The movement back and forth of riders between World Cup Downhill and the Enduro World Series continues.
Cecile Ravanel remains the only EWS athlete so far who’s moved over to World Cup DH (for a round or two anyway) but the relatively common move from Downhill to Enduro has become one name longer now.
So who’s having a dabble at Enduro this weekend in France then? Everyone’s favourite ‘tache sporter Phil Atwill that’s who…
Now then. What shall we read into this? Is it just a one-off promotional stunt to help promote Propain’s new enduro 29er bike, the Hugene (details below)? Or there something more to Atwill’s appearance in the EWS?
After all, he was one of the most vocal naysayers of new school World Cup DH tracks – such as Leogang when he did a ‘protest’ practice run on a hardtail as some sort of criticism at the lack of gnar on the super-groomed bikepark track.
if you watch the EWS course previews video at the top of this page you can see for yourself that modern elite level international enduro racing is not shy of the gnar. Some of the tracks are, quite frankly, nuts.
And no doubt some dissatisfied circuit-weary World Cup racers, who maybe haven’t been seen on a DH podium for awhile/ever, will have been noticing just how much adulation Sam Hill has been receiving since he moved (and took) over enduro.
Anyway, we can’t wait to see how Atwill does in France this weekend. He is one of the best riders to watch on the planet, full stop, and we have a lot of time for his outspokenness amidst a sea of go-along pro’s.
The new Propain Hugene 29
We’ve yet to see on e in the flesh yet but suffice to say, it’s a looker. Typically low-slung centre of mass PRO10 suspension arrangement (albeit this time with seat tube standing in between rear tyre and rear shock), good standover, decent decals, sealed bearing covers and the geometry looks on point. Not headline-grabbingly radical but these look like a good set of numbers all-round.
Pricing starts from €3,099 up to €6,399.
Propain: “Our PRO10 suspension system, praised by the trade press, has been completely revamped for HUGENE. The shock now sits in front of the seatpost and is perfectly protected against dirt and mud. At the same time, we’ve made space for the 29” wheels. For the HUGENE as a trailbike, we’ve paid particular attention to its drive efficiency. With 100% anti-squat, the chainstay always keeps its cool uphill. HUGENE climbs almost like a hardtail but also offers you sturdy downhill performance, as the kinematics have been optimized so that the shock gradually stiffens, offering both perfect sensitivity and high impact absorption.
“HUGENE is Propain´s interpretation of the perfect trail bike. A bike that flies up mountains with ease and puts a fat smile on your face on the way back down. For the first time, Propain rely on large 29″ wheels and has optimized their tried-and-tested PRO10 suspension system for them. This results in a great balance between smoothness and agility, providing lots of safety for the rider without feeling boring.”