Cycling: The third stop of the Enduro World Series was a real thriller. The alpine terrain around Valloire provided many surprises in the form of falls, countless flat tires and technical defects. Tracy Moseley and Jared Graves ended the two-day race on top of the podium, taking over the overall standings.
Two days, six stages, more than 12000 meters in altitude, just under an hour and a half of racing and a number of lead changes – that describes the Enduro World Series race in Valloire in a nutshell. It's been a chaotic two days in the alpine terrain of France. Since the lift went to the individual stages, the drivers were less challenged, one might think. But the reality was a little different. With travel times between ten and sixteen minutes, the stages were extremely demanding in terms of fitness. The steep and stony terrain did the rest and so it happened quite a few times that drivers with defects or flat tires rolled to the finish.
Consistency was the key to success here. But this was difficult for many drivers. Day one started very early. The riders took the lift to the first stage and, after only being allowed to walk the entire route, had a practice run. Then it was back to the start of the first stage and the clock started ticking. None of the top favorites was spared that day. After a good start on stage one, Francois Bailly-Maitre was ahead, followed by Jared Graves, Justin Leov and young star Martin Maes. Graves was hungry. After his less than good result in Scotland, the Australian was in desperate need of a top 3 result in Valloire.
On stage two, however, he seemed to have already gambled away his plan. With a violent departure he lost an important 20 seconds to the leaders. While Graves did damage limitation on the last leg of the day and took a solid third place, Rene Wildhaber found his way into the race as well. He rewarded himself with second place behind Justin Leov, who finished day one as the leader with his second best time. Like Martin Maes, Francois Bailly-Maitre didn't get a good run. Maes lost over ten minutes and was out of the fight for victory.
While there were a few defects and changes of place among the men, Tracy Moseley drove like on rails. She completed day one without any defects or major mistakes. With three best times, she was leading the women's standings by the end of day one and had a substantial lead of over 20 seconds. Meanwhile, Anneke Beerten and Anne-Caroline Chausson fought an exciting battle for second and third place.
Jared Graves had some catching up to do on day two. However, the winner from Scotland, Cube Action team rider Nico lau, started Sunday with a win and made up little ground due to the very close times. Stage five threw the previous leader Justin Leov far back. He got a flat tire and lost contact with the front. It was Graves who now took the lead with a solid but above all consistent performance. This situation was not new to the experienced Australian and so he defended his narrow lead on the sixth and final stage. Justin Leov said goodbye to Valloire with another best time and finished eleventh at the end of the day.
Rene Wildhaber had to admit defeat to Damien Oton from France on the second day. Oton was the only driver to consistently place himself in the top 10 and deservedly secured second place ahead of Wildhaber.
Tracy Moseley didn't let her butter off her bread on the second day. Although Anne-Carlone Chausson won stage four, Moseley countered with two more best times and clinched her second EWS victory of the year. Chausson got going much better and took over 20 seconds from Anneke Beerten on the last stage. So she took second place.
Jared Graves and Tracy Moseley thus take over the overall standings of the Enduro World Series and travel as leaders to La Thuile/Italy, where the fourth race of the EWS will take place on July 12-13.
The full results can be found below www.enduroworldseries.com