The Enduro World Series heads to Australia this weekend for round two, the EWS Shimano Enduro Tasmania. The series first visited Tasmania in 2017 and the Enduro World Series organizers knew that they would return for another event in the future. So here we are! Here's a quick look at the race ahead and our predictions for who will take the top spot.
The last EWS here was in 2017 and was won by Isabeau Courdurier and Adrien Dailly. They both claimed their first ever EWS victories on Tasmanian soil. Dailly went on to win a further two races that season, while Courdurier had to wait a full two years before standing on the top of the podium again, which she did in style last weekend in Rotorua. Greg Callaghan and Cecile Ravanel finished second in 2017, while Sam Hill and Ines Thoma rounded out the podium.
Racing gets underway in Derby on Saturday, when riders have just one stage to tackle - but it’s the all-important Queen Stage. Introduced this year, the Queen Stage offers an extra 40 points to its victors - allowing riders chasing series points the potential to climb the rankings.
Sunday will see riders tackle five stages - including the infamous Detonate trail, which was recipient of the first ever Specialized Trail of the Year Award when it was raced in 2017. Almost as famous for its after party as its trails, the little town of Derby is expecting thousands of fans to line the trail network again, as they did in 2017.
The course is 44.8 km with 2,086 m of elevation gain. There are no shuttles for either training or race days and all transitions must be pedaled.
The Weather Forecast
Pinkbike PredictionsIf the season opener in New Zealand proved anything, it’s that the women’s race is getting more competitive every year. Morgane Charre won a stage in Rotorua and placed second overall, so hers is a name to watch again this weekend. That being said, with a win last weekend in Rotorua, Isabeau remains unbeaten by anyone on the start list in the past two years. Bex Baraona enjoyed her first trip to the podium on Sunday, and after a few top ten finishes last season, this could be her breakout year. Noga Korem's fourth place last weekend and at her last appearance in Tasmania make her a strong contender for the podium, while Jill Kintner is sure to make a strong first appearance this weekend as well.
In the men’s race, all eyes will be on last weekend’s winner Martin Maes. Reigning champion Sam Hill battled a flu last weekend and finished the first race of the year in 13th, but he’ll be pushing for a higher finish in front of his home crowd. Florian Nicolai rounded out the top three in Rotorua and he could well do the same again in Derby, but Rocky Mountain Race Face Enduro teammates Jesse Melamed and Remi Gauvin placed fourth and seventh respectively in Rotorua and you wouldn’t bet against either of them scoring top honours this weekend. The same could be said for Greg Callaghan who has had previous success here.
See all Participating Riders here
1 // Martin MAES // BEL
2 // Sam HILL // AUS
3 // Jesse Melamed // CAN
1 // Isabeau COURDURIER // FRA
2 // Morgane CHARRE // FRA
3 // Noga KOREM / ISR
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