Photo Epic presented by ODI
Beautiful Val Di Fassa, in the heart of the Dolomites, plays host to the fourth round of the Enduro World Series with some amazing stages and even more incredible views. Add some blazing summer sunshine and you have an instant recipe for another classic race.
Riders didn't have much of a chance to enjoy the incredible views on the first day of practice as they spent the majority of the time in the trees on stages 1-4. A mix of fresh cut tracks and some of the valley's classic older trails made up the majority of these stages, with plenty of switchbacks and steep chutes that the European races have become known for. Many riders have been struck by the sheer variety of the stages on offer, from loose and open to tight, steep and technical, and at well over 2000m in elevation, it's nice to be getting to ride the chairlift for the first time this season.
The final day of practice ahead of the MET Val Di Fassa EWS was a bit more relaxed as riders only tackled what will be the final stage of the race - Tutti Frutti - the most iconic in the region which is also designated as the Queen Stage in Canazei. In total, the five stages and liaisons will cover 41km and the one day race features an incredible 3000 meters of descent.
This weekend’s race is sure to see the action ramp up as the series reaches the midway point of the season, and riders shift their focus towards their overall series ranking. Florian Nicolai now leads the men's ahead of Jesse Melamed and Remi Gauvin, while Isabeau Courdurier has a commanding lead over Noga Korem and Morgane Charre. This is also the first of the big mountain races this season with the longest stages we have seen in the series so far in 2019. And with venues such as Les Orres, Whistler and Zermatt still to come it will be the riders who excel this weekend that may very well carry that momentum through the remainder of the season.