Cedric still bonks hard.

It was the NZ Enduro last weekend and plenty of pro riders were there to use it as a warm-up for the imminent two opening rounds of the EWS.

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This year’s Enduro World Series kicks off down under. Round 1 is Rotorua, New Zealand on March 25-26th. Round 2 is Tasmania, Australia on April 8-9th.

Although the third and final day of the NZ Enduro was cancelled due to extreme weather, the first two days of racing saw plenty of epic action and a bit of gossip. Check it out…

1. Pro’s still bonk

Cedric Gracia is a seasoned (some would say very seasoned) pro. It seems Cedric forgot about nutrition this time, or underestimated how demanding the riding would be. “Oh man I bonked on the second climb and someone gave me a bar. So stoked! And after I got a gel from Mark and half a banana from someone else and I could do the last stage but dude I was overheating but I managed to finish the stage.”

2. The Martins know enduro

Although this was technically the third edition of the NZ Enduro, 2017 was the first time that Sven and Anka Martin were in charge. They’re old hands in the relatively new world of enduro. They put on an event that was full of the spirit of enduro; gnarly tracks, big days out, hike-a-bike sections and plenty of camaraderie.

3. Riding blind is none-more-enduro

Not having the opportunity to do much in the way of practice or scoping of the course, racers were having to ride timed stages blind ie. riding things on-sight and dealing with the unexpected as it came at them. There are some who say that this is the true format of enduro.

4. Ratboy loved it

Pictured wearing something akin to DIY safety glasses and riding a 29er, Josh Bryceland was clearly relishing a race that wasn’t a World Cup Downhill race. “Loved it mate, absolutely loved it big flow sesh stage one … then just giggling, hanging off the back trying to get the big vessel through tight trees on the second stage! Loved it!”

5. When it rains in NZ, it really rains

Day two looked like carnage. Kinda fun carnage but carnage nonetheless. Yet more rain came and caused the third and final day of racing to be cancelled. “With the valley floor shrouded in heavy cloud and rain limiting our medi-evac options we had to call the racing off for the day.” No-one really complained though.

Drink yer' water and #rideordie . – @r_doggystyles | @nzenduro | #ridebontrager | #trekbikes | #nzenduro

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6. Everybody loves R-Dog

Who? Ryan Howard of Trek and the Ride Or Die Collective. R-Dog was awarded the Maddog prize for best vibe of the weekend. Due to the inclement weather R-Dog wore a combination of bin bag, surgical gloves and turkeys bags (on his feet) to help him survive the ordeal.

7. Less than ideal practice for Rotorua EWS

Yet in a way, this arduous trial-by-mud might still be of use to the competitors who used it as a warm-up(!) for the opening round of the Enduro World Series. Mental and physical strength will have been improved. And pretty much anything is going to be easy to ride for anyone who survived NZ Enduro!