POV Video: Jesse Melamed Crushing Stage 3 & Its Massive Climb - EWS Val di Fassa 2021

Jun 23, 2021
by Sarah Moore  


The climb at 2:50 is no joke. Jesse Melamed finished fourth on this stage, just +2.51 back from Charles Murray. Melamed finished third overall in round 1 today.


117 Comments

  • 96 2
 show of hands: who would have puked/quit on that climb?
  • 16 1
 I wouldn't have quit, but would have done my best to accept my loss of several minutes with grace, if not dignity. Happens to me every time I ride the Ashland CES race.
  • 8 0
 Super long stage and at altitude, it would be brutal.
  • 31 0
 I am sure the smell of 2 stroke during that climb made it better...
  • 9 0
 I was puffing just watching it
  • 4 0
 @codypup: That sprint to the short climb at Ashland was a decider last year for sure. Hoping nothing like that at China Peak this weekend!
  • 1 0
 @Tormy: I thought that was his afterburner kicking in!
  • 1 0
 Anybody know how many K's that segment is?
  • 2 0
 @mtb-thetown: which stage, 1? I feel like there was a short climb, then back down. you think it's over then you remember.....nope. the real climb is.......NOW! lol

good race, but that f*cking transfer to the finish was the real Dick Pound
  • 36 0
 Me please!
  • 1 0
 Ya, screw that.
  • 1 0
 @conoat: Yup. That final transfer in the heat was the real killer though, no doubt.
  • 39 0
 Fully expected to skip through some of that, it being 8 minutes, but couldn't stop watching. That was awesome Jesse man, and made me want to ride a bike a lot.
  • 6 0
 Same, I was just going to watch till the climb was done, but I was mesmerized! Amazing rider!
  • 25 0
 That's what I like to hear! Glad you liked it.
  • 36 3
 EWS racing happens in mountains, and not on DH-specific tracks. Sometimes mountains go up a bit to get back to the down. It rewards those who are fast, technically solid, but also fit as hell. Enduro is not just multi-stage DH and certainly not bike park laps. Awesome event and stage. Jesse crushed it and made Whistler proud.
  • 20 12
 Agreed within limits. Some uphill is fine if it gets to better downhill, but I really hope uphill doesn't become a feature or something course designers are trying to include - we have xc races for that.
  • 11 0
 @nzstormer: i believe EWS rules say that a stage cant have more than 10% of its total descent as climbing

that still leaves room for some really mean climbs on longer stages
  • 7 30
flag thenotoriousmic (Jun 23, 2021 at 17:11) (Below Threshold)
 It’s cool that it exists for people who are into that kind of thing but I personally don’t enjoy watching riders that can absolutely shred huffing and puffing up a climb mid stage and having to hold back and pace themselves for a 8 min descent. I’d love to see a multi stage downhill race on trail bikes. A series that bridges the gap between DH and enduro. About who can ride the best not who’s the fittest.
  • 6 3
 couldnt disagree more. what happend to the "spirit" of enduro? who goes out with the homies and sessions 1.5 minute climbs? i understand short tech climbs, but a 1.5 minute climb is too xc.
  • 3 11
flag thenotoriousmic (Jun 24, 2021 at 5:09) (Below Threshold)
 @jlfskibikesail: Nobody cares about enduro anymore. Loads of hype the season Sam Hill joined the EWS but now everyone’s lost interest. There’s no coverage of the event and the little we do get is pretty poor and doesn’t get any views. EWS format worked when nobody was paying interest and all the riders went out on an all day bike ride in half shells and a back pack and now they’re all in full faces on mini downhill bikes and for some reason the format hasn’t changed to suit and now even XC is more popular than enduro. I’m not suggesting they change EWS it can carry on dying a slow death as it is for all I care. I just want to know who’s the best at riding a trail bike on the absolute limit not who’s best at pedalling or who can hold on the longest on a 25 min descent. I’d just like to see a more talent based format that you can actually cover for the fans that attracts the best riders from WC.
  • 2 2
 @thenotoriousmic: i think we are agreeing. Enduro should not have 1.5 min climbs. it should be about talented descenders that can go all day. I think the organizers were just tired of sam hill winning all the time...so they through in some dumb climbs.
  • 1 0
 @thenotoriousmic: 150% man with ya.
  • 1 3
 @jlfskibikesail: I just want to see shorter tracks where the riders can go 100% because it’s just more interesting to watch. Nobody wants to see Sam Hill going steady because he’s got another 45mins left before he reaches the end of the stage and the shortest easiest way to the next stage so the riders conserve energy for the descents which should be verging on psychotic in difficulty levels again for entertainment purposes. Maybe I'm just weird like that. Wink it goes without saying there should not be a 1:30 climb.
  • 1 0
 @thenotoriousmic: I completely agree with some of your thoughts, completely disagree with others. Shame you're getting downvoted as you make some good points.

I think it has potential for being the 'ultimate' MTB race format.

I'm still following it, but relying on the rider produced content rather than the rubbish EWS put out, and working with GMBN certainly won't improve it.

1.5 minute climbs or 20 minute stages are just making it hard for the sake of making it hard. They are neither in the interest of the rider or the fan. I can't help but feel this is only to stop DHers dropping in and winning to try and stop it looking like an easy version of DH.

I hate the idea of the Queen stage. I think it detracts from the overall goal of being fastest over the entire event if you're saying one stage holds more weight than others.
  • 1 0
 @mark-88: downvoting only makes more people pay attention to what your saying so it’s no skin off my nose and at the end of the day it’s just my opinion and what I’d enjoy seeing and as the Highlight video out only source of coverage barely hit 50k views in 24 hours I’m clearly not the only one who thinks this way.
  • 26 0
 Imagine if Bernard were racing this. The complaining would be endless!
  • 21 0
 Serious business there. Can't imagine being able to hold and ride a technical line after sprinting up those climbs. At elevation too.

Why is it that every time I see a course marker now I cringe and think about my bag getting smacked by one?
  • 4 0
 Perhaps bike protection manufacturers will make a chamois with a cup.
  • 1 0
 @tacklingdummy: I think the easier thing to do is change the design of the markers....something resembling a tennis ball (though smaller) on top?
  • 9 0
 @tacklingdummy: I can see it now.....The dakine grundle guard
  • 3 0
 That climb has to be tough with ~1,250g tires plus possibly Cushcores. Wondering is anyone is reaching for a lockout switch there?
  • 13 0
 Don't put those thoughts in my mind...
  • 1 0
 @Struggleteam: For real, I would welcome manufacturers making something. I have had my nuts buzzed and twisted jumping on my 29er. Not Flo Payet damage, but minor injury. Gotta protect em, if you got em. Lol.
  • 18 0
 I'm a simple guy. Just give the top 10 men / women GPro's and post the winning POV from each stage. I don't need commentary or fancy edits. Just raw footy showing how gnarly it is. If you've done any POV stuff for yourself you can fully appreciate how the trail may feel.
  • 9 0
 I've been saying this for a long time... borrow wrc style race edit. Give top 10's (or more) GroPro's use the footage as part of the recap edit they always do. Mix it with stationary cams, talking heads, interviews, etc, etc. It wouldn;t be hard to make the show wayyy better than it is.
  • 21 0
 Rides DIRECTLY to the nearest patio. I like this guy.
  • 26 0
 Beer me!
  • 13 0
 His climbing speed is like my descending speed LOL. Goes to show how fit the EWS dudes are.
  • 10 0
 Holy kak! That was the most intense performance I've seen in a while. I'm exhausted!
  • 10 2
 Perfect stage. Long with a climb thrown in. Need more of those to keep the Enduro bikes different from mini dh
Ps: Jesse is a beast. Lines dialed and not passing out after the climb!
  • 14 6
 Badass! We NEED more of this in enduro racing again. Pedal dammit!!!
  • 13 5
 Right? Sad when you hear riders skip an enduro because it is "too pedaly" WTF? HTFU!
  • 2 1
 @ReformedRoadie: there's a balance. if the entire stage has you pedalling, it's not f*cking enduro. period. small bits here and there, where you have to get on the gas? sure. rad! but when people are making 1.8mi enduro stages that only drop 400ft, just get f*cked. lol. that's an XC race.
  • 2 0
 @ReformedRoadie: gravity based riders don’t want to pedal up hills. Completely understandable.
  • 3 0
 @conoat: Enduro is a race format. Period. Still, even the more “pedally” are still predominantly gravity assisted.
18-24
Minutes of actual racing broken up into 5 sectors. How is that XC at all?
  • 1 0
 @ReformedRoadie: agreed, its not XC at all. Its a few minutes of max heartrate sprinting, with good bike handling required throughout. Then recover (untimed) and do it again throughout the day.
Some of our local (southern england) enduros are very pedally, due to the lack of mountains. An XC/trail bike might be more suited than a 180 super-enduro. Its still far closer in style and type of skill to an EWS race than to an XC race - some of which are held at the same venues.
  • 1 0
 @ReformedRoadie: the Idea of Enduro is timed *DOWNHILLS* with untimed, but limited transfers.

if the timed portions are significantly flat or even uphill, it's inherently not enduro. I guess it's not XC either, but some weird thalidamide baby of the two.....EXduro??
  • 2 1
 @conoat: the "idea" of enduro has seemed to change since day 1 but your opinion isn't factual. It originally a copy of moto enduro with "TESTS" and "TRANSFERS". Over time the TESTS have changed into strictly DH sections and shorter stages. Often times long trails are broken into multiple TESTS for various reasons, including making even a small climb a transfer. Promoters changed the format mostly to please the majority (or loud minority) of their racers.
  • 1 2
 @Sycip69er: wrong. the races have been dumbed down over the last 5 years or so, to make them more appealing to a wider(see also, less skilled) audience. So what you get now, is flat enduros where the "tests" aren't a test for a lot of riders, of anything other than fitness. Which is kind of redundant when XC is exactly that! a test of endurance far more than skill.
  • 2 1
 @conoat: Are there no technically challenging flat sections where you ride? Perhaps a rock garden or something?
  • 1 0
 @ReformedRoadie: not really. that's hardly the point though. From the very first Repack race, MTB has always been about going downhill fast. the term enduro was borrowed from Moto *only* in the sense of timed stages with untimed transfers. It has always existed as a gravity orientated sport. Saying it's totally ok to make timed enduro stages flat and unchallenging, besides the effort it takes to pedal at 100% for 5 straight min, isn't being honest.
  • 1 1
 @conoat: Actually, Moto enduros used to be completely different format that involved time keeping and known and unknown checkpoints; different sections had a designated average speed. You were on a minute so that there was a specific time you should arrive at a checkpoint. Lose points if you're late, even more if too early.
You had a clock, an odometer and a Roll sheet showing what the two should read at any given point on the course.
If anything is dumbed down, it is the format being called "Enduro".
Modern moto enduros are actually a copy of car rallys. Or Hare Scrambles with breaks.

The basis for you argument comes from Repack...is there anything technically challenging about that descent? If that is your definition of what mountain biking is, gravity based or otherwise, I feel sad for you.
  • 1 0
 @ReformedRoadie: holy daft shit! I literally said the term was borrowed in name only, then you feverishly pounded out 75 words telling me it was borrowed in name only. reading comprehension isn't in your wheelhouse!

second, no. of course by 2021 standards, repack isn't technical. but it is gravity based. that was the point, and harkening back to your reading skills, it makes sense that you couldn't see that.

good day.
  • 1 0
 @conoat: " enduro was borrowed from Moto *only* in the sense of timed stages with untimed transfers."
you do not comprehend your own writing.
  • 1 0
 @ReformedRoadie: when it was borrowed. the enduro you alluded to quit being that way far before Enduro MTB became a thing.

just f*cking stop trying to be smart. it's never going to work for you

also, I SAID GOOD DAY!
  • 5 0
 Now that was an enduro one ,and people say that going up is hard ,but the downs are worst :-))),would like to see the heart rate on that stage,all the way ,and speed ,great one Jesse
  • 7 0
 Close to max the whole way. Extra max on the climb and then struggling to get it down so I can ride normally again.
  • 2 0
 For those of you in the know, how familiar would he be with a track like this prior to the race? Just 1 or 2 practice laps? I know these guys are pros but man he seemed to have his line pretty dialed.
  • 10 0
 You typically get one run down a stage during the practice day. You can take your time, re-try lines and generally get a good sense of where you want to go.

But... and it's a big "but"... a huge part of being a pro EWS racer is 1. finding the best line and then 2. remembering all those f*cking lines when it comes time to race day.

I've been racing local amateur grassroots enduro races for a few years now and I'll usually head out to the riding area for ride day about 3 or 4 days prior and try and pre-ride all the stages. Lots of time I run out of time and end up having to race a stage or two blind But damn it if they all still don't feel blind as f*ck when it comes to race day, haha.

Veteran racers have also raced most of these races multiple times and while some stages change over time, many are the same and so they also remember them that way.

Same goes goes for me.. when the race is at my local area or.... now that I've been doing it for a few years and often ride at many of areas where the races are held... I know a lot more of the stages. This makes a HUGE difference.

You should check out Jesse's personal YouTube channel... he often posts videos of his practice runs and you can see him testing lines, walking back up, testing again... talks his way through it - "take the high line here... don't hit that rut too hard, no support... foot out here". Then you can watch his race run POV's and see how close he got to what he wanted. Interesting stuff.
  • 2 0
 @islandforlife: awesome, thanks for the info man! Not surprising to find out that these guys are crazy fast but also have some sort of freakish photographic memory.

And that’s cool to hear about your racing, keep it up out there!
  • 6 0
 @islandforlife already answered this pretty well.

At EWS now it is only one practice run, but I wear a gopro so I watch each stage a few times the night before just to make sure I know where I'm going.
  • 1 0
 @JesseMelamed: Didn't expect to see a celebrity this far down, thanks for weighing in, that's super cool of you. Best of luck in the season, I'll be rooting for you. Your Psychosis run from last year is still probably my favorite gopro footage of all time. Thanks Jesse, keep it up!!!
  • 2 0
 @OCSunDevil: That's sweet! It's such an insane track that one! Quite similar to Stage 4 here in length and flat out speed the whole way, but the trail for Psychosis is soooo good.
  • 4 0
 "GoPro: stop recording my mouth breathing"

Lol seriously though insane effort Melamed! Top notch!
  • 3 1
 are the chainsaws as "noise makers" a regional/enduro specific thing?
Also, just watching this video was raising my heart rate like I was on a climb, haha; damn.
  • 9 1
 They have been used everywhere in Downhill racing as long as I can remember..... and been annoying for the same length of time! It was logical they would have made their way over to enduro. Because noise.
  • 3 1
 @tkrug: do they at least remove the chain before bringing them to the race or do they go full texas chainsaw on these poor riders?!
  • 8 1
 @SATN-XC: haha no, chains and/or bars are removed however all of the obnoxious is retained.
  • 8 1
 It is a Stevie Smith thing from WC DH. IMO it's a bit tired at this point and breathing the 2-stroke fumes can't be good.
  • 2 0
 @Snowytrail: Also a thing for a certain collegiate racing team that goes as "The Lumberjacks".
  • 4 0
 Serious speed up that climb @ 2:50. Impressed.
  • 2 0
 my legs hurt just watching. Impressive these racers can keep focus after that type of output to avoid immediately crashing on the down.
  • 3 8
flag LeDuke (Jun 23, 2021 at 13:46) (Below Threshold)
 @SATN-XC: Welcome to XC racing.
  • 1 0
 Thought the chainsaw noises were coming from his bike for a second… cruising up that
  • 4 0
 That tired me out just sitting on the sofa with a beer!
  • 4 0
 I love his line choices! Jesse's POV runs are always a blast to watch Smile
  • 2 1
 Nino would have crushed that stage lol
  • 4 0
 yikes
  • 1 0
 Hard to believe he wasn't even breathing hard - so great to see talent like that crushing a course that made me need to break a couple times just watching it.
  • 2 0
 My chest hurts just watching that! Holy smokes!
  • 6 4
 A one minute fifteen second climb? Does the EWS think this is XC racing?
  • 2 0
 Sounds like me taking the stairs at 2:50
  • 4 6
 I dunno... It was a ~1:10 climb that clearly had some undulating bits to pump and regain a bit of composure. Doesn't seem too bad for an endurance event?

Hell, the Psychosis DH race climb/hike-a-bike was nearly as long at ~0:50s
  • 6 0
 It was a 1:10 climb for Jesse Melamed. So like 3-5 minutes for an average rider, and he did it after a full sized DH run, and did another full(er) sized DH run right after it.
  • 2 2
 @nouseforaname:

Watch Jesse Melamed's psychosis helmet cam... Like I said, ~0:50...
  • 3 0
 Gopro effect. Watch other views of the climb during rider walkthroughs. It's way steeper and longer than the race runs suggest.
  • 4 3
 @Ryan2949:

Again, it is a 1:10 climb in an endurance event for literally the best riders in the world... I don't doubt that is steep or that it was really hard. But it's kinda what you sign up for in "Enduro" isn't it?
  • 1 0
 was hoping someone would walk up and hand him a beer just before the clip ended
  • 1 0
 Such a savage stage. Great to see you crushing it again @JesseMelamed. All the best for the rest of the season!
  • 1 0
 The sharp left turn onto the wooden downramp @7:30 made me pucker. I would not want to cut wide on that one.
  • 1 1
 That was very upsetting. Also, I didn’t know enduro stages just end with the rider going to a cafe, and no one turns around and notices, let alone cheers. Sad.
  • 2 0
 that was exhausting.
  • 1 0
 Hey @JesseMelamed,you sound tired...was that something you ate? Big Grin
  • 2 0
 actual climb is @3:30
  • 1 0
 THAT. CLIMB. WAS. SAVAGE.
  • 1 0
 Jesse continuing to be awesome!
  • 1 0
 And here’s me who whinges about a ten metre climb at a local race......
  • 1 0
 Genuinely curious how his heart didn't literally explode. You rock Jesse!
  • 1 0
 Jesus… that looks brutal. EWS racers def elite athletes.
  • 2 0
 That’s just mean
  • 1 0
 Huge heckin' unit
  • 1 0
 LoL
  • 1 0
 That climb was brutal.
  • 1 0
 I feel exhausted now!
  • 2 5
 That isn't an EWS enduro stage it's XC. I'm surprised that this was included, there are so many technical tracks over there. Maybe they struggled with having to find 8 different stages?
  • 6 0
 They didn't find 8 different stages...We are racing the same ones at the next race this weekend which is super lame. I think only a venue that can handle two races on different stages should be allowed to hold a double header. La Thuile next week should be good one!
  • 2 0
 @JesseMelamed: true. Well la Thuille is a cracking venue. Good luck with it, ride like the wind!
  • 1 0
 @JesseMelamed: they could switch directions on stage 3 to mix things up. There'd still be a fair amount of descent in there...
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