The Enduro World Series in Colombia has become the most unique race in memory, with a competition that ran through the streets of the town of Manizales, along with several stages that were held in the middle of the tropical jungle that borders the city. And to top it off, the exciting day was complete with mud and rain.
Becky Cook was the top classifier from the Orbea Enduro Team, breaking into the Top-10 was the top classifier from the Orbea Enduro Team in the pro category, breaking into the Top-10 of the competition by earning a 10th place finish in the overall rankings. In the last two races, she finished in 17th and 8th positions. The final victory went to French rider Cecile Ravanel.
In other news, the young rider Javier San Roman earned a fantastic 6th place in the sub-21 category and appeared ecstatic after the tough race. “It was crazy. I’ve never seen so much mud in one place! I’m more than happy with the result,” Javier assures us. He says he was physically in good shape and demonstrated that he was ready to compete at the top level, with the best riders in his category.
Meanwhile, Gabriel Torralba, current Spanish Enduro Champion, ended the round in 47th place, in a race in which he continued to gain experience on two wheels. The men’s winner was Australian Sam Hill.
The first stage of the Enduro World Series in Colombia was held in the town of Alcaldia de Manizales. On Saturday, the riders tackled a 1.15 km urban DH circuit through the center of Manizales, combining a wooded section in the El Prado Popular Forest.
Our rider Becky Cook had the highest spot in the rankings, with a well-deserved 12th place, after reaching the finish line a little more than six minutes after the winner. The Brit remains close to the top ten positions, showing her talent on the bicycle.
Gabriel Torralba, current Spanish enduro champion, finished this first day of competition in 57th place. At twenty years of age, the cyclist from the Highlands of Aragon continues to acquire experience and demonstrate that his rightful place is among the top riders.
Preview: The Orbea Enduro Team at the EWS: Ready for the second round!
With barely enough time to take in their experiences at the Enduro World Series in Chile, it’s on to round two, which promises to be even more intense and thrilling: the EWS travels to Colombia for the first time. From March 31 to April 1, the town of Alcaldia de Manizales will become the world enduro capital in an MTB sports event that the press is calling the biggest in the coffee-giant’s history.
Once again at the starting line will be Becky Cook, Gabriel Torralba and Javier San Román, as Thomas Lapeyrie continues to prepare for his return to the EWS in France. All are set on improving their results from Chile, among them the magnificent Top 10 earned by the British rider.
This time the bikers will face a route never before seen in the Enduro World Series, which will be divided into several parts: Saturday will consist of a 1.15 km urban DH circuit through the center of Manizales, combined with a woodland stretch in the El Prado Popular Forest. On Sunday, the route will be entirely in the mountains, covering a 40-km course with 7 timed segments along the rural belt surrounding the city, with climbs of as much as 2,400 meters.
The first race: emotions running high
And speaking of debuts, who better than the youngest riders on the team, Gabriel Torralba and Javier San Román, to tell us firsthand what it feels like to compete in a race in the EWS and what they hope for on this new event in the world’s most important enduro competition.
Chile was the first EWS race for our rookie Javier San Román, and even though he had to drop out on the first day of the competition due to mechanical problems, he confesses that having debuted in a Enduro World Series race “is a dream come true”: “It’s incredible how the fans turn out for these races. The circuits are fast and technical, we compete against the best in the world, the stay with the team was great…”
“You feel nervous, intrigue, really wanting to do well,” assures Gabriel, who already had Enduro World Series experience in the Sub-21 category, but debuted in Chile in the elite category. “They’re a lot tougher races than nationals. The difference is tremendous. So far this year it seems like each EWS race I enter is harder than the last, even though I go in better prepared…,” he indicates.
The two days in Chile were pure antigrip and required all the technical skill of our riders. This is something the Orbea Enduro Team riders already knew, since like Gabriel says, “nowadays, with videos and the social networks, you can get a pretty good idea of what you’re going to find.”
Lessons for Colombia
For the Colombia race, it’s time to put into practice all the lessons learned on the dusty descents of Lo Barnechea. For Gabriel, reigning Spanish Enduro Scratch Champion, the most important thing is consistency.“ Never give up, you always have to fight until you have no chance left,” he explains. In terms of the setting changes to his Rallon, Gabriel says, “I suppose I’ll change the tires, since it’s very likely to be muddy….”The goal of the Orbea Enduro Team rider will be to come in the Top 50, a position that escaped him by a little more than 30’’ in the first leg of the EWS.
Javi San Román, in turn, the current Spanish Open Enduro (Scratch) Champion, is aware that “there’s still a long road ahead.”In Alcaldia de Manizales, he’ll try to “do better downhill and finish the race well.”“Keep going,” the need to pedal all out in each and every sector, is his motto.
The Orbea Enduro Team bikers will once again have the best material to tackle a route that is anticipated to be even more complicated due to the weather conditions: Fox, ENVE, POC, Rotor, Maxxis, Galfer, CrankBrothers, Selle Italia, Vaude, Morgan Blue, One Up, Slicy and Clif Bar have provided the tools they need to deal with any circumstance, however.