Can you believe it, Finale Ligure was the last Enduro World Series of the 2014 season. Time flies fast. After 7 rounds very different from one another, after traveling from South America to Europe and North America, we were back on the old continent for the ultimate one, and not the least. Finale Ligure is a typical Italian town located on the coast with its white sand beaches and its steep mountains as a backyard. It was the best place to host this race before the off-season.
The practicing went well, as shuttling is allowed in Italy. You can train and still find some time to enjoy a little bit of the Italian lifestyle: drinking coffee and refreshing the legs in the sea. But don’t get fooled, we had a hard time battling to the finish line…Saturday
Four stages, 50km and more than 4 hours spent on the bike. The stages were various and offering all kinds of terrain and profiles. The first one was one of the most technical one of the year with tight corners, a kind of “trial downhill." Flo, Alex and I all signed our best result on this one, 2nd, 5th and 4th. Stages two and three were a little bit more pedaling and the last one was a massive downhill on a very rocky terrain and completely loose! Jesse wasn't feeling comfortable all day on this kind of trails but our other North-American guy, Peter proved he can adapt as he finished every stages in the top 30. After this big day, we were all exhausted but ready to battle the next day to keep our rankings. Flo was 5th, Alex 14th, Jesse 25th and I was 5th.Sunday
Morning, beautiful morning! Why not start with a 20 km, 1000 meter ascent and 2 hours transfer? That’s what we did! Already being at the top of the stage five was an accomplishment. But knowing the stages that were awaiting us, it was only a warm up. Stages five and six were pedaling and very physical. But when you’ve got in mind that these were the two last stages of the season, you have to give your best and fight to the finish line!
Florian concluded this weekend ranking 6th and therefore ranks 5th overall on the EWS after an incredible season! A podium in Chile, the French title and a regional title, he is everywhere. Alexandre finished 11th and also 11th overall… So close to the top 10! We now all know what he will be looking for next year and this perfectionist, studying as an engineer when he is not on the bike, will provide the means. Our Canadian, Jesse, was a bit disappointed with his result this weekend but still finished 24th overall. He proved he can battle with the best ones and he will be one to watch next year after getting the benefits and experience of this year. Peter and Antonin had a great weekend too and were both happy with their results 33rd and 62nd. Finally, I couldn't maintain my place and ranked 7th this weekend. But being back on my bike racing an EWS two months after my crash in Whistler and crossing the finish line still in the top 10 is one of the best satisfaction I had this year.
What matters the most this weekend is our team result. The Rocky Mountain Urge bp Rally team ranks second overall in the Enduro World Series! We are all in our twenties and most of us are still studying or working, but if you want something you’ve got to fight for it. We supported each other all the season, shared great moments, had incredible mechanics and a positive energy among the team that has just showed up in the result.
Thank you, Gracias, Grazie, Merci for this season!