As the Enduro World Series enters its fourth round of 2018 there are yet again many more firsts for riders in attendance. It's the first time racing has crossed international borders with stages in multiple countries each day. The first time most racers have ever been to Slovenia, and the first time many of the stages have ever been ridden, let alone raced. One thing, however, that is not a first for anyone who has followed the EWS over the past few seasons, however, is the rain. Out of the past 12 rounds held, only 4 have been unaffected by rain. And with some extremely steep and rooty trails here on the Austria-Slovenia border, things have been quite spicy over the past two days of practice.
Besides rain, the other theme of the week has been something much more enjoyable. Loam, sweet, sweet fresh loam descending for hundreds of meters at a time through beautiful forests. Rarely will one ever get to descend fresh cut trail of these lengths, but racers this weekend will be treated to 6 stages of which more than half the terrain has been cut fresh just for the Enduro World Series. And with forest covering much of the descents of nearly one thousand meters, that's a heck of a lot of slick and slimy roots that seem to multiply daily as racers begin to bed in the surface of things.
The forecast for the weekend is calling for a chance of sun, and if that is the case the conditions might just be all time. But if the rains continue it is going to get really messy really quickly. Given the results this season in similar conditions, you would have to lean towards Cecile Ravanel and Sam Hill as the obvious favorites, but there are many, many racers waiting in the wings who are ready to put their stamp on the EWS series.
Enjoy the visual delights below and be sure to tune in all weekend for all the action and drama from Austria and Slovenia. Previously:Essential Guide to Petzen-JamnicaCourse Preview VideoCourse Preview Photo EpicBike Check: Jesse Melamed's Rocky Mountain InstinctHow EWS Riders Perfect Brake Set-up
P.S. I would like to request one portrait orientation photo. I know it doesn’t work in the site layout for desktops, but my phone needs a new home screen background!
P.S. My birthday is in July if that is any motivation.
They wanted to do underground stage too as it was also part of local enduro race here but it is too dangerous. Check this: m.pinkbike.com/news/into-the-black-black-hole-trail.html