What a season so far! We are already past mid-season and the fifth round of the Enduro World Series is now taking us to the beautiful French Alps. Les Orres was a completely new EWS venue. Big mountains, alpine lines and very tight turns! Du pur VTT français!
The weather was a bit milder this week. Two or three thunderstorms rolled in prior to the race, adding a little moisture to the French soil, and providing prime dirt conditions.
Keegan Wright was again our only UDFR athlete racing in this round. Damien Oton is recovering from a fractured vertebrae. He’s recovering well and is no longer in pain. Keegan also selected the Spartan Carbon 29 for this round. With the help of RockShox technicians, we managed to dial a new suspension set-up ready to tackle the Orres bike park.
Keegan was confident coming into the Les Orres round. Practices went really well for the Kiwi, but he struggled a little with the tight and technical corners of stages 3 and 4. These typical Euro-style trails are not Keegan’s favourite, but he was still looking forward to the other more intuitive stages of Day 2.
The race in Les Orres consisted of a two-day race format. Riders had a total of 49 km to navigate, with the help of 7 uplifts by chairlifts and a 910-metre bike climb. It’s a good thing we had ice cream hidden in the team’s cooler for after the race… Keegan couldn’t wait until the end of the race.
This was not Keegan’s race. After a decent result in Canazei last week, he would have loved to see himself in the Top 15 again, but that would only happen on stage 8, where he got the 12th time. The rest of the race should be forgotten, he said. Due to another thunderstorm on Sunday morning, the organization decided to cancel the long and demanding stage 5. This was a 20-minute-long stage. In the end, Keegan completed the 7-stage race in 46 minutes and 16 seconds, and placed 57th. Definitely far from his target.
With this result, Keegan dropped a bit in the series’ rankings. He now sits in 9th place overall.
“Definitely not the race I was expecting. I wasn’t able to find a good pace on Day 1 and Day 2 was just as bad. I had a little mechanical trouble on stage 7 and lost some crucial time there. Stage 8 was good with a Top 15, but it was the shortest stage of the race, not where I could have improved my overall placing. I need to ride more Euro stuff!”
“Round 5 is now behind us! A great venue with world class trails providing a good challenge to all riders. It would have been awesome to have Damien with us this week. I bet he would have loved his time here! Keegan was pumped coming into this round. Too bad it didn’t click for him this week, but things don’t always go as planned! Whistler should be a good one!”
Bastien Major, Team Manager
Georgia Astle from Whistler, BC was with the team again for this round in Les Orres. She finished in 20th position. She had good stage results on stages 1 and 2, where she placed 10th and 12th.
Thank you to all our sponsors for their outstanding support. See you in Whistler!
- Damien is doing better and better. We met with him for a nice lunch in Montpellier after the race.
- Keegan is now sitting in 9th place of the EWS overall standings.
- Keegan does 100 push-ups every single day.
- Best team meal of the week: Raclette!
- Team Song of the week: Changes – Tupac