4 Things We Learned From EWS Burke 2022

Aug 15, 2022 at 17:46
by Sarah Moore  
Ella Conolly was on the pace for a podium finish after winning the Pro Stage But a mechanical on the final stage would push her back to 5th in the end

1. The Pro Stage is a good indicator of who will finish on the podium.

At rounds 2, 3, and 4, the winner of the Pro Stage on Saturday evening in both the men's and women's race was also the winner of the overall race at the end of the day on Sunday. In fact, at every round so far this year except EWS Burke, the winners of the Pro Stage in both the men's and women's fields have gone on to finish in the top-3 the following day, whether that's because the Pro Stage is just a good indicator of what to expect on the longer day or there's a mental aspect to winning the Pro Stage that carries forward onto the second day.

The one unlucky rider who won the Pro Stage and didn't go on to podium was Ella Conolly at EWS Burke. However, she was sitting in third place until she dropped her chain on the final stage. On the flip side, the only rider not to finish in the top-3 on the Pro Stage who then went on to win the overall race was Richie Rude at EWS Tweed Valley. He finished fourth in the Pro Stage and took the overall win come Sunday.


Isabeau Courdurier keeps the series lead after round 4

2. The race for the overall is nowhere near decided.

In the women's series, it's been a war of attrition this year. Ella Conolly took the first win of the season, Isabeau Courdurier took the next two, and Harriet Harnden won rounds four and five. However, none of them have been without hardship this season, with an elbow injury taking Ella Conolly out of contention at round 3, Harnden finishing a distant 34th at round 2 after a puncture in the first 20 seconds of the Pro Stage, and Isabeau Courdurier battling pain after impaling her foot on a branch at EWS-E Valberg at the beginning of July.

Currently, despite her 7th place finish at EWS Burke, Courdurier leads the overall with 2265 points, however it's the ever-consistent Morgane Charre currently sitting in second place just 110 points behind after an incredible four second places in a row. With a second place in the overall last year in addition, you can bet she's aiming for the top step. With her second win of the season, Harnden moves up to third with 1940 points.

In the men's overall series, Richie Rude and Jesse Melamed have been swapping back and forth all season. Richie Rude had the early lead with a win in at EWS Tweed Valley, but after his flat tire on the final stage of the day at EWS Whistler, he fell back to second in the overall standings, despite the fact that Richie Rude has three wins to Jesse Melame's two. Richie Rude currently trails Jesse Melamed by 190 points with 2345 points to Jesse Melamed's 2535 points. 2021 overall series winner Jack Moir sits in third despite a slow start to the season and no wins thus far with 2020 points.

With just three rounds to go, every position will count as there is a significant drop off in points depending on where you finish on the leaderboard. Racers get 520 points for the win, 450 points for second place, and 420 points for third place. Pro Stage and Queen Stage points will also be hotly contended at 25 points apiece.


Jill Kintner lost time on two key stages but other than that was fighting in the top 3 all weekend eventually settling for 6th

3. Never count out Jill Kintner.

Jill Kintner came second at EWS Tasmania in 2019, winning two stages along the way. She was poised to perform at EWS Whistler later that season, before illness took her out of the race. While she's done a couple of enduro races on the North American circuit since 2019, we haven't seen her at an EWS race since her disappointing Whistler race, and it was anyone's guess as to how she'd perform in the ever-stronger women's EWS field.

With an eighth place on the Pro Stage and a 14th on the pedally Stage 2, you may have briefly mistaken Jill Kintner for a mid-pack rider at EWS Burke. While more than respectable, especially for someone who has only done a handful of EWS races in their careers, Jill Kintner proved she had much more to offer in Vermont, saying she preferred the stages with less pedalling later in the race. She took second on Stage 3, third on Stage 4, fourth on Stage 5 and 5th on Stage 6. She'd finish sixth on the day. We're not not considering putting her on our Fantasy Enduro team for Sugarloaf next week.


Jack Moir came out swinging and lead right to the very end before a charging Richie Rude stole the win away

4. The 2021 overall winners have had a tough start to 2022.

2021 men's overall winner Jack Moir started off 2022 with a 26th place, but has managed to claw back up the leaderboard to third place, albeit a relatively distant 2020 points to series leader Jesse Melamed's 2535. Jack Moir took an impressive five wins last season, but has yet to take the top step of the podium this year.

On the women's side however, Melanie Pugin has struggled to find her groove this season. She took two wins in 2021 and five podium finishes, which was enough to land her in first place at the end of the season. So far this season however, she has failed to land on the podium at all with a 15th, 4th, 5th, 5th, and 9th place. With three rounds left to the season, we hope to see her continue to gain speed.


Other facts:
• Racing as a first year pro, Jack Menzies finished an impressive 9th.
• Richie Rude's 90-year-old grandmother was out trackside cheering him on for race day. Rude's time at the top of the results sheet could be as long as Greg Minnaar's with those genes.
• After heartbreak in Whistler last weekend, Andreane Lanthier Nadeau's streak of back luck continues as she was forced to miss this round after testing positive for Covid.
• In the U21 Men's category, Australian Luke-Meier Smith posted an overall time that would have left him ninth in the senior men’s field.


84 Comments

  • 139 0
 Props to Richies Grandma!
  • 91 0
 I skim read that bit and thought she'd finished an impressive 9th
  • 14 0
 Rude Grandma. Now playing at a cinema near you.
  • 1 0
 Two thumbs up! Lots of respect!
  • 56 1
 And Emmett Hancock would have been top 20 in Elite, with his third place in U21. The Privateer We Are One Team is really making waves this season. Jack is a constant threat to Top 20 / Top 10 Elite, Johnathan and Emmett on the U21 podium. Incredible! Nice work fellas, making Canada proud.
  • 14 0
 Canada killing it in the gravity side.... Stevie would be proud
  • 62 0
 I never knew having factory support, and a mechanic was what "privateer" meant....LOL
  • 5 0
 @WeAreOne: privately working on them factory bikes!
  • 1 0
 Jacks first year in Pro….
  • 1 0
 What is the nature of this team? They have no team listed on the results sheet, but there seems to be some kind of sponsorship, as announced here:

www.vitalmtb.com/community/WeAreOne-Composites,55760/blog/02/25/2022/entry/3736
  • 1 0
 @sideshowmel: It costs like over 20k to get a name on the results sheet/ racer.
  • 36 6
 As a spectator :
1. The shuttles and parking was spot on. The signage was obvious and we never had to wait more than a couple minutes for a shuttle.

2. There was no where near enough spectator viewing areas. There was no access to any of the upper rock gardens on the Pro stage only the finish and the last few loamy corners. There was no spectator viewing at all for stage Five.

3. Great job with having awesome local beer on hand but the serious lack of food was pathetic. One food truck that constantly had a 45-60 minute wait. The only other option was the convenience store snacks or if you were lucky enough to get a table at the hotel Pub for a meal.

4. The racing was still to notch and regardless it was awesome getting to watch everyone have a great time.

As fun as the event was, Burke seemed unprepared or uninterested in maximizing the fun factor for the spectators. If I was the EWS I'd be seriously considering if we wanted to return.
  • 33 4
 Whatever happened to the old custom of bringing a PB&J sandwich for when you inevitably hit the wall?
  • 12 11
 nice review.. if Burke is not interested, would love to see EWS return to Northstar (Truckee CA).
  • 10 1
 @mi-bike: mom did that but when you're there for five to eight hours I don't want to have to plan and carry food for entire day. Are you really saying that an international event that takes course over an entire weekend shouldn't provide certain amenities for the comfort of the spectators?
  • 5 1
 Just you wait, it'll be worse at sugarloaf. They seemed to barely be able to handle the ESC earlier this year, let alone an EWS
  • 22 0
 I respectfully disagree with your take on parking/shuttles (seemed like there was loads of space in the lots at the mountain), but I'm with you on everything else for sure.

One thing you didn't mention was the $45 entry fee for all spectators. That seemed way too high given the poor organization and lack of food options. By contrast, Sugarloaf will have no entry fee and it's only $10 for a spectator pass to ride the chairlifts.
  • 3 1
 @ajjrsons: I would hate to see us lose one to the west coast but I'm hoping Sugarloaf kills it this weekend. It really did seem as Burke had no interest in really hosting.
  • 20 2
 @lifeofloon: Burke should be kicked and Silver Mountain in Idaho should host an EWS round. The West Coast can do a lot better than Northstar. The NAEC at Silver is the best enduro race in the country, it's definitely an EWS-worthy venue
  • 3 0
 @heyjohnp: yeah, I'll have to disagree with parking but for what was offered for the price was very disappointing.
I've been riding and skiing at Burke for over 20 years now and every time you think they got something going well they seem to just drop the ball.
I can't make it to Sugarloaf but I hope they do a better job.
  • 6 0
 @chrisclifford: I vote northstar and silver mountain
  • 26 0
 The spectator viewing areas were ridiculous. The amount of yelling at people the marshals/volunteers did on stage 3 to stay in the area was silly. We even watched Jared Graves get yelled at for trying to get video of his team members from the other side of the course. I have never seen anything like it before at a race.

The entrance fee was also insane. I ended up seeing on Insta that if you used a coupon code it brought the ticket down to $25 which was more reasonable.

Also, since I have never been to a EWS race before, is it standard practice to check backpacks for alcohol? I was honestly shocked this was done having been to multiple world cups where it is basically one big party. I could understand not allowing open drinks at the bottom maybe, but its just people watching bikes in the woods, whats the big deal?
  • 7 0
 And you paid for that
  • 9 0
 @tjbiker38: I think the alcohol is Vermont law, but the marshals were ruining the experience.
  • 13 0
 @tjbiker38: no alcohol for fans? Try that in Europe
  • 9 0
 @bok-CZ: Oh don't worry, they sold it at $8 a can!
  • 10 0
 Burke just struck me as a small mountain with a couple sick tracks when I rode there. Can't believe they still only had one food truck there for the event, that's insane. I love the place and love the riding in Vermont, but if you're going to host an international event, you gotta step your game up.
  • 4 0
 @tjbiker38: And imagine the velirium in Mont St-Anne was free
  • 5 0
 When I was there the week prior to this event, I heard rumors Burke Mtn is having a rough time financially with a drop in Winter attendance. So I can imagine many of the decisions were based on costs and profitability. So it may have been less a case of disinterest than just having a limited budget to work with.

Food trucks tend to be a tough call. They can put out a call to vendors, but they may not have been able to predict how many spectators would attend, so the truck vendor has to make the decision to drive no small distance (let's face it - Burke is not exactly close to anywhere) while not entirely being sure they would make money on the trip. Now that there are historical attendance numbers, there's a better chance more trucks will attend in the future.

As far as spectating the rock sections of J-Bar and Rude Awakening/DH Trail, that was probably a side affect of how generally inaccessible the trails from the top are under normal circumstances. They might not have the lifts going to the top set up for use during the Summer and they might not have wanted to run the shuttle van when they knew there would be so many racers climbing at the same time, which they may have considered a safety risk.
  • 5 4
 If y'all are complaining about lack of food, ya messed up in not going to Parker Pie...best pizza in northern VT and not too far away
  • 19 0
 @zachfackelman: 30 minutes is pretty far to go for pizza, especially if you're trying to watch the event.
  • 14 0
 @funkendrenchman: welcome to vermont, where everythings atleast 35 mins away.
  • 1 0
 @tjbiker38: good you used small c in the can, I remember
  • 4 0
 @pargolf8: If Bolton Valley keeps growing/building, I could see it become a good enduro venue. Proper gnar, closeish to Burlington airport and Waterbury is a rad town.
  • 5 0
 @heyjohnp: You had to pay $45 just to watch? Also, couldn't you just hike up and watch from any point on the stages?
  • 4 0
 @IanJF: unless things are very different state side, the food vendors would get paid by the organiser just for being there, so no risk at all to them other than trying to gauge how much stock to bring (again, the organiser should be able to help gauge that). Just sounds like a profiteering ($45 ffs!!!!) shit show
  • 2 0
 @Mouette230: they should run a EWS stage as well! would be awesome!
  • 8 1
 @withdignityifnotalacrity: Killington could definitely do it now. Or a WC DH race.
  • 6 0
 @heyjohnp: $45 for spectators?? What an absolute rip off! When the EWS was in Northstar spectators were free unless you wanted to use the chairlift.
  • 2 0
 @schwaaa31: i agree and they are easily enough equipped to deal with the crowds. Something must have happened for them to get passed up
  • 1 0
 @withdignityifnotalacrity: burke bolton and killy are my favs in vt. I think only killy has the capacity to handle the crowds ews would bring and also provide a comfortable experience for the competitors
  • 1 0
 @funkendrenchman: its really good pizza
  • 3 0
 @tbubier: you could certainly watch from anywhere by hiking. Lots of folks were up at the higher spots.
  • 4 0
 Damn, so glad I went to MSA for the WC instead. Free entry, you could walk the entire track and basically watch anywhere, friendly course marshalls, no checking of backpacks, public use of the gondola with a ticket of course. Hopefully this was a good learning session for Burke. They've never hosted an event like this before so its not surprising they had some issues.
  • 2 0
 @pargolf8: I think Killi could work. Question is do they want it? It's a massive mountain, they could do some long stages and probably cut some loamy freshies just for the race. I'd love to see it. Kind of strange how the 3 big east coast venues- Mountain Creek, Killington and Windrock never appear on the international circuits.
  • 1 0
 @mashrv1: I imagine it may vary depending on the event, but I've not heard of organizers paying food truck vendors at any of the events I've had some behind the scenes knowledge of. Of course, the downside to that is there is also the risk of a vendor saying they will be there and then deciding at the last minute to cancel - we've had that happen too. An additional consideration is how food truck rules can vary a lot between each State in the U.S.

A lot of food trucks I see don't move around a lot. There are already a few of them at a couple of spots at the nearby Kingdom Trails, however I don't think they move at all once they've been parked for the season. One vendor I went to looked like it hadn't moved from its spot in years.

I live in PA, so I'm more familiar with how food trucks work around here. Small breweries are popular around here, but many don't have kitchen facilities, so food trucks will park outside to provide food to brewery patrons. Now in neighboring NJ, the laws are totally different and this practice would result in a hefty fine at the brewery.
  • 2 0
 @Jimmy0: big sky would be a banger too
  • 2 0
 @mashrv1: Food vendors typically pay a fee to be there (either a flat fee or a % of sales). Organisers dont pay them to be there.
  • 1 0
 @harwox: Depends where you live. Where I am you pay the truck a fee and then they keep all their profits.
  • 4 0
 @IanJF: Burke is in receivership after the EB-5 scandal. They are definitely not flush with cash.
  • 4 1
 @withdignityifnotalacrity: I agree, Bolton would be a sick location for an EWS.... And as you point it outs proximity to Burlington makes it a great venue. I love Burke/Kingdom Trails, but its so far out there that it exacerbates the issues folks are complaining about. Bolton would be an amazing choice.
  • 1 0
 Seems like watching in person as almost as bad as watching on TV.
  • 28 1
 We need more bike checks! It's been some time that we did not have some. Luke meier smith for exemple
  • 23 1
 Sam Hill. Just want to see his name in the comments.
  • 15 0
 I got another one.... Fox's new system isn't out yet but it backed up it's first win with a second win.... 2 wins in 2 races. 3 podiums already.
  • 14 0
 Yeah Jill. Get it.
  • 2 0
 Serious badass.
  • 9 1
 This stop seemed pretty weak overall. Many riders didn’t love it and the fans had a crappy experience. I think everyone would be happier if Squamish followed Whistler a week later. No travel necessary, and better trails and infrastructure for racing.
  • 3 0
 I heard Spuzzum is the new Squamish anyway...
Ya, Matt Walker to Wyn; "questionable stuff, like in honesty, some of the worst we've raced really". Not a ringing endorsement. Add to that a single food truck(!!), 45$ entry (USD, so that's like 387$ CDN), and the week right after all the epic-ness of Whis. Though go, really. They're all still smiling though, so I guess somebody did something right.
  • 10 0
 Luke Meier-Smith would've been 9th? the same Luke currently ranked 18th overall in WCDH?
  • 13 0
 Yep that’s him. He’s only dropped one stage out of the 4 ews he’s competed in and has a best place 6th finish at Andorra… kids on fire
  • 8 0
 Yeah that dude's one of my favorite riders right now. His little brother is a beast as well.
  • 9 1
 Ella Connely and Josh Bryceland both lost a race (different races) this week because they dropped chain on the Cannondale Jekyll.
  • 3 0
 Yup, it just pops off the chain ring.
  • 1 0
 When it was still not released for sale last year I remember Mitch losing a lot of time at BME Ironton after dropping a chain.
  • 5 0
 Any entry fee and ban on alcohol would be viewed as "challenge accepted"in Australia
  • 8 6
 Annoying that EWS went the way of road cycling with 3 person podiums. Melanie Pugin gets two 5ths and a 4th but no podiums. Sucks for riders and sponsors to miss out on that.
  • 22 13
 Stop trying to make 4th and 5th place a thing !!! It’s not a thing !!! I bet you like every kid getting an attendance trophy at school too . Life is win or lose
  • 14 1
 When did 5-person podiums even become a thing? Every other sport in the world has 3 on the podium... why would we have 5??
  • 7 0
 @Paco77: It started in Australia, at the XC World Cup in the 90s. The young Aussie Cadel Evans finished 4/5th, and the organisers decided to have a 5 place podium. It has since become the norm in World Cup racing.....
  • 1 0
 @Starch-Anton: this feels like a troll but also could be 100% true
  • 2 0
 Lol! That is ridiculous if true Big Grin
  • 9 2
 @kingdick: You sound like such a tough guy hopefully someone gives you a hug today. I just think it’s something cool and unique to mountain biking. Especially at this level. It’s a thing, watch an MTB World Cup and there are 5 people on the podium.

I have never heard of an attendance trophy, they sound kinda cool, but fiscally irresponsible so I do not approve.
  • 3 0
 @weirc: Cairns World cup in 94.
  • 3 0
 #1: 60% of the time it works every time. And it didn't work this particular time, the one that we're learning from...?
  • 5 1
 Is Sam Hill even racing?
  • 4 0
 Yes.
  • 6 0
 Would be great to hear a interview with him these days...
  • 1 1
 I don’t think he will be for much longer
  • 1 2
 Hopefully he will switch full time to the e-ews soon. He seemed to enjoy the last one he did way more.
  • 2 2
 I cant be sure 100% but watching the highlights it appeared that the top riders were still on smaller frames.
If that is the case, that has to be a big takeaway, we need more bike checks for the top riders.
  • 2 1
 5. That there's a place in Vermont called Burke and it was hosting an EWS, and it was already too late to update our fantasy teams.





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