The hardest EWS of all time.
Last weekend’s round of the Enduro World Series in Rotorua, New Zealand saw some of the filthiest and sketchiest racing yet in EWS’ short history.
What nuggets of wisdom can we surmise from the epic opening EWS?
1. No one apart from Brits and Yanks measure tyre pressure in PSI
Watching various YouTube and Instagram vids about EWS bike setup it’s kinda frustrating to be a Brit; the vast majority of the top racers are European and they all state their tyre pressures in bar, not PSI. For the record, most racers were running around 1.5-1.6 bar (21-23 psi) in the front and 1.7 bar (24.5 psi) in the rear.
2. Home advantage is still a big thing
New Zealand racers took all three spots on the men’s podium. No one knows their dirt like locals. Especially when the weather gods are against you.
3. Wyn Masters races as well as does wheelies
Up until now you’d be forgiven for thinking that Wyn Masters was just a Instagram vlogger (is that the correct term?) who does Wheelie Wednesdays and WynTV. Turns out he’s secretly one of the most physical and strong racers on the EWS scene. Just look at that footage of him hunched purposefully over the bars with his hulking shoulders. Awesome stuff Wyn.
4. Ed lost it just as much as Wyn won it
Going into the final round Wyn’s brother Ed Masters was in the lead. But he stacked it and lost almost thirty seconds. Gifting the overall win to his sibling. Speaking of which…
5. You can win without winning
Just ask Lance, you don’t have to win a stage to end up winning the overall. Wyn Masters didn’t win a single stage of the Rotorua EWS and yet his consistency gave him the overall crown. Consistency will be the key to the EWS title in general. Speaking of which…
6. Could Sam Hill win EWS 2017?
Okay, so the podium spots were taken up by Kiwis but check out which Aussie was lurking just off to the side. Sam Hill finished in 4th place. He also won Stage 7 outright. It may seem like a hopelessly romantic/outrageous thing to say but… could Sam Hill take the EWS Series win from Richie Rude?
7. Ratboy really raced
It may look like Josh Bryceland is there just to have fun and make some funny videos and stuff but just look at his results. Top ten. You can take the lad out of (Downhill) racing but you can’t take racing out of the lad.
Katy Winton put in a powerful performance down in New Zealand and showed impressive ‘just get on with it’ spirit. Whilst other (mostly American) racers were a bit pouty and bottom-lippy, Winton was there telling it like it is and getting the job done. She also won Stage 7, the only stage not claimed by Cecile Ravanel.
9. Ravanel is the real story of EWS
Reigning 2016 EWS women’s champion Cecile Ravanel simply annihilated the field at Rotorua. She won with a time gap of more than three minutes over Ines Thoma. Key quote from Ravanel: “I didn’t see the time but I stayed on my bike”. That’s focus that is.
Next stop: Tazzy
The next round of the Enduro World Series is on April 8-9th in Tasmania, Australia.