After a three year hiatus from the circuit, the EWS has returned to Ainsa with lots of enthusiasm from racers and support staff alike. A truly unique venue with amazing natural trails, Ainsa was an instant favorite in 2015 and many have been waiting impatiently to make this return visit ever since. Believe it or not, the sun is blazing down and the trails are super dry and dusty which is a welcome departure from the rain that seems to have plagued the "Enduro Wet Series" the past two seasons. With some entirely new trail systems being used for this visit to Ainsa, racers will find themselves challenged by four completely unseen trails in addition to three of the classic stages from the previous EWS here. With one of those classic trails being raced for the first time after being canceled due to a flash flood in 2015.
The race start is quite physical as riders navigate some long traverses and punchy climbs on the long first and second stage, before heading into some fast and rough old favorites for Stages 3 &4 on day 1. On day 2, racers will head up high to descend back down a rocky open ridge line and a countless number of switchbacks to start the day. Stage 6 makes its way down some very fast and exposed knife-edge ridge lines that might not sit well for those afraid of heights. And the final Stage 7 is a mix of rock forest singletrack and steep tight switchbacks to close out a day far less physical than the first. There is also a prologue through the medieval village on Friday night to get the party started and to showcase the unique race village hidden behind the castle walls. Despite being mandatory for all racers it is not timed and has no bearing on the race in any way.
With only one run of training allowed on each stage, it will once again be a test of who can best memorize the plethora of line options, as well as adapt on the fly as conditions change come race day.