The last race of the season is always intense, but the final round of the 2021 Enduro World Series took things to the next level, bringing the drama to the rolling hills of Southern Scotland. So much so that the week of cold driving rain, unrelenting wind, and challenging conditions served as a mere backdrop to the final showdown of the season.
Saturday’s Pro Stage took an unexpected twist when Richie Rude’s championship campaign ended abruptly after leaving the course markings, resulting in a disqualification. This would hand the championship to series leader Jack Moir with no further contest. Moir would go on to win the stage, setting him up with a three-second advantage into the remaining five stages.
To kick off Sunday's drama, a crash on the first stage of the day saw Moir’s race chances begin to slip away, with Martin Maes taking the stage win and with it the race lead. From here on in it was Maes’ race to lose and he knew it, putting down the power to win his first race this season by over six seconds. Jesse Melamed would win two stages, and while he got within just two seconds of Maes going into the last stage, he could go no better and was rewarded with second place. Adrien Dailly saw a return to form to round out the top three.
Jack Moir’s impressive five race wins saw him crowned the overall 2021 Enduro World Series Champion, with Richie Rude finishing just behind him in second and Jesse Melamed in third.
In the women’s competition, Bex Baraona made her intentions clear early with a decisive win in the Pro Stage. Sunday however got off to a shaky start for her with a ninth on stage two, and she was then forced to play catchup in front of the hometown crowd. Harriet Harnden had other plans and almost stole it away, leading into the final stage. But Baraona fought back to win the stage and with it the first EWS win of her career. Harnden had to settle for second with Morgane Charre coming third.
However, none of them could match Melanie Pugin’s record of two wins and the consistency of five podium finishes, which saw the French rider named the overall Enduro World Series Champion by a comfortable margin. Morgane Charre finished just behind her in second place, with outgoing champ Isabeau Courdurier in third.
That's it for 2021, but we will see you right back in the Tweed Valley next June for the opening round when the EWS Championship battle begins all over again.