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7 Things We Learned - Bielsko-Biala EDR World Cup 2024

May 17, 2024 at 16:46
by Sarah Moore  
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Photos Credit: WHOOP UCI Mountain Bike World Series

1. We could see tighter Enduro results than Downhill this week.

Isabeau Courdurier and Charlie Murray won the second round of the EDR World Cup in Poland today, but by the narrowest of margins. Over the course of 27:23.465 minutes of racing, just 0.236 separated Courdurier from Harriet Harnden, who settled for second after another spectacular weekend. Both made mistakes throughout the day, with Courdurier crashing on stages 1 and 2 and Harnden crashing on stage 2.

The men's race was, incredibly, even tighter, with Charlie Murray's time of 23:42.034 just 0.095 faster than Poland's own Slawomir Lukasik. Slawomir won three straight stages to end the day, but missed out on taking his first UCI Enduro World Cup win at home by 0.095 seconds.

In Fort William, we were expecting the podium to be separated by hundredths of seconds, and while we saw Vali Höll win by just half a second, Loic Bruni put a remarkable 1.84 seconds into Troy Brosnan over the course of racing with is time of 4:06:104.

Other than the men's XCC World Cup in Mairiporã, which resulted in a photo finish, this is the closest World Cup race we've had this year.

Now, I'm speculating here, but those times are really, really close. They were so close in fact that there's a good chance that the downhill races could be won by larger margins come Sunday.


2. Canadian men are showing up in a big way.

Finn Iles was the only Canadian male rider to get a top 20 at the Fort William World Cup with his third place and Carter Woods was the only Canadian male rider to get a top 20 at an XC World Cup with his 15th place in Araxa. In today's Enduro World Cup however, there were six Canadian men in the top 20 in the Elite category of with Jesse Melamed (5th), Jack Menzies (6th), Kasper Woolley (7th), Elliot Jamieson (14th), Remi Gauvin (15th), and Rhys Verner (19th).

While we've typically spoken about French dominance in enduro, we only saw four French riders in the top 20 in Bielsko-Biala with Adrien Dailly being the top male French rider in 8th.

As for the women, the French women have been dominating for years, but now they're seeing strong competition from the British women, with five French women and five British women in the top 20 at the Polish round.


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3. We could see record four-peat overall wins this year.

Isabeau Courdurier's first years of racing were in the shadow of the ever-dominant Cecile Ravanel, who won three overall titles between 2016 and 2018. The 2018 season saw Isabeau take second behind Cecile in every single race.

When Ravanel retired from enduro racing in 2019, Courdurier went on to have the perfect season and win every single race in the 2019 Enduro World Series. In fact, from what we can see from her Roots and Rain page, Courdurier has never finished outside of the top 10 in an EWS or EDR World Cup race since she started racing in 2013, other than one DNF in Rotorua in 2017. Last season, she won four of the seven UCI Enduro World Cups.

Rude has also racked up three overall titles in 2015, 2016 and 2023, tying with Sam Hill's back-to-back overall wins for 2017, 2018, and 2019. Courdurier is currently leading the women's overall by the slimmest of margins of 893 points to Harnden's 891 and Rude is currently sitting in second place with 859 points to Charles Murray's 871.


4. Pro teams really are the dream.

Jesse Melamed and Jack Menzies were able to race in Bielsko-Biala on fresh bikes just days after their Finale Ligure race bikes got stolen out of their team van near Vienna, Austria on May 13th. It really is remarkable that the Canyon CLLCTV team was able to rally together in less than a week to get both riders on new bikes. Not only that, but obviously they felt 100% at ease on their fresh steeds since they finished 5th and 6th. It's impressive that the team mechanics and the riders are so dialled that they can build up a brand new bike that feels exactly the same as the race bike from the previous weekend.

Not only that, but Melamed said before practice in an Instagram post that: "None of the stress of the situation passed to me so I could focus on the job I had to do once the time came." It's great that the two riders were able to stay focused on their job and not worry about what they were going to be riding on come practice on Thursday. You can bet that the mechanics and support staff felt the added pressure this week.

For a privateer in the same situation, there would have been an incredible amount of stress and it's unlikely that a new race bike would have been able to exactly match the feel of their previous race bike - if they were able to even get one to Poland and build it up in time.


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5. Charlie Murray's win was a long time coming, but not totally unexpected.

Charlie Murray's first Enduro World Series race was in 2018, when he had a disastrous first stage in Lo Barnechea, Chile and finished 128th overall as a result. The following weekend in Manizales, he took 48th place, before skipping rounds 3-6 and finishing the season off with a 74th in Ainsa-Sobrarbe and a 77th in Finale Ligure. The following year, in 2019, he did rounds 4, 5, 6, and 7, with his best result being a 26th in Northstar, California.

In 2020, he climbed further up the rankings, with a 20th, a 14th and then a 6th place. In 2021, he stepped onto the EWS podium for the first time with a third place at the second round in Val di Fassa. In 2022, he was consistently top 15 with a fifth place and a fourth place to finish up the season. In 2023, he levelled it up again and finished every race other than round one in the single digits, but still flew under the radar without any podiums to his name.

This season, he kicked things off with a second place, followed by a win. With the consistency of last season and the fact that his results seem to get better throughout the season, you can bet his competitors are noticing him this year.


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6. Chloe Taylor's podium was also a long time coming, and totally unexpected.

This is Chloe Taylor's fifth year racing at the international-level in enduro and her best result in the Enduro World Series and EDR World Cup so far, was a tenth place last year in Pietra Ligure in 2023.

She's been consistently improving, but she's never had a single-digit race result in the past five years. Regardless, it was great to see her put it together for the new Gowaan Girls team in Bielsko-Biala with a decisive first place on Stage 2 as conditions turned variable with the rain, a third place on Stage 4 and consistent results throughout the day.


7. Things are looking up for the YT Mob and Jack Moir.

Last week, I mentioned how unlucky it was that YT Mob enduro riders had sustained three injuries over the course of a year, but this race, all three riders finished the race and it was an impressive comeback for Jack Moir. Moir finished the Bielsko-Biala race with a 4th place a week after he needed to sit out the Finale Ligure round due to an injury from washing out that affected his grip strength.

Kasper Wooley worked his way up the results sheet to 7th and it was a decent race for Christian Textor in 26th.


Other facts:
• Mirco Vendemmia proved his fourth place in Finale Ligure wasn't just because he's a local with a 11th place.
• Martin Maes was forced to abandon after he was unable to fix a puncture that he suffered at the bottom of Stage 1.

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45 Comments
  • 30 1
 Send it Randy
  • 6 0
 Love me some randy
  • 3 0
 #8 Randy sends it
  • 3 0
 Oh wow that's been dormant for a while... top 10 result!
  • 8 1
 So basically both the men's and women's race were ties... With under a second separation for 1-2....pretty crazy given choices of line, differences in riders and different bikes... That was the max speed for the course... Impressive riding from everyone. Which we could see more of it!
  • 21 1
 Literally the entire internet is flooded with video of the event, enduro will never be good live but we’re living in the golden age of coverage
  • 17 0
 @h8terbike999: This guy gets it.
  • 1 0
 @JesseMelamed: interested in your opinion of this article, how much faster would you have been with your original bike? Or were you completely comfortable with the replacement?
  • 3 0
 @h8terbike999: but it could be so much better. For example, they could re-seed after the penultimate stage, broadcast a summary of the day so far while the first block of men and women do the final stage, maybe even some quick interviews at the top of the hill, then broadcast the final stage live for the top men and women followed by he podium.
  • 2 1
 @h8terbike999: is it though? Barely seen a thing from the EDR, some good stuff from DH but not enough.
  • 5 0
 @JesseMelamed: People like you, Charlie, Jack Moir are all basically doing the UCI/Discovery's job for them. And we obviously are wildly appreciative as fans, but it's definitely a bit ridiculous.

I've said it for a while, but they should be furnishing all of you top guys with gopros provided by the promoter/broadcaster, for collecting standardized coverage, and using your pov videos regularly in much longer highlight reels - WRC/Rally style (but obviously allowing you to do whatever you want with that footage, as well).
  • 2 0
 @h8terbike999: this is true, but the real question for you is "Were the transitions tough enough this weekend?"
  • 1 0
 @jayacheess: AND the video quality is way better . In the recap show the intro and cut to slowmo action shots are super slick. BUT the racing footage is sh!thouse. Many of the clips at the start of the last recap were grainy and out of focus. One shot it looks like the persons hand is in front of the lens. Moimoi tvs man uses a gimbal. Disco tv (as seen in chazmasvid) use a big canon and a red hand held and Josh is filming on his phone with no gimbal.
YES I was yelling because I am rude. Not Richie Rude. He’s cool. Im not.
  • 4 0
 @enduroNZ: I would say by race day I was close to 100% on my bike, but it was practice that was affected. Slight changes every stage to dial in my bike took away from my usual practice process so I think I lacked a bit of confidence come race day.
  • 10 0
 Happy to see Moir back up there after the tough season last year!
  • 9 1
 How about “little” bikes having success against the longer travel steeds
  • 7 0
 A Druid V2 won an EDR and got multiple podiums last year, nothing new. While it might have been overstroked, still not more than a 142mm-ish rear travel bike.
  • 3 5
 @avg-roadie: can't be overstroked, there's no clearance
  • 2 1
 @nicoenduro: fake news
  • 2 2
 @nicoenduro: like the extra 8mm of travel matter anyways
  • 1 0
 @nicoenduro: it for sure can. At least 2.5 increase, 5mm might touch in spots but it’s close.
  • 1 0
 @mtbthe603: well tell Forbidden they're spreading fake news, it was the first thing i asked. their claim, you could on the v1 not on the v2
  • 7 0
 8 - I learned that there was an EDR race this Friday
  • 2 0
 One other thing we learned is that Blue Print Athlete Development has a system that clearly is working for the Canadian athletes. 4 of the top 20 finishers in elite men (there are more in the other categories) are all products of that system. Obviously they all work incredibly hard, but it goes to show that having great coaching makes a big difference.
  • 3 0
 4th,5th,6th, and 8th in u21 men also train under blueprint
  • 5 0
 You missed one, Aussie Juniors are bloody ripping!!!!!
  • 1 0
 Sure are. Bailey particularly is a menace. So good
  • 4 0
 That was a great recap and analysis. Thanks @sarahmoore !!!
  • 4 0
 Enduro is so frigging good.
  • 3 1
 Did Maes not carry a spare tube? Oof I bet he won't be caught out like that again....
  • 4 0
 If sidewall slash is 8mm+, you need a boot too, or the tube herniates goes kerpop! He's right tho Martin, 85g urethane tube + 5g boot = well worth the carry!
  • 2 0
 @powturn: I've seen racers use bills if they are plastic based, liked Canada's or playing cards before. Sucks for maes....
  • 3 0
 @Breeconay: I've seen people pack in a bunch of grass and leaves too. Where there's a will...
  • 1 0
 Liaison times might have hurt him if it was as 30 min fix or something like that. Dunno if they have a cutoff time to be back at the top of the next stage, that might have been a factor if he did manage to bodgey it up
  • 2 0
 Chloe Taylor's podium is a first for Scott in EDR/EWS since 2015 under some rider called Amaury Pierron!! GOWAAN!!
  • 4 4
 Is it really a new bike if it’s an identical frame with identical parts and identical settings? Weird thing to plug
  • 2 3
 Why did you dedicate a paragraph to ‘pro teams really are the dream’ just to rub it in to the privateers in a season where quite a few of them have been dropped by teams?
  • 2 2
 The one thing i learned was that there was a World Cup EDR Race at all. There was zero buildup to this
  • 8 1
 Come on. The calendar was published months ago. Do you want someone to ring you up and remind you each time?
  • 2 0
 Juniors tho?
  • 1 1
 We also learned Trailbikes without high pivots and proofen geometry can win races :-)
  • 1 0
 Blueprint athlete development showing up!!!!!
  • 2 3
 From my side , no coverage , race on friday , almost no images , didn’t learn anything
  • 6 1
 Learn to use internet and search, full of videos and images of the event.







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