6 Things We Learned at EWS La Thuile

Jul 23, 2018 at 23:48
by Brian Park  
Man on a mission. Sam Hill was once again the man to beat and no one touch him.

1. Cecile and Isabeau are the queens of consistency.

While Cecile has been utterly dominant, Isabeau is still in touch for the overall. With a slew of 2nd place finishes, she's only 250 points back; and, with 400 points for a win in the women's series, Cecile needs to stay sharp to take the overall.
A day full of stage wins once again for Cecile Ravanel. She now leads by 34 seconds heading into day 2.

2. Sam is running away with the men's race.

With Wallner pulling out of the last round, Sam has extended his lead. Oton is still a threat, but his results are volatile—he's only been on the podium once this year. Sitting in 3rd, Maes has been on the podium 4 times this year, but missed the Colombia round and faces an uphill battle in the overall.
When you are the world number one it s hard to escape the paparazzi.

3. The DH folks are smashing it.

The "Enduro Specialists" I've expected to start owning this discipline, haven't. Yet, anyway. Eddie Masters took 3rd, Blenki took 15th. And with Cecile taking 2 World Cup DH podiums this year, it's clear that the stages being ridden on the EWS are incredibly high level.
Eddie Masters is crushing it at the EWS once again. Fresh off a top 10 at last weekends World Cup and a few weeks after almost stealing a podium position in Slovenia he sits in 2nd.

4. Eddie Masters is having a very good year.

Coming off a top-10 World Cup DH in Vallnord, he added his 2nd EWS podium in La Thuile. Also, he carried a water bottle in his pocket all race.
This is one to celebrate. Masters has a well earned drink at the end of the weekend.

5. Jesse Melamed is back.

With a 4th place this weekend he's clearly recovered from his broken collarbone, and is a legitimate podium threat going into his home turf in Whistler, BC.
Jesse Melamed is well on the mend. Fourth after day one.

6. Tire brands that aren't Maxxis or Schwalbe are winning EWS races.

Enduro is likely the best litmus test for reliability, so it's noteworthy that Michelin (under Sam) and Hutchinson (under Cecile) are leading the series. It's probably been two decades since those two brands were at the pointy end of the MTB pack under Nico and Anne-Caro.
Tech from the La Thuile EWS pits


Other oddities:
• In each Top 20 overall there are only 2 British men, but 5 British women.
• Only 30% of riders in the Men's and Women's Top 5 Overall are on 29ers: Damien Oton, Cecile Ravanel, and 5'2" Katy Winton.
• 90% of riders in the Men's & Womens Top 5 Overall are on carbon bikes. Cecile is the exception to the rule.





What did we miss? What stood out to you this during this weekend's race?


Previously:
• Video Highlights: EWS La Thuile 2018
• Photo Epic: Race Day 2 - EWS La Thuile 2018
• Final Results: EWS La Thuile 2018
• Photo Epic: Race Day 1 - EWS La Thuile 2018
• Day 1 Results: EWS La Thuile 2018
• Photo Report: Practice Day - EWS La Thuile 2018
• Bike Checks & Tech From The Pits
• The Essential Guide to EWS La Thuile 2018



Mentions: @EnduroWorldSeries



186 Comments

  • 88 26
 That Michelin tyre looks exactly what Magic Mary should be, having wider base for the knobs so that they don't squirm on hard and dry surfaces. Would totally give it a try. I just don't see how a big part of bike population would accept those huge blue/yellow logos Big Grin Should sell well in Sweden
  • 28 25
 Wako. It's not. It's actually a pattern used by Michelin before. The DH32
  • 84 11
 So waking is a tire engineer now lol what can't he do? The top armchair engineer on this site
  • 7 3
 @endurocat: those were ahead of their time with the 2.8
  • 4 18
flag fecalmaster (Jul 24, 2018 at 1:13) (Below Threshold)
 Not the biggest Michelin fan but can I get some Nascar logo shoes please?!?!!!
  • 2 1
 Michelins look to be tough also, using a low very TPI in the rear.
"Gravity Shield" 3x33 TPI casing
"Gravity Shield" 3x60 TPII casing
  • 54 18
 @endurocat: no hard feelings since I don't know you but possibly decent man you are, why at this particular moment are you acting like you are either blind or stupid?

DH32 www.cheapbikeparts360.com/products/michelin-dh32-at-26-tire
Sam DH22 www.pinkbike.com/photo/16136082

For best results print both pictures and put them next to each other.
  • 12 2
 I would also give it a try, but cannot afford buying a new bike just to do so Razz
* No, I am not "26 for life" idiot, I simply ride a bike which is not broken and still rides well.
  • 22 2
 @endurocat: It's really, really not. They are quite different. The side knobs especially. As much as it pains me to agree with @wakidesigns Stop being so obstinate.
  • 10 2
 @endurocat: While Michelin had a similar tire in the past, the new Michelin is more similar to the current Magic Mary than the older DH 32

New Michelin has a series of 3 blocks in its repeating tread pattern, which is like the Magic Mary and not the DH 32. The new Michelin also has a far more regular/singular cornering knob, which is more like the Magic Mary and not the DH 32.
  • 2 1
 This will fit my blue/ yellow bike perfectly! Instant buy!!
  • 2 1
 Sams using this new tire in the wet, and the now available Wild Enduro in the Dry, though he uses FRONTS for both Front and Rear use, they are beastly
  • 10 1
 and what did we all learn about needing wide rims and plus tyres for the win?
maybe Sam didn't get the memo
  • 4 26
flag endurocat (Jul 24, 2018 at 4:31) (Below Threshold)
 @WAKIdesigns: Yako, please for the sake of the children ,stop this madness.
  • 19 22
 @WasabiJim: it's all a matter of a cooking up a compromise that will match circumstances. Then riders personal choice. No racer on EWS or DH will look over an evident gain, but in the face of marginal gains, they will choose what they feel best on. Plus tyres and stupid wide rims have their place, I doubt if any race track is a place for them. The subject is slippery, look at Matt Wraggs article, all this testing and talking about tyre roll, meanwhile he was using Magic Marys which are on the squirmy side and I hate pushing them into a corner.
  • 19 1
 @endurocat: This is a thing now, never just admitting you're wrong. Why ask @WAKIdesigns to stop the "madness"? Maybe take your own advice.
  • 4 0
 What Michelin is doing better is casings.
  • 33 2
 Michelin DH tire designs are tge inspiration behind Maxxis’ most popular patterns:
Comp 16 = Highroller
Comp 32 = Minion DHF
Comp 24 = Minion DHR

Michelin was the premier tire manufacturer back in the day. The new Sam Hill tire looks a lot like the old Comp 32 with a bit of Magic Mary. It would be a stretch to accuse Michelin of copying another manufacturer since Michelin pioneered the most popular patterns used today nearly 20 years ago! Know your history.
  • 14 3
 @WasabiJim: Plus tyres are for middle aged blokes who arent quite ready for the e-bike but want to feel like heroes because they stick like shit to a blanket.
  • 7 1
 Isabeau bars still wider than her height.
  • 5 11
flag Jaybirdy (Jul 24, 2018 at 10:44) (Below Threshold)
 @WAKIdesigns: Your some kind of smart donkey aren't ya!! I get his point.. they are NOT that far off I'd say the old Michelin looks closer to the the Mary then the new Michelin does~ Especially for the time and date it came out when comparing, The Mary has 3 sets of 2 center knobs before the 3 knob pattern.. The Michelin has 2 sets of 2 center knobs before the 3 knob pattern.. The old Michelin has a bunch of center knobs in sets of 2's with a 3rd flare knob on the side knobs.. NONE OF THEM LOOK THE SAME! "For best results put all the pics together overlaying one another" Certainly not the same & not far off from where the Original tred idea came from.
  • 5 0
 The full color logo on Michelin tires is usually reserved for top race/competition tires. It it likely something they are just doing to bring more awareness on Sam's bike and the production units will be their typical white logo. But I wouldn't completely put it past them if they ended up offering the colored version for consumers. I hope these tires are released soon as I've always been a fan of Michelin tires and want to try something different from the Magic Mary's.
  • 6 8
 @Jaybirdy: I don’t accuse anyone, I am stating the fact which tyre looks closest to which tyre. Copying or not is irrelevant. There’s no shame in using what works and trying to refine it. Like Bontrager G5 feels like a better version of already great Minion DHR2. This tyre looks like a better version of Magic Mary which lacks support for its long knobs. This one has more meat at the base. However people who bring up Michelin DH32 as an example of long lost art are lunatics. In 2003 almost no one knew any better and the person making the claim sucked at riding. So he may as well have been riding Nokian NBX or Continental Diesel, he’d still have fond memories of his eary riding days. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that side knobs on this Michelin made is suck ass at cornering. And a person who says that DH32 was a protoplast for minion DHF probably sees face of Jesus in the clouds.
  • 1 1
 @WAKIdesigns: lmao.. alrighty well played man! just trying to show ya how you sounded.. It's a cool looking new tred pattern which is forcing us to compare and analyze what is getting us all closer to the holly grail of gripping & ripping!!!! I'd like to try the new Michelin's & also hope that other companies take note to what may help improve their current designs as well!
  • 1 8
flag wakiisapuddinghead (Jul 24, 2018 at 12:43) (Below Threshold)
 It's the rider that counts. I'll take Magic Mary's and still show you who's boss. You get this for being insulting again and talking out of your behind. You haven't tried them so have no clue.
  • 10 8
 @Keit: yes I only own two. Yes you’ll show me who’s the boss. Jesus Christ...
  • 1 0
 @lkubica: It can't ride well if it's 26!????
  • 2 1
 @WAKIdesigns: you have the brand new Michelin s. Sure
  • 1 1
 @Golden-G @WAKIdesigns Maxxis is also a company with long history, as it was founded in 1967, although initially producing only for the Asian market. Which doesn't disprove the copying thing.

en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cheng_Shin_Rubber
  • 2 4
 @Keit: I thought you meant Magic Marys. Oh Im sorry to feel confident when judging tyres performance by just looking at its pattern. It’s a wonderful feeling, but it takes years of trying different tyres and reading on the subject. An arduous and expensive journey. But it’s worth it. Good luck on your path
  • 2 1
 @WAKIdesigns: no one can judge a tire just by a picture.
  • 2 5
 @Keit: oh there are many who can but this space does not allow me to give you a thorough theory lesson. You can get some of the basics from this picture:

www.instagram.com/p/BSf9GjKhSEm/?taken-by=wakidesigns

*disclaimer I am being a dick to Keit since he's been growing a cyst in his anus over my posts since some time. I am trying to pop it.
  • 1 0
 @OrangeGoblin: then don't agree. Just ignore. Wink
  • 2 0
 @WAKIdesigns: just because you made a sketch of some tires and state the obvious, doesn't make you a tire designer/engineer. while alot of tires look the same, the react vastly different. have you ever ridden a butcher/minion/g5/aquila? i'm up to 3 of them now and they all feel so much different. then you add different compounds/pressures/terrain/style etc. GOOD LUCK MAN! hahahahha
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: ps that was a weak shamless plug on your instagram lol gotta try harder man
  • 3 7
flag WAKIdesigns (Jul 25, 2018 at 9:06) (Below Threshold)
 @makripper: oh well... do you want a full list of the tyres that I have owned? Which one do you want me to compare? Like Butcher and Minion?

Ok, these are quite different tyres and similarity is only in the untrained eye. Even though they may look similar to some people, butcher has side knobs which are narrower by almost a half in the riding direction and are only slightly longer. Their angular shape serves absolutely no purpose, it's a "design". Firthermore they have no sips paralellel to riding direction. That makes them evidently worse at cornering than Minion DHF because they squirm. Because they do squirm a lot they let go abruptly thus they are not as predictable. So you end up with tyre that has less definite cornering grip and additionally breaks off without warning. Pre 2018 hard rubber compounds for Control and Grip did not help it either. I have owned almost every single iteration of Minion DHF (old 1plies in 50a, 60a, EXO, old DH in super tacky, later 3C DH compound, EXO MaxxGrip, currently DD Maxxgrip) and Butchers GRID and Control. The only thing BUtcher does better is it rolls faster.

G5 and DHR2 are extremely similar, but G5 is cheaper. G5 has a bit more on off feel but feels more solid to me when leaned over. I have owned BOTH (DHR2 in Maxx Terra EXO). I still own G5s.

Minion DHF and G4 are identical in feel. No shit. I am however aware of my past and remember good old times when I thought that Nobby Nic has lots of grip or Gazzaloddi was a great tyre. Not to mention how fond I was of DHR1 on the rear. You know, If you can't ride you may think that Hans Dampf is a good Enduro tyre.

Do you want me to continue? Magic Mary and Shorty? Thorough comparison of semi slicks Minion SS EXO, Rock Razor SS, SG and Slaughter GRID? Great Aggressor vs shitty Ardent? HR and HR2?

Some XC Tyres?
  • 3 2
 @WAKIdesigns: first part about the butchers. yeahh not true LOL you haven't even ridden them then. They are way more drifty and have a smoother breakaway than the others. its sweet. Both side knobs and center knobs have parallel sipes dude!! wtf are u on? they are comparable or better than the DHF in 3c and 42a and slower rolling speed

Maybe you aren't going fast enough? my only butcher complaint is that they wear out quickly. I like how you say evidently. it means you are just guessing.

man just stop making stuff up. I know its the internet, but come one dude!
  • 3 1
 @WAKIdesigns: 19, 2017 at 3:41
WAKIdesigns says:

I like you, we are very similar, however just like me you fall short with your assumptions as soon as you elaborate them further. Data shortage. I just wanted to prove to you that you cannot hurt me more than I can hurt myself. Race me? Uneducated? Trumpian? Coward? Honestly? Do people actually get intimidated when you speak to them this way or you just haven't tried it in real life? You talk like a 16 year old looking for a fight. Do you know how many "discussions" like that I have had? What the hell do you think you're doing here? Trying to outsmart a fool in his own game? You can try to get on your high horse all you want. Many many tried, I am just typing sht online, I don't give a flying f*ck what people like you think of me, I am just entertaining myself. Maybe because I got more friends than enemies by putting a stick into an anthill... journos, engineers from bike companies, sales reps, mechanics and racers on WCup race. and I will care about you?

You took a wrong turn man.

Oh and no hard feelings... honestly, you're just another pissed off dude. I can understand that. Make this a better day for yourself and ignore me.
  • 3 6
 @Keit: you are such a fkng twat. Get fkd really, get on tinder and get some, you need it. Unless off course you are not able to provide a picture that would make anyone want to fk you, then psychodelics are always an option with their neurogenic properties
  • 3 0
 @WAKIdesigns: you've come down to name calling now? thats a pretty low level man. just go and relax. try and breath. think about nature
  • 2 0
 @makripper: Don't Pay attention. This is typical Wanko at it's best.
Name calling , trying to put people down ,. I know better, you know nothing.
He needs to stop typing and go out and help his fellow Swedes with the fires.
  • 3 1
 I wonder why I got downvoted again after writing about Chinese nationality of Maxxis? Like, people are invested in the brand and prefer to think it's American? It's really interesting.
  • 2 1
 @WAKIdesigns: should have raced when I challenged you. You are a simple and vicious mind. Easily exposed and provoked. Those hours tonight thinking of me and being angry wasting good pillow time.... And by the way you are not an authority on bikes as you make out. A bid you a fine long evening. Cheerio
  • 3 3
 @Keit: did you really think for a moment that I will pay money for a flight and bike luggage, then hotel room, take out one of 3-5 occasions I have during the year to travel away from kids and wife, to race a stranger over an argument on the internet?! Challenged me?! Really? Are you knighted or something? Cheerio confuses me. May thy be greeted, god spee

@makripper really? I mean really? So you decided to skip any information value in what I just wrote and focused on calling someone who frequently posts parts of “bury the hatchet” PM a twat? Huh you got serious and righteous man, do you wear a v-neck pullover now? Golf? Did they get you to play Polo? Do you wear their shirts? Runout of weed?

Oh sorry, really, I thought that if a dummy like me can get it, anyone can get it. Now you genuinely made me feel smart about myself. Thank you.
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: Hey.. honestly I don't care to see any more notifications about this post.. complete BS and a waste of life and keyboard strikes, Can this be the last comment of a comment train of NOTHINGNESS~ Let's all read something else now... no more cheerio's no more count chocolate no more rice crispy cereal no more dam breakfast talk!!! sheeesh
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: i was actually seriously let down by the fact that you don't even know which way butcher sipes go. even my grandma's cat knows about this.

I wish i could pull of a v-neck! damn, maybe one day
  • 2 2
 @Jaybirdy: sorry but this is a festival of blindness. @makripper you let me down by not being able to differentiate sipe from a dimple and different functions both forms are fulfilling... i am seriously depressed now. It’s like arguing with my wife or my mother... it is irrelevant that they are wrong, what is relevant is that I expressed anger and they are having none of it. It simply means to them that they were right all along, and now of all things I should apologize and do the mandatory “feel bad for a few days”.
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: don't feel bad. it all means nothing anyways and we'll all be dead in 50 years and no one will ever read this shit again.
  • 1 0
 I hope @COMMENCALbicycles start using Michelin tyres next season, as it would be good to see them back on top of the podium in the DH scene, and going full circle with French riders on French rubber.

In all seriousness Michelin should just start remaking the Comp 16, 24 and 32 in modern sizes and modern compounds and casings and they would take over the tyre market again.
  • 1 0
 @heavyp: if i remember correctly, they priced themselves out of the market in the mid 2000's i remember my buddy always ran them then one day swapped over to maxxis saying he couldn't afford michelin anymore even though they gripped like nothing else.
  • 42 3
 I don't think there is really a difference between DH and enduro. The focus is on descending skills so a fit downhiller will always be a contender if not a winner. I think Eddie is doing well because Enduro may be more forgiving of mistakes. Fall over and you can make up time - in DH you are toast. You can also bank on your competition falling over or having some other issue and the races are long. Its about keeping it together for two days and maybe an hour of descending as opposed to one shot for less than 5 mins.
  • 12 2
 Similarities on the timed sections for sure, but overall totally different and requiring different fitness. I think it's less of an accurate statement to say that DH and Enduro are similar and more accurate to say some elite DH racers have pretty damn good fitness, stamina and pedaling abilities. A DH race is super intense, no doubt, but you take a lift up and have 3-5 mins of super intense work....done. Enduro can be 2 days, 3-5 hours in the saddle each day, some lift access, etc. Totally different demands on the body, it's not just about a 5 minute stage. Don't believe me? Take a 10 minute lift ride up 1700ft at a bike park and come down some black diamond trail, see how you feel. Then go pedal up access roads for an hour to access the same DH run. Tell me which run felt better.
  • 3 2
 There's a big difference between the two really. Like yupstate said, it's a completely different fitness requirement. What most people don't realize is there is actually quite a bit of climbing in the timed sections as well. You just don't see that in the videos because that's not the highlight of the races. That goes for all enduros that I have raced as well. It's a big day or two on the bike and most DH guys aren't going on 30 mile trail rides with 6k feet of climbing very often (at their own will).
  • 13 1
 DH is going 110% on a track you have gotten plenty of practice on. You're going for near perfection.

Enduro is about going 90% over the race. Consistent speed and staying smooth on tracks you might not have even ridden or got one run on.

Yeah they're both about going downhill, but the puzzle pieces needed to win each event are unique.
  • 6 0
 @yupstate: yes I'm well aware of the difference between shuttle/lift vs pedal but DH pros dont just do one run but dozens. You are also ignoring the training on the road and trail they do between events.
  • 2 1
 @yupstate: agreed. people are failing to note that martin maes started winning the later stages, when fitness starts to matte a bit more, when recovery matters a bit more, when fatigue starts showing up. thats when the enduro specialists show up (dont ask me about sam blenkinsop, I cant explain that haha)
  • 2 0
 @headshot: It's the first sentence of your original note that gets me, that's all. I can't agree with that part.
  • 37 4
 what about Flat pedals?
  • 81 0
 100% of the Men's overall no.1's arms are tattooed.
  • 18 12
 @TobiasHandcock: You may laugh at it, but Sam rides so smoothly thanks to years spent on flats (and of course he is very talented, but one has very little influence on this). Add the ability to take you lag off the pedal immediately (see the EWS video for nice example on slick roots) and you have a recipe for winning. Riding in clips make you a bit lazy when choosing lines, you tend to smash into things, which is not good for enduro racing because then you get mechanicals (see Richie or Jared).
  • 8 1
 @lkubica: what am I laughing at, there was some chat earlier about percentage of riders with 29r lol, the orders all messed up from upvotes though. Yeah I ride flat pedals, clips never suited me. You are dead right about them being awesome, but also Sam is an Alien.
  • 8 2
 @lkubica: lmao ok bud
  • 2 2
 @lkubica: You are bang on there, where Sam was able to get a foot down to stop the slide and avoid going down, others that were clipped in hit the deck and wasted time. I think there's something to riding flat pedals on these technical stages that all the races have now.
  • 8 1
 @jon-boy: You're aware unclipping is a thing, right? Anyone entering that section without the expectation of a probable dab / foot out was either delirious from racing or deserved to go down.
  • 5 2
 @nvranka: Absolutely, but when you are burning over a bunch of roots and one takes your front wheel away quickly it's often the case that you don't have the extra few ms it takes to unclip. Hence you go down.
  • 4 1
 @jon-boy: you're missing the point...unclipping when you suddenly need to is never an issue for anyone riding at a high level...its second nature.

I've never ridden flats, but I'd venture to guess one reason someone (in a racing context) would prefer them is the ease of getting your foot back ON and hooked to the pedal, allowing you to approach sections/your flow a bit differently.

Obv the approach to weight distribution and riding in general is different on flats vs clips, which for people like Sam is probably what keeps him on them...

I dno, I've never understood flats cause I've never used em for dh
  • 3 2
 Jared get mechanicals because he is on the spesh, it’s also why he uses a brand new shock every race @lkubica:
  • 6 0
 @jon-boy: if you have used flats with long pins and good shoes you would know that getting your foot back onto a pedal in the right spot in a racing situation can be very difficult and quite hard also have your foot shifted on the pedal. I use both clips and flats, when racing I use clips purely because I can consistantly get my feet in exactly the same position should I dab or hang out moto style lol. Hope you can read this with acceptance not hatred
  • 4 0
 @BrianRichards: No hatred. Just speaking from experience. I am also a certified coach.

After many years (I've been mountain biking for 27 years now) and riding both flats and clips extensively, I'm back full time on flat pedals. Long pins and good shoes are key, yes. I ride more smoothly, faster and more confidently on flats. I do think that for me there's a mental aspect of being on flats and knowing I can dab and correct a slide more easily without having to unclip.

Some of the kids I coach have been fast to get on to clips and I've been trying to get them back to ride flat pedals for enduro stuff to get them to focus on some of the more nuanced techniques in mountain biking.

Either way, I think with the steep, loose, technical trails that are being thrown at these guys, opting to go back to flat pedals is something I'd be considering.

Having said that, Jesse and Yoann and other BC locals have no issue riding BC gnar clipped in. But maybe when racing something unknown is different.
  • 1 0
 @jon-boy: When it comes to flats. If you get into an bad position and hit a gnarly rough feature, you feel it straight away. You are forced to fix your riding technique right then and there or it will keep happening, this makes you smoother and safer and eventually faster. With clips, you can get away with it because you can muscle through it, you might not even notice whats wrong, you might even feel like you are improving your riding. But you're just reinforcing a bad habit of using clips as a crutch rather than improving your skill. It pays to ride flats every now and then just to keep yourself in check and balanced, if you are a dedicated clipped in rider even more so.
  • 3 0
 @TobiasHandcock: It would really help if flat shoes had some indents in the sole that would match the pins - so that the foot would snap into the correct position, ideally with a sound Smile Maybe like those magnetic clips.
  • 1 0
 @lkubica: nah Sam Hill riding gnar at 95% effort is some going at 101% hence he’s winning others are failing.
Skillset not flats.
  • 3 1
 @enduroFactory: Yeah, but imho part of his skillset comes from riding flats.
  • 28 7
 So... if you are good at racing Dh with a chairlift. You are good at racing Dh with having to pedal up.... cool. Enduro is the cool new sport for sure. Let's hope it stays in its current format for a few more years after the UCI has an influence.
  • 55 0
 who'd have guessed downhill riders would be good riding downhill!
  • 6 0
 I'm not an expert on the history of the Enduro MTB events, but I was always under the impression that an Enduro race should be like multiple Super-D's. You might not get timed on climbs, but that doesn't mean there isn't a tremendous amount of pedaling. It'd be interesting to see the elevation profiles for all stages and see what stages have the most pedaling and compare that against who won the stage. I'd bet in the men's field the results would get mixed up a bit, and in the women's field Ravanel will still be on top.
  • 1 1
 I want to see Minnaar going to the EWS.. I know his stance on the subject, but hope he changes his mind.
  • 3 0
 @Lagr1980: Didn't Greg race the last EWS last season?
  • 1 0
 @PHeller: super d for the win
  • 2 0
 @hardcoredarb: he did a race, but he has said something about preferring blind-racing..I might be wrong..
  • 24 1
 What about people on carbon rims? Then there failure rate
  • 8 0
 And tire inserts, what about bush guards too. A few out there now
  • 19 8
 I'd say we learned a 7th thing, when God wants to have fun on a bike, he became Sam Hill.
  • 1 1
 Don't push your personal beliefs on this public forum please.
  • 1 0
 @Joelukens00: Why not? there is something ofensive?
  • 6 0
 Sam Hill is really, really impressive. I didn't expect when he decided to just race enduro to see him as a such level of performance: Fast and consistent, a pace which leaves not a chance to the other riders. Legendary he was already for our sport, he is now a step over that.
And Indeed Cécile Ravanel is too! It would have been so great to have Tracy Moseley, Anne Caroline and her competing together.
  • 11 3
 Robin Wallner now in 6th, is on a 29", but as of last round it would have been at least 40% of top-10 on 29"
  • 12 0
 For sure, and it's a flawed metric because lots of those riders don't have a viable choice. I love me a little broscience though.
  • 12 3
 @brianpark: How about some theorizing about how much of any of this stuff makes any difference to the results? I reckon a big fat Zero. Put Sam Hill or any of these riders on a different bike, let them set it up and the results would be the same. Unless perhaps he was forced to ride with cleats :-)
  • 21 2
 @headshot: put him a specialized and watch him slip. :p
  • 8 1
 @sethius: wasn't he DH world champ on a specialized
  • 1 0
 @nigelh: and world cup overall winner aswell dont forget that one my friend
  • 1 0
 @brianpark: Oton has been in the Top 5 three times this year Brian. Mr. Consistency is still well up there!
  • 3 0
 @brianpark: Even if they don't have a choice, those riders are still tops on the smaller wheels. I'm going to look on the bright side, here, so I can hold onto my 3 year old 27.5 for a while longer...
  • 4 0
 @nigelh: Meh, World Champs lately have the tendency to win that one race and then fade significantly. IMHO Words is less and less a measure of a true champion, the overall winner is the true trophy. I've never understood the hype of worlds, other than that it is a cool one-day event.
  • 2 1
 @brianpark: Eddie Masters was on a Firebird 29 by the looks of the photos. Melamed on an Instinct again?
  • 2 7
flag nvranka (Jul 24, 2018 at 9:09) (Below Threshold)
 @headshot: pretty ridiculous to say that you could put these riders on any bike / wheel size and the result would be the same....
  • 2 0
 @dougfs: yeah the 29er metric was for the Overall, not just this race. Jesse is on and Instinct BC and Eddie was on a Firebird—which is a MASSIVE bike that looked well suited to the tracks in La Thuile.
  • 1 0
 @basmajor: good catch, was meant to say he's only been on the podium once this year.
  • 1 0
 @brianpark: Thanks for the clarification on overall vs round.
  • 8 0
 Everybody will be looking for michelin tires now. lol...
  • 4 0
 Just did
  • 2 1
 Word on the street is they may share casing and compound with E13.
  • 1 2
 @PHeller: So made by Vee Rubber? No thanks, I like good rubber compounds.
  • 10 0
 @GTscoob: Why would one of the biggest tire manufacturers in the world need to outsource their tire manufacturing? e.13 outsources their tires. I don't know who makes their tires, but if what PHeller says is true, Michelin would be making them for e.13 if anything.
  • 1 0
 @BaeckerX1: Correct, it's ridiculous to think that Michelin would need somebody to make their tires. eThirteen on the other hand uses Vee Rubber to make their tires.
  • 2 0
 @PHeller: I have been using E13 tires for a year now. It came with my jeffsy, I must say they are pretty good tires haven't had a puncture or any issue so far, it's kinda tacky though...
  • 2 0
 @PHeller: E13 tyres straight ripped off the side knobs from the Michelin Wild RockR2, but E13 were having them made by Cheng Shin (Maxxis) and now someone else (possibly Vee Rubber).

I'll stick with Michelin over those two manufacturers.
  • 1 0
 Michelins used to be made in France but now they are made in Asia. Who really knows who molds what any more.
  • 5 1
 So 29ers in the overall aren't very well represented. However in La Thuile and in no particular order: Masters, Melamed and Oton. Mae's would be on one if he rode for a company that was able to re live their former manufacturing glory and well as for Sam Hill what can you say... Legend.
I ride a 27.5 before I get shot down in a hail of fire.
  • 2 0
 It would be actually much more interesting to show the stats for the bigger sample - top10/20/50
  • 6 2
 We were in la thuile for the event and were disappointed. The trade area was virtually non existent. There was little to tell you what was going on, no info on what time you could expect the elite to be riding which stages. Finally unless you were racing you were banned from taking a bike on any lift all weekend. We wanted to ride some trails that weren't being used for racing and watch the racing but you couldn't. Overall my feeling was is it's better to watch the highlights package than actually turn up
  • 3 0
 Did you try following the timing etc on your phone. You can get a good idea of what's happening and where to watch and who is leading/lagging from the ews site. Having said that it is just like watching a bike race, zoom, they go past. But you can heckle!
  • 1 0
 @ColquhounerHooner: Except on the bike race, they are all together. In Enduro the starts are spread, so there is lot of action to watch on each stage. They should find a way how to broadcast it live (like in DH) - highlights show so little of the huge amount of excellent riding.
  • 1 0
 In all fairness, there is NOTHING about enduro races that is a spectator friendly sport unless you just get lucky enough that the hairiest, greasiest, steepest parts is at the pits.
  • 4 0
 Do the "Other oddities" statistics deviate from expectations?

- for example are 30% of all riders on 29ers, and 70% on 27.5?
- are 90% of all riders on carbon frames?

These might not be that odd after all.
  • 5 0
 How about... Richie Rude is a wild animal and continues to break his way out of events.
  • 4 4
 Would love to see that Michelin in 29"!

Change back to 27.5 is clear with the tracks getting harder than some DH tracks the riders are switching from bikes like Hightower LT to Nomad and Co with more travel to cope with it.

Things we learned too! It's cool to run a rear mud guard again, at least when you are Sam Hill!

And that it doesn't slow you down when you are having children like Sam and Yoann do!
  • 5 0
 The tracks are crazy hard yes. However it's such a mixed bag of what's working well for riders. Maes on a 150mm 27.5 and Masters on a 170mm 29 is proof of that in that their times are nearly dead on. I think it mostly boils down to what the rider in particular is most comfortable on at the end of the day.
  • 2 0
 the santa cruz guys switched from nomads to bronsons, so that doens't make a lote of sense, and a few of them are still on the Hightower LT.
  • 3 0
 @tiagomano: mmmmmmmmmmarketing!
  • 1 0
 @YouHadMeAtDrugs: I know that they switched for the bronson because of that, was just stating what actual bikes they were riding, as he was being incorrect
  • 5 1
 Mostly I just learned not to read the comments below a story ;P
  • 4 0
 How about Richie's cush core race ending flat?
  • 4 1
 We didn't learn #1 and #2. We already knew it.
  • 4 1
 Does Eddie's bike not have enough clearance for a water bottle?
  • 2 0
 Correct, the new Firebird 29 has no bottle mount inside the front triangle. Suspension design and seat tube design (for deep inserted droppers I believe) dictated that design.
  • 2 0
 Hutchinson riders amaze me, they seem to be running only one tyre model all year long : Toro 2.35 (except for big mud).
  • 5 0
 @Whipperman: The Hutchinson Toro is an incredibly overlooked underrated tire. People who’ve ridden it know. It provides an incredible amount of grip under so many different conditions. It’s just not the latest and greatest from a marketing standpoint. It’s yesterday’s news so to speak. But that tire works. Plain and simple. If I was forced to pick only one tire for the rest of my days it would be a Hutchinson Toro. That’s not to say I don’t love other tires and tire combos. But for all around performance a Toro is damn hard to beat.
  • 2 1
 Michelin doesn't even advertise Sam Hill as one of their riders on their website? WTH? I think they're missing out there.

www.pinkbike.com/photo/16149232
  • 3 2
 I've been really wanting to try some Michelin's but they all seem too heavy for what I want. Need something in the EXO weight range and I'd be all over it.
  • 2 0
 Matt Farah is a bit big for mtb's
  • 1 0
 @loplopk: I've got to be honest - that one went right over my head
  • 1 0
 Enduro: Definitely not just a sport for washed up DH racers....

Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahahhahahhahahahhahaaaaaa!
  • 1 0
 A happy Mae once said: Dh is for pxxxies.
  • 3 0
 MR. WORLDWIDE!!!
  • 1 0
 @brianpark Was there a formatting error with the top two pictures? Seems like they should be switched.
  • 1 0
 Are you on mobile? Our columns get ordered L>R which might have caused that confusion.
  • 1 0
 The French make good tyres. Sam was on Mavic last year. I reckon the rubber they use is softer
  • 1 0
 I'm just here to watch all the suckers fall into the Waki trap @WAKIdesigns . Smile
  • 13 13
 "Only 30% of riders in the Men's and Women's Top 5 Overall are on 29ers"

That says it all.
  • 17 5
 Go on, what does it say?

As had already been pointed out many riders teams don't have a viable 29er to race and Rob Wallner who dropped out of this race would've been top 5 on his 29er, skewing the stat. How many raced on 26? That says it all.
  • 8 8
 @acraftygnome: That says wheel size doesn't matter and 29 ers are NOT faster. Reason for not having 26" bikes is not their race performance, but pure marketing strategy. 26" were winning races to their very last race (Josh Bryceland and Jared Graves), in fact. So 29ers in DH is just a new hype and not an improvement by any means. I can't believe 29ers gives you advantage in DH, while they don't give you such in Enduro, do they?
  • 9 1
 @mentalhead: If they are not faster, are they slower? Or do they go the same speed?

What's your point?
  • 5 0
 @acraftygnome: It tells me that although 29ers are proven to be faster, its meaningless if the human piloting it is not as comfortable or confident on it compared to 27.5.
  • 3 2
 I'm riding a 26er and 27.5 right now but i would love to get a 29er someday. Certain trails suits a 29er better. My buddy practically smokes me on his, riding a straight track or climbing up long slopes, i tend to do better on tight switchbacks amd berms. That being said, I have being planning to build a bike with a 27.5 plus rear wheel and a 29er front. So my point is, I don't like when people or brands push 27.5 or 29 is better. I just wanna ride with whatever wheelsize I goddamn please.
  • 2 5
 @hifiandmtb: I said wheel size doesn't matter and that's exactly my point. But when we've been told last years that 29ers are faster and numbers tells a different story I can now easily see my point valid.
  • 4 4
 @mentalhead - while I do believe that 29ers are fastest it doesn’t exclude the possibility that in the ocean of variables that Enduro racing is about, the wheelsize soes not matter. It simply takes more to win than putting on a particular wheel. More from the rider and more from other parameters of the bike. Look at Graves, if he got Maxxis tyres he’d be competitive.
  • 4 2
 @mentalhead: Will someone please explain to me in engineering terms exactly what is/was wrong with 26” wheels? I have all 3 wheel sizes in my garage and my preference is still to the 26”. My least favorite is to the 29”. Granted the 29” bike I have is the worst of the lot as a bike goes. It’s hardly a top end bike. But they simply feel very different than a smaller wheeled bike. I just think the whole move to 29” wheels is something the bike industry did to sell bikes. Honestly I think it was a way to get folks who were used to riding road bikes into riding off road. They would be more comfortable with the larger diameter wheel. Please understand I’ve nothing against 29” wheels. I’m against the industry not providing a wider choice in sizing and simply abandoning what to my mind was a perfectly viable choice as if it was “bad” or clearly inferior when in fact it’s not. At least not in my mind.
  • 2 0
 @mentalhead: bigger wheel size is better for tall riders and for those who like it. It is hard to say cos is impossible to compare an old 26 inch bike with old geo with new bike modern geo. Wheel size is only 1 part of the problem. 26 inch enduro bikes for 4 or 5 years ago are obsolete. I ride back sometimes my 26 inch bike,the only thing old bike do better compared to the new one is ridding over tarmac and is 1 kg lighter than the new one.
  • 1 0
 @mentalhead: you could argue that over 4 days of hard riding, a long travel 29'er would be less physically punishing than something with the same travel but less diameter. That would be a performance improvement.
  • 2 0
 Sam Hill!
  • 1 0
 It's all depends on sponsorship.
  • 4 2
 Dont bother clipping in
  • 1 0
 You forgot: Women's Top 3 is like Groundhog Day every time.
  • 1 0
 And I learned that man, they don't get paid much prize money. Crazy.
  • 1 0
 Cecile came from XC to enduro, not DH.
  • 2 0
 ...and is currently racing in the UCI DH World Cup, correct.
  • 1 0
 What has happened to Richie Rude?
  • 1 0
 Number 1 - 6: Sam Hill is feckin rapid
  • 4 4
 Anneke Beerten and Curtis Keene retirement announcement in 5, 4, 3, 2...
  • 1 0
 Nice recap!
  • 1 0
 what about richie rude?
  • 1 2
 Not ONE German male rider...
  • 1 0
 Not that many in DH upper-medium ranks either ... (except Fischbach doing well in City DH races).
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