A few weeks ago, the Enduro World Series was launched in Punta Ala with an impressive number of top riders. This week-end, the 2nd round took place in Val d’Allos – France.
Lots of questions before this race: Are we going to see Barel and Clementz dominating once more? Will Jared Graves be a top contender again? Will Nico Vouilloz be back on top? Are there other riders capable of fighting for the victory? Bets were open!
On the 1st race day on Saturday, Jerome Clementz and Nico Vouilloz immediately found a good pace and were at the front after 2 special stages. Fabien Barel and Jared Graves followed not far behind. But in the 3rd and last stage of the day, Clementz and Barel both suffered from a mechanic problem. Jared Graves did not miss the opportunity and took the lead, 6 seconds ahead of Nico and 18 seconds ahead of Greg Minaar. Wildhaber, Bailly-Maitre, Quéré and Gracia followed then from the 4th to the 7th place. The gaps between these riders were small and there were still some long and physical stages to come on Sunday!
Once again on the 2 first stages, Nico kept up his good form and he went back into the lead, 9 seconds ahead of Graves. On the last stage, he only lost 2 seconds on Graves and 8 on Minaar, enough to keep the 1st place! After Barel’s victory in Punta Ala, Nico won the 2nd round of the EWS in Val d’Allos! He proves that the former DH riders are still on top of their form.
Graves and Minaar completed the podium. An impressive list of names in the top10: René Wildhaber, Rémy Absalon, Justin Leov, Jérôme Clementz, Cedric Gracia, Steve Peat and Curtis Keene.
On the overall classification, Nico is now in 3rd place behind Graves and Clementz. Things will advance quickly now, with the 3rd round already coming this week-end at the Crankworx in Les 2 Alpes.
Nico adds an Enduro World Series to his palmares!
Photo credits ©Colin Meagher