The Enduro World Series is back and the new season kicks off with the Lo Barnechea Montenbaik Enduro high in the Andes mountains to the east of Santiago. It’ll be a tough start to the year as 500 riders take on the famous Chilean ‘anti-grip’ over two days of flat out racing on some of the longest stages ever raced in EWS history.
After incredible performances last year, all eyes will be on reigning champions Sam Hill and Cecile Ravanel. Although they’re up against an ever-growing field of riders hoping to deny them that chance. And of course the infamous Chilean Anti-Grip could spell disaster for anyone at any moment. Stretch it all out over stages as long as 1600 meters and numerous sharp volcanic rock, and this race will certainly be a battle of attrition.
In the men’s field, Hill will be keeping a close on eye on Adrien Dailly (Lapierre), the young Frenchman who proved to be his fiercest championship rival last year. Third-ranked Greg Callaghan will also be one to watch with his win in Madeira last season proving he can win in the big mountains. Former champion Richie Rude won the last time the series visited Chile in 2016, and has been dominant anytime the EWS has visited mountains on any scale similar to the Andes.
In the women’s race, Isabeau Courdurier will be looking to capitalise on Cecile Ravanel’s decision to skip two races this season and be focused on that elusive World Champion title. Katy Winton will also be looking for podiums, and it will be interesting to see how Noga Korem fares now that she has her first team ride with GT Factory Racing. Anneke Beerten could be the dark horse amongst the women after injury has ruined her previous two seasons. A new team and good health may be just the ticket to those elusive EWS wins.
Last year’s team competition champions Ibis Cycles Enduro Race Team will be looking for more of the same, but they face stiff competition in the form of Chain Reaction Cycles Mavic, Cube Action Team, Canyon Factory Enduro Team and a plethora of others.
Tune in daily for all the action as we try out best to duck the roost and survive the dust in some truly unique and epic terrain.Day 1Day 2