Were the tracks at La Thuile too hard for an enduro?

Cotic rider Nial Oxley reports on his experience at the gnarliest round of the Enduro World Series… well, ever.

Round 4 of the EWS went down last weekend. Richie Rude and Cecile Ravanel continued their dominance but perhaps the main story of the weekend was just how insanely hard the riding was.

There were some comments that it was perhaps stretching the genre of ‘enduro‘ a bit too far into the realm of ‘Downhill’.

Regardless, variety is the spice of life and all that. The scenery certainly leant itself to same amazing looking footage and piccies.

Pic: Duncan Philpot

Pic: Duncan Philpot

Under-21 EWS racer Oxley’s verdict

“This past weekend I was fortunate enough to be able to race my first ever Enduro World Series race in La Thuile, Italy. The tracks there are nothing like I’ve ever ridden, all around ten minutes long each with up too 1000m of decent, and almost certainly rougher and more technical than most of the World Cup Downhill tracks I’ve raced. Sore hands, cramp and “rattled knuckles” were all part of the experience!

“I took my Cotic Rocket to La Thuile with the only addition being a full chain device for extra security. Racing went fairly well for me but not without the usual mishaps.

“I forgot my goggles on stage one which I will freely admit was my fault and I also had a crash on stage three.

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Pic: Duncan Philpot

Pic: Duncan Philpot

“Probably the most notable factor in racing was just how tiring it was, 30 degree heat, body armour and a full face make for heavy work and the main thing that was effecting my riding was tiredness. Definitely a cut above anything I’ve ever raced previously!

“The only thing I can compare it too would be racing Val Di Sole back to back for three runs. My rocket held up really well for the duration of the weekend, other parts needed replacing but the frame with all its bearings and bushes are still like new

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“In the end I managed to have a fairly good run on stage six which brought my position up in the Under 21’s men’s overall to 14th position, I’m pretty bloody happy with that as I’ve never done anything so hard before!

Pic: Duncan Philpot

Pic: Duncan Philpot

“Although with some specific training and hard work I may be able to improve slightly. All I can think about now Is going out and doing another!”