from practice and race day, as well as tech bits and news.
Following the Enduro World Series live can be a struggle with remote stages and hundreds of riders tackling trails at the same time. We're lucky to have Polygon rider Dan Wolfe bringing you behind the scenes action from each round LIVE through the Pinkbike Instagram stories this year. Find what's going down on course during training and race day through our Instagram. Be sure to follow @pinkbike
to keep up with the action.
Don't forget to complete your EWS Fantasy team before the race starts on Saturday. If you don't know who to pick, check the Start List
and stay tuned for our Predictions article. There are prizes for each round, so if you haven't already, make sure to build your team today! If you've already got a team in the mix you're in the running to win the Grand Prize, so visit the Fantasy homepage to make sure you have the fastest team possible for Round 3.
The Fantasy Enduro League is Presented by Shimano.