It was another wet wild day of racing as the cold and heavy rain hammered riders all day long while they took to the hills of Derby, Tasmania for the latest round of the Enduro World Series. For the second event in a row it would be a battle in the mud, but with much of it falling overnight and during the entirety of the race, the conditions were the same for all, so we saw fewer surprises than the previous round in Rotorua.
The dry and dusty conditions of practice were a thing of the past and having not had a chance to practice any trails in the wet, riders set out in the torrential rain unsure of what they might encounter in the forest. The seven stages had been the most fun ever during practice but were exponentially more intimidating in the wet. As always though, wet weather makes for the most exciting and dramatic racing, and this round would have no shortage of drama and upsets.
After multiple race leaders throughout the day, including Martin Maes and Jared Graves, in the end, it would be Adrien Dailly who reigned supreme. This would mark his first win since moving up from the U21 category, and proof of the potential he showed at the close of the 2016 season. The heartbreak would come for Greg Callaghan as he crashed while leading the race on the relatively basic Stage 7 to throw the race away. A late resurgence from Sam Hill and Richie Rude saw a battle for the final podium spot run right to the wire with Sam coming out ahead by the smallest of margins.
In the women’s race, Isabeau Courdurier showed right from the start that she was the one to beat in the technical slippery terrain, winning the first three stage of the day by a convincing margin. While Cecile Ravanel found herself in the familiar position of chasing down time for the win, she was able to rally back to take stages four and five, but it wasn’t enough to match Isabeau's pace. A hard fought battle by Ines Thoma (Canyon Factory Enduro Team) saw her take a very deserved third place.
As we head into a one month break, the series chase is now shaping up and at the top sit Adrian Dailly and Cecile Ravanel of France. But it's still wide open, and points are tight enough between lots of riders to ensure the drama won't be settling down anytime soon.
See the results from the day of racingWatch the one minute highlights video.