Video Highlights: EWS La Thuile 2018

Jul 23, 2018
by Enduro World Series  

The fifth round of the Enduro World Series threw everything it could at the riders; huge stages, weather-induced course changes and some of the rowdiest trails of the season. It was the third time the series had visited La Thuile in the Italian Alps, and this was definitely its most dramatic outing yet - in a race that proved to be a true test of both bike and body.


MENTIONS: @EnduroWorldSeries



109 Comments

  • + 43
 Times tighter than Ric's Jeans!
  • + 34
 Honest question ... what is happening in the Specialized factory team camp? Neither Graves not Keene are anywhere to be seen.
  • + 28
 #specialized
  • + 4
 Last I saw was a video of them testing the new stumpy....or perhaps it was the new Ohlins fork.... maybe they are still testing ???
  • + 1
 hard to say that Graves is not at par with the other talent, must be the bike?
  • + 28
 @ibis09: This happens over and over, when richie rides badly, crashes or flats on yeti/maxxis its bad luck, conditions, him being out of sorts. But when it happens to graves its ALWAYS tied back to specialized. Such a double standard.
  • + 14
 @tomlynchwatson: welcome to pinkbike lol
  • + 1
 @tomlynchwatson: I don't know man, because when he was in Yeti he was doing good. Maybe just like Gwin from Trek to Spec?
  • + 14
 @ibis09: When you finish out of the top 100 its not the bike
  • + 0
 @sarah-maude: Graves definitely had a mechanical. He rode down one of the stages on the rim with the tire and cush core flopping everywhere.
  • + 25
 @dualsuspensiondave: But stage after stage for the past 2 years I mean come on?
Put some air in the DH tires buy enve 90 wheels with the integrated rubber and scratch the stickers and put your sponsor on
add cushcore to that and some more air plus tube plus 10 ounces of Stan's anything but just finish a d... race!

How come Hill NEVER has a mechanical and Graves ALWAYS Has ?
  • + 1
 @sarah-maude: graves had a 3rd place in colorado last season
  • + 1
 @sarah-maude: I totally agree. To be fair, Graves has probably 30-40lbs. on Hill. That makes a big difference with tires especially. Then again, Hill is so damn smooth.
  • - 8
flag makripper (Jul 23, 2018 at 21:54) (Below Threshold)
 @dualsuspensiondave: hill is not smooth lol he's the opposite. He smashes it trying to hit the shortest tightest lines. More psi, not massive volume tires and suspension tuned around the tire setup. Also, no inserts lol. I guess he makes it look smooth? I'd say gravey is smoother, whith all his 4x success and ya know, gravey being smooth hahaha
  • + 10
 @sarah-maude: I totally agree. I do wonder if it has more to do with their fundamental approach to racing Enduro. Both Graves and Rude are big riders whose training seems to have a lot of emphasis on gym work for strength and power. This is compared with Hill who if anything has slimmed down since his DH days, and (it would seem) focuses his attention on endurance fitness rather than all-out power.

Besides the fact that he is an astonishing rider, I imagine Hill's approach of prioritising consistency rather than out of the gate speed means that he's also a lot less hard on his gear.

And if you wanted to get really deep, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's concept of Flow serves as pretty great explanation for why top riders such as Hill, Ravenel and others (Pierron, Atherton, Gwin, Bryceland...) have the ability to consistently outperform their rivals when they are at the top of their game.
  • + 3
 @sarah-maude: dont jinx Hill please...
  • + 3
 @DDB1: well he did get fat in 2010 lol other than that he's always been slim. Graves has been about finesse too. He's competed in a few national xc races.
  • + 4
 Graves is 79kg and hill is 75 kg. Info is readily available via Google.
  • + 10
 Graves and Richie were the best of the rest when the best didn't race enduro
  • + 3
 OK, it wouldn't be fair to blame just the bike, but, while top men/women are on real on-purpose bikes, these tow men are riding Stumpys (and Rude is on a 5.5). Compare these to those MEGA275, META29, Slash,... EWS is becoming more and more hard on bikes, and it just makes no sense racing in XCish bikes anymore, IMHO.
  • + 1
 @dualsuspensiondave: More like 10 lbs. Hardly enough to account for even a tiny fraction of his mechanical bad luck over the last few seasons. Sam had a few years in the wilderness too, I wouldn't count Graves out yet.
  • + 7
 Don’t come in here with your facts @makripper:
  • + 3
 Graves insists that the Stumpy 29er is a better fit for him and the suspension curve is better than the Enduro. The funny thing is that Keene, riding an Enduro trounced Graves at La Thulie in 2016 coming 6th overall and Joe Nation came 18th as a privateer on an Enduro this year. I'd like to see Graves on a 650B Enduro. Especially on some of these crazy steep rough courses.
  • + 4
 Y'all forgot about Dave McMillan who races for Specialized. He beat Keene and Graves.
  • + 0
 @dualsuspensiondave: Graves rode 4x on a hard tail. His riding should be smooth.
  • + 2
 @karatechris: Who said that he shouldn't be smooth? Just different riding styles is all. Jared always has been a smasher.
  • + 1
 @makripper: If you look into it further, rather than just a quick google search, you will see that Graves is closer to 180lbs. where Hill is about 158lbs. That's just listed weight as well. Look at both of them next to each other and seriously tell me that they are only 10lbs. off each other. No way! Graves lost about 30lbs. in recent years as well.
  • + 1
 @makripper: By that logic, you better go tell their mechanics that 10-20lbs. of body weight doesn't make any difference with suspension setup, tires, tire pressure, etc. It makes a huge difference! Hell I loose 10-20lbs. a year in riding season and it makes a big difference with just about everything concerning the bike.
  • + 1
 @headshot: exactly
Top dogs are on 160-170 mm bike and are lighter then Graves who is quite on the muscle side
Its nonsense for him to ride a stumpy with around 22 psi

Put 35 psi and finish 17th instead of not finishing lol
  • + 2
 @dualsuspensiondave: now you are fishing pretty hard. You said they were drastically different in weight and Graves rides harder lol you are getting down the semantics. Graves is arguably smoother and less reckless than hill. Hill compromises gear to suit his riding. You will never hear him complain about gear. I only remember 2 times. Once in 2013 when he went from a large to a small demo 8, and another time in 2015 or 2016 when he had a mod done on his pulse to make it a little shorter? I can't remember. If he loses he blames himself and his riding.
  • + 1
 @sarah-maude: agreed to that!
  • + 32
 I'm impressed with Oton, crashed on multiple stages, said his hand was not feeling good, we all know that's rider talk for I'm masking an injured hand. Then comes in 5th, pretty clutch riding.
  • + 24
 Wild thought...WynTV at an EWS?
  • + 8
 Wyn for show, Eddie for go! ;-)
  • + 14
 @NZHixy: Wyn is the one with the EWS win.
  • + 1
 It was a thing last season, whistler and finale
  • + 20
 Awesome as always, I thoroughly enjoyed it! Make them twice as long just by adding Helmcam footage from the Pro Riders, like the ones from Megavalanche. Having the true Riders perspective would make it even more engaging.
  • + 2
 Definitely, that'd really make it
  • + 18
 Weaknesses are bad. Got it.
I’m screwed then.
  • + 15
 you know richie was hauling ass when he manages to take a DD casing tyre off a ex471 with cushcore
  • + 22
 This stuff happened at lot less before jank tire inserts became a thing. How about no inserts and proper psi and DH casing. Looks at CRC. They never have tire issues and don't use inserts
  • + 2
 @nvranka: suprist I was downvoted to shit haha. Just pump your damn tires up and learn how to ride
  • + 1
 @nvranka: suprised*
  • + 1
 MM in DH casing 36psi and I'm 90kg, EX471 rim and I punctured the tire (2 holes, vertical of one rim bed) without even noticing when it happened... On sharp rock I guess.
I had heard that the EX471 rim is quite sharp, this seems to prove it (not even a dent on the rim though!).

And I am obviously not hauling ass as Richie!

So I guess he just had bad luck, and once punctured, then the tire came off.
  • + 7
 He smashed the bike against a tree (in front of me) and destroyed the rim, so the cushcore wouldn't have helped
  • - 3
 @crashtor: well that's rider error and shouldn't happen at that level lol
  • + 12
 Richie Rude should seriously consider going back to 27.5. Sam Hill, and Gwin for the matter, have proven that wheel size doesnt mean everything if you have the right skills, and Richie's best days came on 27.5. Its worth a try!
  • + 6
 He was in the top 5 most of the race.
  • + 10
 And Graves back to 26inch by that logic
  • + 1
 and he was on M and 60mm stem...
  • + 11
 It's so great hearing Sam Hills name being called out on the podium. Just like when he raced DH. I wonder how Gee Atherton would do if he moved to Enduro.
  • + 2
 I was wondering the same today
  • + 2
 Gee did a few races a few years back, and Dan was big into it when it first became a 'thing'. they never really made a huge mark on it (not that they werent good, just that they didnt win every stage by 3 minutes, as pinkbike comments would have you beleive any real DH rider would do.). I guess as Trek factory atherton racing was fully commited to DHWC with Rachel, maybe they couldnt afford or logistically work committing to EWS as well.
  • + 1
 @AyJayDoubleyou: yeah I remember Dan doing it.

I just wondered about Gee as he is obviously a machine and looks after himself. He perhaps now lacks the downright speed on a WC DH track now (although recent quali results have been better) I thought his fitness and bike handling skills would be interesting as the RED tracks look like they have progressed a little more .
  • + 1
 @AyJayDoubleyou: that should say EWS tracks. Bloody phone autocorrect.
  • + 14
 Skinny jeans - no
  • + 9
 Hahaha those hurt my particulars just looking at them.
  • + 12
 Didn't know Ric was a slopestyle rider.
  • + 5
 Noticed that too, lol. I don't know how he can walk in those things. Still great coverage of the event though!
  • + 12
 Enduro is the sh1t!
  • + 4
 I love these highlights. I just wish there was another place to watch even more of the riding action.

It's interesting watching Hill. I've watched him since he was a junior on the Ironhorse team. It's crazy to see his riding style compared to others. Other people are pinned in certain sections, trying to make up time all over the place, maybe trying to make up for mistakes earlier in the course. Sam just looks like he's doing barely more than his cruising speed, but he's always consistent. He doesn't ever look sketchy or like he's riding on the verge of his limits. I remember someone saying that back in the day when he was winning DH WC. They said he didn't look the fastest, but his times showed that he was. I'm pretty stoked for him.

And is it just me, or do those bars look way too wide for Isabeau?
  • + 7
 Ravanel muscling those roots. Then Eddie sending them! But oh god that Ante Up pastiche was awful.
  • + 4
 I really like Sam Hill, but i would love to see Maes get a win, he wants it so badly but he has to beat Sam Hil to get it...He absolutely crushed it on day2, incredible riding
  • + 3
 I would love to win an EWS aswell
  • + 3
 Great coverage, pinkbike! Richie needs an absolute bombproof bike to not have a mechanical. Sucks to see that those keep plaguing him. I just want to see the guy do well again. Much respect to hometown boy Melamed still killing it though! Woot!
  • + 1
 Mechanicals, especially punctures etc, is almost always a matter of setup and line choice. If you choose light casing tyres, low pressure or run straight into rough stuff, you will puncture sooner or later. And even if you're running DH casing or DD, if pressure doesn't match line choice same things happen, you blow through, dent a rim or blow the tyre of the bead.
  • + 3
 not being critical really, I'm actually just curious, how does Courdurier still go so fast when she's sitting down all the time? in like every corner she's sitting on her saddle. seems to work for her fine though obviously
  • + 8
 I noticed that too, but maybe because she is not very tall it just appears that way ?
  • + 2
 @cjfromme: I think so too. I'm 5'3" and pictures of me on the bike look like a normal sized person sitting on the rear tire and trying to hide behind the handlebars...
  • + 7
 Beautiful mountains
  • + 5
 Very curious to know who crashed on stage 3 and got it taken off the women's schedule. No one will give details which is odd
  • + 5
 Seems like a real bad one unfortunately, heal up wheel up!
  • + 1
 Yes, makes you think the news got squashed... Hope she/he is okay.
  • + 9
 @headshot: It was a minor injury in the men's field, but in an awkward part of the track, so the rescue took a while - we didn't suppress the news it was mentioned in the highlights film.
  • + 1
 @EnduroWorldSeries: Good to hear. Thanks for the reply.
  • + 0
 @EnduroWorldSeries: I believe people are asking about the woman that was injured. Can you shed some light on this?
  • + 3
 @gigamike: It was an injury in the men's field that delayed the women and forced the cancellation of the stage.
  • + 3
 Is Youn Deniaud still a privateer ? He currently sits in seventh overall, which is really impressive, no matter if you're sponsored or not !
  • + 3
 Genuine question: Why are the points in women and men categories different ?
  • + 4
 Something to do with the women’s field being smaller and making it competive.
  • + 2
 It's for the team championship they say. To even that out. Otherwise, you could with that with a team stacked of women. That's their thought process anyway.
  • + 2
 Ok thanks for the answers, I get the reasoning.
On the other side, couldn't it be an incentive for teams to sign women to even out the points?
Then maybe the issue is not demand for women in racing, but the supply... It'd be interesting to have an official's take on the matter.
  • + 2
 With coverage this good and a track this raw...hard not to like this enduro thing!
  • + 2
 I really look forward to watching these EWS videos, great content, 20 minutes is not enough...
  • + 2
 So Danny Hart and Cecile are gonna have to have a ball off now to seen who’s tops.
  • + 0
 Warner and Page on the call.
  • + 2
 So wasn't misunderstanding her french accent when I heard her talk about Cecile's ball...
  • + 1
 @Kickmehard: Thats what she said! haha
  • + 2
 Well done again! The tracks the riders the speed and of course Sam - absolutely phenomenal
  • + 2
 That front wheel root slip of Sam's! Awesome save. I would be in surgery.
  • + 1
 someone get that poor bearded hipster a more comfortable pair of pants; he's freakin me out.
  • + 1
 Hill and Ravanel are killing it. Props to these guys...
  • + 1
 Less Euro techno for these edits and more mariachi horns like near the end
  • + 2
 Specticular!!!
  • + 1
 Music credits please?
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