Last weekend, the enduro elite were drawn to the Scottish Tweed Valley. The second stop of this year's Enduro World Series took place there as part of the Tweedlove Festival and promised exciting battles with varied trails.
"I think a lot of the riders were surprised at how physical and technical the trails were", says organizer Neil Dagleish. Many drivers found this to be the most difficult terrain of the EWS so far. The very slippery and steep trails demand everything from the riders and many are not used to these conditions, which can also be seen in the results. The British drivers did excellently.”
At their home race, the Brits turned up the heat. With four top 10 finishes for men and six top 10 results for women, they showed themselves to be the strongest nation and played to their home advantage. Above all, Joe Barnes convinced. The Canyon team rider secured his first podium at the EWS with consistent times and finished third. But Tracy Moseley also kept her nerve. On home soil she drove a strong race against her current toughest competitor Anne-Caroline Chausson. With a win and a second place each, both are now equal in the fight for the title and will probably also be the top favorites in the coming races.
The big winner in Scotland was Nico Lau. The Cube team driver has often been a contender for victory, but mostly shot his way out due to a lack of consistency or technical defects. At the Tweedlove Festival he should succeed this time. Lau was already leading the field after the first day and confidently went into the remaining four stages with two stage victories. Hot on his heels: New Zealanders Justin Leov and Joe Barnes. Meanwhile, Jared Graves had a pitch-black day. With only a top 10 result on stage three, he found himself only in the middle of the rankings at the end of the first day. The young Martin Maes had a similar experience and two of the big favorites were eliminated from the race.
Day two started with a best time on stage one for local hero Joe Barnes. Justin Leov also found a better and better rhythm and closed the gap to Lau with consistently good results. He seemed to be weakening a bit, but kept his nerve and was happy about the deserved victory after a total of eight timed stages. Meanwhile, Jared Graves and Martin Maes drove a great comeback. With a victory on stage eight, Maes moved up to seventh place overall, Graves was able to move up to ninth place.
Nico Lau is now going into the upcoming race in France as the overall leader. The fight for the title in Valloire will start in just three weeks and offer us further excitement with alpine terrain.