Enduro World Series: Graves, Ravanel score dominant wins

Graves first triumph of season, while Ravanel keeps rolling with fifth straight

Enduro Race Coverage
Jared Graves raced smart and kept his lead to the end, finishing 41 seconds ahead of Nico Lau.

Jared Graves raced smart and kept his lead to the end, finishing 41 seconds ahead of Nico Lau.

There was never much doubt about the final outcome. After sweeping the opening day’s three stages, Jared Graves (Specialized) and Cecile Ravanel (Commencal Vallnord Enduro) continued their dominance on day 2 of the Aspen-Snowmass stop of the Enduro World Series, each walking away with convincing wins.

Cecile Ravanel boosting her way to another win.

Cecile Ravanel boosting her way to another win.

Graves opened Sunday’s racing with two more stage wins, before putting it in cruise control for the sixth and final stage of EWS round No. 2. When the dust had settled, the Aussie was 42 seconds better than second placed Nico Lau (Cube Action Team). Cannondale Factory Team rider Jerome Clementz slotted third, at 0:45.

The fastest bike of the weekend: Jared Graves' Specialized S-Works Stumpjumper 29er. Check back to Mtbr this week for a complete photo gallery of this bike. Photo by Jason Sumner

The fastest bike of the weekend: Jared Graves’ Specialized S-Works Stumpjumper 29er. Check back to Mtbr this week for a complete photo gallery of this bike. Photo by Jason Sumner

This was Graves’ first win of the season, which is his first as a member of the Big Red S after a long haul under the Yeti Cycles banner, which included the 2014 EWS overall title and a second place finish in the series’ inaugural year in 2013. He attributed this year’s slow start to a mix of injuries and bad luck that’s included two snapped chains, several flat tires, and even a busted wheel.

“It was just a lot of random bad luck,” he said. “It was about time things turned around… I like racing at altitude and I’m always comfortable and confident in Colorado. I liked the stages and thought they had a good mix. After I went well on stage 1, it gave me confidence and I rode like I knew I could.”

For complete EWS Aspen-Snowmass results, go here. For more on the day’s action, check out the EWS live feed. To see updated overall standings, go here.

Rude didn't expect to be watching the podium ceremony from a chair at his team's pit. Photo by Jason Sumner

Rude didn’t expect to be watching the podium ceremony from a chair at his team’s pit. Photo by Jason Sumner

Things sort of turned for Graves’ old teammate and overall series leader, Richie Rude. After finishing 41st on the opening day, the Yeti rider clawed his way back into 25th place at the end of the weekend, bolstered by a 3rd place finish on the marathon stage 4, which was the longest in EWS history at 5.3 miles. Graves’ winning time was a leg crushing 16 minutes, 45 seconds. Rude finished in 17:03. But the young rider was unable to keep the second day momentum going, slotting 29th and 19th on the final two stages, clearly still feeling the effects of a hard crash in Thursday’s practice round that resulted in a separated shoulder.

Damien Oton was seventh in Colorado and remains second overall behind Richie Rude.

Damien Oton was seventh in Colorado and remains second overall behind Richie Rude.

The net effect was a major tightening in the overall series standings. Rude is now just 210 points ahead of Damien Oton (Devinci), who was seventh overall in Colorado. Clementz’s strong effort at Snowmass bumped him into third with three events to go. Despite the win here, Graves is just 27th overall, having only scored points in three of five events thus far.

Ravanel and her victor's spoils. The Frenchwoman has deposited a bunch of those biggie checks this year. Photo by Jason Sumner

Ravanel and her victor’s spoils. The Frenchwoman has deposited a bunch of those biggie checks this year. Photo by Jason Sumner

There was no such tightening on the women’s side of the ledger, as overall EWS series leader Ravanel continued to be the class of the field. She won all five stages in Colorado, as the women didn’t race the final stage Sunday due to a lengthy crash-caused course hold. Despite not contesting stage 6, the Frenchwoman still put 1:16 into second placed Anita Gehrig (Ibis Cycles), with Isabeau Courdurier (SUNN) another four seconds back.

“It was difficult with the altitude and the physical stages,” said Ravanel about the thin Rocky Mountain air. Racers were regularly above 10,000 feet all weekend.

Isabeau Courdurier finished 3rd in both stages Sunday and 3rd overall.

Isabeau Courdurier finished 3rd in both stages Sunday and 3rd overall.

Her fifth win in five tries helped Ravanel stretch her lead in the overall standings to 320 points. Courdurier is second, with Gehrig in third.

Casey Brown (Trek Factory Racing) was the top North American finisher in fourth, while up-and-comer Cooper Dendel was best of the U.S. contingent in 9th.

When you make the final podium (as Lau did) you get beer poured on your head.

When you make the final podium (as Lau did) you get beer poured on your head.

In the U21 men’s competition, Adrien Dailly (Lapierre Gravity Republic) came out on top. In the U21 women it was a USA sweep with Samantha Soranio in first, Lia Westermann second, and Abby Hobbs third. In the master’s men American Michael Broderick was first, with Joe Lawwill and Randal Huntington in second and third respectively. In the team competition, Rocky Mountain Urge bp came out on top, Ibis Cycles Race Enduro was second, and Specialized took third.

The EWS now takes a two-week break, before resuming in Whistler, British Columbia, on August 14. For more from Sunday, check out more photos on page 2. All photos are courtesy Enduro World Series unless otherwise noted.

Continue to page 2 for more photos from day 2 of the Aspen-Snowmass Enduro World Series stop »


About the author: Jason Sumner

An avid cyclist, Jason Sumner has been writing about two-wheeled pursuits of all kinds since 1999. He’s covered the Olympics, Tour de France, MTB world champs, and dozens of other international cycling events. He also likes to throw himself into the fray, penning first-person accounts of cycling adventures all over the globe. Sumner, who joined the Mtbr staff in 2013, has also done extensive gear testing and is the author of the cycling guide book "75 Classic Rides: Colorado." When not writing or riding, the native Coloradoan can be found enjoying life with his wife Lisa and kids Cora and Tommy in and around their home in the MTB Mecca of Crested Butte.


Related Articles


NOTE: There are two ways to comment on our articles: Facebook or Wordpress. Facebook uses your real name and can be posted on your wall while Wordpress uses our login system. Feel free to use either one.

Facebook Comments:



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*
*


THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

mtbr.com and the ConsumerReview Network are business units of Invenda Corporation

(C) Copyright 1996-2018. All Rights Reserved.