Rude's crash cost him but what else was noteworthy?
What else happened that’s interesting?
1. He’s not in Rude health anymore
Last time in La Thuile we commented on Richie Rude’s immense fitness. Well, he still is fit but he’s now a bit broken. A hefty crash during the first day’s practice (watch the video above) saw Rude suffer a first degree tear in his AC joint in his shoulder. Oof! Rude sat out of the rest of the practice days but did return for the race days albeit significantly affected.
2. Clementz recovered just fine thanks
After our misgivings about Jerome Clementz’s performance in the previous rounds of the EWS he clearly took this to heart and used it as inspiration for his comeback result at Aspen-Snowmass. The length of the tracks and freshly-cut unpredictable nature of the tracks on day 1 no doubt played to the Enduro Traditionalist’s strengths.
3. Americans like it big
Some of the highest altitude racing of the whole EWS. And some of the longest stages too – stage 4 was over 5 miles long! The racing was so big that it took over two separate mountain resorts (Aspen and Snowmass). ESW Rd5 seemed to supersize everything. And film it in widescreen. And 3D.
4. Australians like it big too
Aussie Jared Graves took the overall round win. He won four out of the five stages. He did it on big wheels. A Specialized Stumpjumper 29 to be exact that was setup quite a bit differently to the standard Stumpy 29.
5. Cecile Ravanel has ze moste aut-raj-uhss ack-sonte
Ravanel continues to utterly dominate the Womens racing. But we still never tire of hearing her speak in the post-event videos. ‘Allo ‘Allo Enduro!
6. The U21 category is the most interesting category
Rude’s and Ravanel’s ownership of the Mens and Womens crowns is not in doubt. The ding-dong battle between Adrien Dailly (pic above) and Sebastien Claquin in the Mens U21 is actually the most interesting story from a racing perspective.
7. Hurray for privateer racers
Graves won all the stages bar the final sixth stage. Who won that? Only good ol’ Plucky Privateer Brit racer Matt Stuttard. Congrats Matt! And what about fellow privateer racer Brit Bex Baraona who’s currently lying in 7th place overall in the Womens? Great stuff.