Game over already?
Cecile Ravanel’s weakness spotted. Gutierrez wears beer goggles. Penalties for not-shuttling. And much more more. Colombia EWS was poco loco.
1. Ravanel’s weakness found!
The only hope for the other women in the Enduro World Series is if the organisers have made the rest of the season’s stages all urban DH stages. Which is rather unlikely. As we said in our report from Chile EWS, the only doubt about Ravanel and EWS2018 is if/when/how she’ll do a World Cup DH round.
2. Experience > adrenaline
Funnily enough Sam Hill was similarly not-placed in the men’s field on the urban stage 1, like Ravanel. Seasoned pros like they are it looked like Hill and Ravanel weighed up the risk versus reward of letting it all hang out in the temptingly unique urban DH stage 1 and they decided to keep their powder dry for the proper mountain biking that followed the concrete calamities.
3. Hill > home advantage
It’s clear that Sam Hill didn’t really read the script emailed to him from the EWS organisers (we can weirdly imagine that Hill hasn’t read an email in his life, gawd love him). The official script was that Marcelo Gutierrez was supposed to win the Colombia EWS. It’s his local patch after all. They even made the unprecedented and – it has to be said – entirely un-enduro move to have one stage as an urban DH!
4. Beer goggles are real
Gutierrez had so much beer enthusiastically and well-meaningly flung over him during stage 1 that he was indeed wearing ‘beer goggles’.
5. Penalised for not-shuttling
Adrien Dailly, Florian Nicolai and Dimitri Tordo were docked 20 seconds for “shuttling” in practice. Except they weren’t shuttling. Not as most people know the term anyway. They didn’t catch a vehicle to miss out on any pedalling. They sort of took a short cut during the downtown stage practice. Except it wasn’t a shortcut. It was a wrong turn that ended up with them doing more pedalling than their rivals. Still, rules is rules. Stick inside the race tape.
6. Jared Graves and the curse of The Big S
Man, can Graves catch a bit of good luck anytime soon? Pretty much literally every stage of the EWS has seen Graves suffer some sort of mechanical. Usually a puncture. This time in Colombia however he smashed his shifter to bits with his knee (ouch!) This extended run of bad luck has seen many an internet keyboard warrior commenter to cite the curse of The Big S(pecialized). This curse of something of a modern online rumour that seems to have little in the way of evidence other than Gwin famously breaking a chain (and winning) and Graves’ EWS repair bills.
7. Ratboy isn’t fooling around
Well, he is and he isn’t. You can take the racer out of (downhill) racing but you can’t take the racing out of the racer. Josh Bryceland came 2nd on stage 5. He currently lies 33rd overall (and that’s after a DNF in round 1).
8. How will the World Cup Downhill affect things?
Although no-one really likes to talk about it much on either ‘side’, enduro and downhill are interlinked. The main question that the EWS organisers and racers will be asking themselves is: will the current high interest in the EWS be maintained once the World Cup Downhill starts later this month? Sure, the appeal of ‘real world’ riding that the EWS has is undeniable but at the end of the day, do we want racing to be ‘real world’ or do we want it to be special and… alien? It’s WRC versus F1.