Photo Epic: Riding Through History - Practice Day, EWS Ainsa 2015

Sep 24, 2015
by Matt Wragg  





For the second to last round of the EWS in 2015 the series heads to new pastures on some of the oldest trails in Europe. The towns in this region all date back to around the twelfth century, the trails several millenia and the ground beneath our feet was the ocean floor some many million years ago. Among these green, rolling hills at the feet of the Pyrennes the locals have built a stunning network of trails that is a world away from any stereotypical idea of Spain as a country of little more than sun, sea and sangria (although we have had plenty of the latter so far). Over two days of practice riders have been getting a feel for the eight stunning stages that will make up the two days of racing this weekend.




The tunnel through the mountains - to reach this part of Spain from France you take the direct option.
The tunnel through the mountains - to reach this part of Spain from France you take the direct option.

The trails hidden in these hills and the base of the Pyrenees are some of the beat we have seen this season on the EWS.
The trails hidden in these hills at the base of the Pyrenees are some of the best we have seen this season on the EWS.

The view this morning. EWS round 7 Ainsa Spain. Photo by Matt Wragg.
The view from the road to stage two. Photo by Matt Wragg.

The old town of Ainsa sits just above the valley floor - it was built some eight hundred years ago at a time when hilltops where the most desirable location going because they were easier to defend.

The old village of Ainsa is build into the walls of an ancient castle and gives the feels of this round a unique and stories feel.
The view from the top of stage two.

The old town of Ainsa sits just above the valley floor - it was built some eight hundred years ago at a time when hilltops were the most desirable location going because they were easier to defend.

When you arrive in a town you look for small signs of what is to come. Curtis Keene s jersey taking pride of place in the local supermarket window is definitely a good sign for the week.
When you arrive in a town you look for small signs of what is to come. Curtis Keene's jersey taking pride of place in the local supermarket window is definitely a good sign for the week.

At the top of stage three the ground is made up of what look like small round rocks. In fact they are fossils from a time when this part of the world made up the seabed.
At the top of stage three the ground is made up of what looks like small, round rocks. In fact they are fossils from a time when this part of the world made up the seabed.

With practice starting on Wednesday Richie and Jared went for an afternoon hike on Tuesday to go and get a feel for some of the tracks.
With practice starting on Wednesday, Richie and Jared went for an afternoon hike on Tuesday to go and get a feel for some of the tracks.

On stage five riders get a glimpse of the town where the finish line lies but they will still have three more stages to tackle when this reach this point on Sunday.
On stage five riders get a glimpse of the town where the finish line lies, but they will still have three more stages to tackle before they reach this point on Sunday.

Left to right - Antonio and Angel the trail builders here in Ainsa and on the right Jorge - the man who made this race happen.
Left to right - Antonio and Angel, the trail builders here in Ainsa, and on the right Jorge - the man who made this race happen.

The view Tracy Moseley and the start of stage two from high up the tower of an old ruin.
That view. Tracy Moseley in shot and the start of stage two from high up the tower of an old ruin.

Third at the last round Yoann Barelli is looking for anothe podium here in Spain.
Third at the last round, Yoann Barelli is looking for another podium here in Spain.

After an injury plagued season Damien Oton is on the hunt here in Spain to get his season back on track.
After an injury plagued season, Damien Oton is on the hunt here in Spain to get his season back on track.

Marco Osborne has been going big in practice - sending everything and anything in sight.
Marco Osborne has been going big in practice - sending everything and anything in sight.

Richie Rude isn t even slightly phased by the awkward rock switchbacks on stage three but the tracks here feel very much like the South of France where most of his French title rivals calls home will this put him at a disavantage
Richie Rude isn't even slightly phased by the awkward rock switchbacks on stage three but the tracks here feel very much like the South of France where most of his French title rivals calls home, will this put him at a disadvantage?

Jerome Clementz is a bit back in points but not out of the hunt for the overall should other falter.
Jerome Clementz is a bit back in points but not out of the hunt for the overall should others falter.

Anneke Beerten weaves through the woods on stage two.
Anneke Beerten weaves through the woods on stage two.

Richie Rude makes quick work of steep and loose open upper section of stage two.
Richie Rude makes quick work of the steep and loose open upper section of stage two.

The Rocky Mountain squad practicing on a very rocky mountain.
The Rocky Mountain squad practicing on a very rocky mountain.

Jessse Melamed showing just how easy it is to overcook it on the loose rock.
Jesse Melamed showing just how easy it is to overcook it on the loose rock.

Joe Flanagan has taken time off his freeriding exploits to come and get back to enduro racing this weekend but he was still sending the sketchiest lips and making it look easy.
Joe Flanagan has taken time off his freeriding exploits to come and get back to enduro racing this weekend, but he was still sending the sketchiest lips and making it look easy.

Isabeau Courduriers trajectory this season has been up through the rankings culminating in her podium in Whistler. She is another rider who calls the south of France home so knows just how to go fast on this kind of terrain.
Isabeau Courdurier's trajectory this season has been up through the rankings, culminating in her podium in Whistler. She is another rider who calls the south of France home, so knows just how to go fast on this kind of terrain.

If there is any kind of lip on track Iago Garay will find a way to boost off it.
If there is any kind of lip on track, Iago Garay will find a way to boost off it.

Martin Mae s threads it through the tight trees on stage one.
Martin Maes threads it through the tight trees on stage one.

Tracy Moseley masters one of the many sets of switchbacks high on sage five.
Tracy Moseley masters one of the many sets of switchbacks high on stage five.

Alex Cure brought his own headlight to deal with the early morning starts and dark woods on stage six.
Alex Cure brought his own headlight to deal with the early morning starts and dark woods on stage six.

This weekend we get to see Fabien Barel unchained. With nothing to lose and the world championship title within his grasp he looks set to lay it all on the line to finish his racing career in winning fashion. While many struggled with this awkward rock drop on stage six he -pre-jumped it and made it look clean easy and very very fast.
This weekend we get to see Fabien Barel unchained. With nothing to lose and the world championship title within his grasp he looks set to lay it all on the line to finish his racing career in winning fashion. While many struggled with this awkward rock drop on stage six, he -pre-jumped it and made it look clean, easy and very, very fast.

Joe Barnes looks happy here in Ainsa throwing in some style to the fast straights on stage six.
Joe Barnes looks happy here in Ainsa, throwing in some style to the fast straights on stage six.

with the Spanish valley in the Francois Bailly-Maitre drops into the final switchbacks of stage eight.
With the Spanish valley in the background, Francois Bailly-Maitre drops into the final switchbacks of stage eight.

Nico Vouilloz above the cliff bands on stage 8. Much of the terrain on day two is extremely exposed with massive drops of either side.
Nico Vouilloz above the cliff bands on stage 8. Much of the terrain on day two is extremely exposed, with massive drops of either side.

Ludo May foot out flat out while practicing trails sight unseen.
Ludo May foot out flat out while practising.

Greg Callaghan is back up to 100 after his injury earlier this year and keen to get his season back on track.
Greg Callaghan is back up to 100% after his injury earlier this year and keen to get his season back on track.

Stage eight drops down from the hills back towards the town and the finish line.
Stage eight drops down from the hills back towards the town and the finish line.

Ines Thoma dropping through the steep loose final section of stage eight.
Ines Thoma dropping through the steep, loose final section of stage eight.

Jared Graves is back and looking focused and fast.
Jared Graves is back and looking focused and fast.

Remy Absalon near the top of stage six.
Remy Absalon near the top of stage six.

Bryan Regnier drifts into the final switchback on stage five.
Bryan Regnier drifts into the final switchback on stage five.

Cafes and cerzezas mark the end of days here in Aisna as many riders and media are heading into the last few rounds with a more relaxed approach.
Cafes and cerzezas mark the end of days here in Aisna as many riders and media are heading into the last few rounds with a more relaxed approach.

About the Photographers

Matt Wragg • Age: 32 • Years Shooting: 3
Maybe best-known as a long-standing member of Pinkbike's European editorial team, Matt is also a successful commercial photographer. As the first English-speaking photographer to follow and document the nascent European enduro scene, he was shooting enduro well before it became a marketing buzzword or a shade of blue. Today he is still one of the few photographers to make his living following the discipline and has built up an enviable client list that includes many of the top teams and brands in the world.


Dave Trumpore • Age: 35 • Years Shooting: 4
Dave spent the bulk of the past 17 years racing professionally before realizing that despite qualifying for the random World Cup final here and there, the next generation was just way too fast and way more talented. Upon hanging up his racing boots in 2010, it would be a few years until Dave picked up a camera and started shooting the odd race here and there as a way to stay in touch with all the friends he had made over the years, and the rest as they say is history. In just a few years time his photos have graced the pages of just about every MTB magazine and major media outlet, while his commercial client list includes a who's who of the cycling industry, and he is lucky enough to shoot regularly with some of the best riders on the planet. Currently at Pinkbike, Dave shoots the Downhill WC and the Enduro World Series as well as contributing to the occasional editorial story.


MENTIONS: @EnduroWorldSeries / @yeticycles / @trek



Must Read This Week

53 Comments

  • + 81
 Amazing photography. Thanks!
  • + 2
 Just beautiful shots, lighting and composition. Made me want to get on a plane and go! The riders should be stoked too. Steeze for days.
  • + 2
 Probably some of the best work I've saw on PB. Props to this camera guy.
  • + 57
 Jared looking stacked as fuck
  • + 6
 Brotha's from a different motha
  • + 2
 Such a sick shot!! What width bars does he run? They look narrow compared to the other boys
  • + 6
 740mm. He says he can turn faster getting closer to the trees.
  • + 5
 Yeah that photo of Gravesy is actually a little scary. Would not want to race against that.
  • + 8
 I started mountain biking in 1990. I am LOVING the classic yeti colours. Those bikes were the shit in the early 90s, and by the look of it that's not changed.
  • + 1
 I had a brief chat with Mick Hannah at Lenzerheide this year, having never met the guy before... $5 says that photo does not do them justice.
  • + 1
 First thing I noticed too. He's gotten real skinny since switching full time to EWS, looks more like his DH/4X/BMX days in that picture. Maybe he's taking notes on how well Richie is doing this season.
  • + 1
 Yeah man, him and Richie showing us rookies what a riders legs should look like!
  • + 31
 Wow, I wasn't a big fan of the annivesary Yeti sb6, but the boys with their new kit, look so dialed and awesome!
  • + 17
 Those trail builders at the top mean business... look at the placement of that chainsaw ????
  • + 1
 Hope the Stihl is not running...
  • + 1
 Pic should be titled "Mohel with a Chainsaw"
  • + 12
 iv been on a 2 weeks hollyday there this year and rode 1 and sometimes 2 of theyr loops per day and could not see all the trails, that place is huge,pure natural terrain technical up and down,if there is a place especially design for enduroing/trail/all mountain this is it,can´t wait to go back.TOOOONS of trails.
  • + 8
 Some of the most incredible photos I have seen on PB. Nice work.
  • + 5
 Gosh, Yeti sure have some muscles to back them up. A great photos and it hurts my eyes still stuck in the office. Big props and big thanks to Matt and Dave for the photos.
  • + 4
 Seriously, the size of both their calves!
  • + 7
 España tío. Cervezas y café !
  • + 7
 enduro may get some stick but damn they race in some beautiful places.
  • + 6
 Wallpaper quality photos my friends! Mega thanks!
  • + 3
 Jesse Melamed the drift king
  • + 2
 That bit of track looks sketchy !!
  • + 3
 Extremely amazing photos! Trails look awesome too Smile
  • + 4
 These photos Ainsa bad!
  • + 4
 Mind those chainsaws....
  • + 2
 Is that a chainsaw in your crotch or are you not happy to see me?
  • + 2
 Is that Iago Garay on a Bronson, and not the Nomad? Guess the Bronson is becoming more and more enduro-ble.
  • + 2
 Amazing photography. Makes me want to go there. Now.
  • + 2
 Great quality pics Pinkbike. Thanks very much.
  • + 2
 That Pic of Barel is fkn sweet.
  • + 2
 I believe Yoann got second at the last stop, not third.
  • + 1
 In the last pics there's a typo. It's "cervezas", not cerzezas. Or you're tryng to say cerezas (cherries) but I'll doubt Wink .
  • + 1
 *trying
  • + 1
 Any idea what rear tyre Graves is running? Doesn't look like anything in the current maxxis catalogue
  • + 1
 In the photo with Moseley, is the guy in the ruins taking a piss? at least it looks like it...
  • + 1
 Yeah, thought the same....
  • + 2
 its like being there
  • + 1
 Is Remy related to Julian Absalon?
  • + 2
 Is his bro
  • + 1
 Thought so, thanks, What a talented family!
  • + 2
 Booom Jared you the man!
  • + 1
 Saw Marco at Stafford lake jumps sending it hard in the wind
  • + 0
 Amazing photography, but @davetrumpore, the dust seems to have gotten the best of your sensor. Wink
  • + 0
 Barnes looks like a 6 year old child without his upper lip hair.
  • + 1
 Track looks awesome
  • - 1
 SO. MANY. ENDURBRO. BANGERS.
  • - 2
 ENDURING! WOOOOOO
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