The top of the leader board was unchanged following a shortened Day 2 of the Enduro World Series stop at Winter Park Resort in Colorado on Saturday.
Frenchman Jerome Clementz (Cannondale OverMountain) and Brit Tracy Moseley (Trek Factory Racing) each posted the fastest times in a long, rocky, chunky natural terrain-laden Stage 3a, helping both maintain their respective leads over Nicolas Vouilloz (Lapierre) and Anne-Caroline Chausson (Ibis) in the men’s and women’s open divisions. Stage 3b — contested lower down on the mountain on a series of jump-laden machine made trails — went to Jared Graves (Yeti) and Chausson.
That was Graves’ second stage win of the three-day event, but his chances at the overall were derailed on the second stage Friday when he suffered a major mechanical and finished out of the top 100. The Aussie, who’s doing his best to salvage points in the series’ overall competition, currently sits 41st, a remarkable feat considering he was 105th after the first day.
Clementz, meanwhile, has been the event’s most consistent rider, finishing 3rd, 2nd, 1st and 9th in the event’s first four stages.
[See full Day 2 Enduro World Series results here and make sure to check out the spy shots of two new enduro bikes in the photo gallery below.]
But it was the lack of a stage 4 that ended up being the big story of the day. A late afternoon lightning strike on Friday caused electrical damage and a significant power failure at the resort, which shut down several lifts on-and-off all day Saturday. After a long delay following the end of stage 3b, organizers finally cancelled the stage. The lifts eventually did come back to life, but Colorado Freeride Festival event director Bob Holme cited weather concerns and an already long delay when explaining the decision to table the stage.
“If we’d started up later in the day you’re looking at a situation where the back half of the field isn’t starting stage 4 until 5:30 p.m.,” said Holme. “Then if we have weather come in, which has happened almost every day this week, you have a scenario where we have a bunch of athletes at the top of the mountain. That could be a bad situation.”
As it was, the ubiquitous afternoon thunderstorm didn’t come until the sun went down, but hindsight is not a luxury Holme and his staff had. “Sometimes enduro is as challenging for the organizers as it is for the riders,” added Enduro World Series director Chris Ball. “We have chosen to split stage 3a and 3b into two individual stages allowing the race to still contain five individual stages and allow the prize money to be redistributed to all stage winners.”
In the men’s overall standings, Clementz has a total four stage time of 33:05, which is 37 seconds better than Vouilloz and another second ahead of third placed Fabien Barel (Canyon). In the women’s open race, Moseley owns a 39-second lead over Chausson, with Anneke Beerten (Specialized) 1:36 back.
Sunday’s fifth and final stage starts with some leg-softening pedaling at the top before plunging into the middle portion of the rough and rowdy natural terrain on the Trestle downhill, before finishing on the big man-made jumps of Space Ape.
Meanwhile, Sweden’s Martin Soderstrom captured the Colorado Freeride Festival Slopestyle championship, scoring a day’s best 94.6 points. Behind Soderstrom, the results were tight, with four riders finishing within 0.6 points of each other. Germany’s Peter Henke ended up second with 91.6 points, while Anton Thelander of Sweden came in third. Belgium’s Thomas Genon was fourth, and Sam Pilgrm from Great Britain took fifth. Of the 16 riders in the finals, 13 hailed from foreign countries, with representatives from as far away as France, Czech Republic, and Scotland. See full results here.
Saturday’s race action also included the Epic Singletrack Series point to point cross country race. Erin Huck (Tokyo Joe’s) and Bryan Alders (Marin Bikes) won their respective pro races. See full results here.
The Colorado Freeride Festival wraps up Sunday with another full day of action that includes the final day of the Enduro World Series and a pond skimming event. See the full schedule here.