Take a look at when and where the 2019 series will be taking place and what to look out for

Time to take a look at where and when the races are taking place and what the riders can expect to face in the 2019 Enduro World Series.

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In just a few short weeks the first racers in the 2019 Enduro World Series will be heading to the start gate for first round in New Zealand. The series will see the competitors taking part in eight rounds to determine the overall winners for each category. 2019 will see four brand new venues sitting alongside four of the EWS’s most popular locations, taking in locations as far afield as New Zealand, California and Madeira before arriving at a completely new destination for the final round.

Rd1. GIANT Toa Enduro presented by CamelBak

When: 24 March 2019

Where: Rotorua, New Zealand

Who won here last? Wyn Masters (GT Factory Racing) and Cecile Ravenel (Commencal Vallnord) took the wins here in 2017

Deep in the heart of New Zealand’s geothermal landscape, Rotorua has a lot more to offer than just a distinct smell of eggs. The mountains that surround the sleepy town are covered in lush rainforest that hide a myriad of steep and techy loam trails. But if there’s one thing to learn from the last time the EWS was here, it’s that the weather can play a major part in determining the results. March in New Zealand sits well into the autumn so it might be a case of the rider that can adapt to the conditions quickest will prosper.

Bar width can be a concern in Tasmania. Photo: Sven Martin

Rd2. EWS Shimano Enduro Tasmania

When: 31 March 2019

Where: Derby, Tasmania

Who won here last? Adrien Dailly (Lapierre) and Isabeau Courdurier (Sunn) won here last in 2017

Home to some of the most popular stages as voted by the EWS riders themselves, most will be looking forward to Tasmania. Almost always warm and dusty with some of the most distinctive trail features (who can forget the rock chasm that had most racers cutting their bars down!), it should be a fast affair. 2017 saw Tasmania receiving its fair share of rain but unlike the instant mud-fest that Rotorua enjoyed the sandy soils of this ‘small’ Australian island drain exceptionally well leaving the trails to run smooth.

Madeira isn’t afraid of a little bit of exposure. Photo: Sven Martin

Rd3. EWS powered by Freeride Madeira

When: 11 & 12 May 2019

Where: Madeira, Portugal

Who won here last? Greg Callahan (Cube Action Team) and Cecile Ravanel (Commencal Vallnord) in 2017

Anyone that has ridden in Madeira can lay testament to the sheer intensity of some of the EWS stages of the past. Plummeting down wet rocks glistening with slippery green moss all with a 400 metre drop just a few centimetres away from the trail edge can certainly focus the mind. Being as it is a tiny rock sticking out of the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, Madeira can suffer from rapid weather changes and in an instant grip can go from limpet-like to Bambi on ice-like. Madeira also has an exceptionally varied amount of trail terrain so expect riders to go from flat scrubby heathland through huge rock gardens and into Eucalyptus forests within the same stage.

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Rd4. MET Val Di Fassa EWS

When: 29 June 2019

Where: Val di Fassa, Italy

Who won here last? New location

Not the usual Italian venue we are expecting to see in the EWS, Val Di Fassa is the first of the four debut locations. Located high in the Dolomites, the most rugged of Italy’s mountain ranges, the village of Canazei will play host to this round. This is high Alpine riding at its most classic, so expect lots of long, relentlessly rocky stages that will punish both body and bike.

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Rd5. EWS Les Orres Coupe du Monde

When: 06 & 07 July 2019

Where: Les Orres, France

Who won here last? New location

Just a short hop across the border from last week’s race in Italy, Les Orres will serve up another slice of high Alpine riding. Another weekend of long stages, high temperatures and rocky terrain will see the strongest riders come to the fore.

Marco Osborne, Matthew Koen. Enduro World Series. Crankworx Whistler 2017. Photo by: Scott Robarts

Rd6. CamelBak Canadian Open Enduro presented by Specialized

When: 11 August 2019

Where: Whistler, Canada

Who won here last? Martin Maes (GT Factory Racing) and Cecile Ravanel (Commencal Vallnord) in 2018

If you haven’t heard of Whistler by now, where have you been? A mecca of mountain biking in North America, this Canadian town boasts a vast network of both manmade bike park and natural trails. One of the highlights of the race is the sheer variety of terrain, making Whistler one of the hardest races to choose the right equipment. Factor in the race takes place right in the middle of the Crankworx Whistler festival and this will no doubt be a huge one for spectators.

Rd7. EWS Northstar California

When: 24 & 25 August 2019

Where: Northstar, California

Who won here last? New location

Northstar is the penultimate new venue for the 2019 EWS. Located in the mountains surrounding Lake Tahoe, racers will be treated to the classic North Californian trails that weave through the Redwood pine forests, expect a mix of loose loam and rocky chutes. The Californian weather in August should play ball, however a bit of rain and it could turn those rocks into a slippery mess.

Rd8. TRAILLOVE – Alpine Mountain Bike Festival Zermatt

When: 21 September 2019

Where: Zermatt, Switzerland

Who won here last? New location

For the first time since the inception of the EWS the final round will take place somewhere other than Finale Ligure. The steep and tech trails that litter the mountains around Zermatt will be the final battleground before this years world champions are crowned. Zermatt will be the location for some of the last gasp do-or-die racing to see riders improving their overall standings and should prove to be a fitting arena for the last race of the series. Will Zermatt improve on the winning formula EWS had with Finale Ligure? Only time will tell.