Only a week after the anti-grip and dust of Chile, the Enduro World Series moved to the loamy trails of Manizales, Colombia with an urban stage thrown in for something different.
After a mixed bag for the Aussies in Chile, with Graves DNF, Carlson 7th and Sam Hill dominating like 2017 all over again, would they be able to better those performances?
Before the racing got underway, there was a chance for the racers and media to load up the bikes on a bus and ride through some local coffee plantations.
“We’ve squeezed in a tour up to the glacier volcanic area at 4600m and a crazy fun ride day on trails running through a coffee plantation transported in traditional wooden tour buses.” – James Hall
Racing Day 1 / Prologue – Urban stage
For the first time in an Enduro World Series event, there was an Urban stage. Riding through the streets with a huge number of fans out in force, this was a stage that could show the domination of local downhiller and Giant Factory Racing team member Marcelo Gutierrez. No stranger to racing Urban downhill, racing the Valparaiso Cerro Abajo event earlier in the year.
After Day 1, Marcelo would be on top, Jared Graves was in equal 2nd. But with the rain starting in the afternoon soaking the Urban stage and the trails of the hills for Day 2’s racing, the final result could be very different.
Day 2 – Back to the dirt
On Day 2 with a huge amount of moisture in the trails from the rain there was tactics and tyre selection at play in order to make the most of the mud-filled courses.
Let’s see how the Aussies besides Sam fared…
27th place for Josh Carlson
Disappointment again for Jared Graves with a DNF result following the same in Chile.
56th place for Chris Panozzo, a better result after his DNF in Chile
72nd place for James Hall after some funny events on day 2…
“I dropped my chain 2/3 of the way through stage 2 and destroyed my rear mech. Then ran the rest of the day. Lost my shoe on stage 5, and then ran with one shoe and one sock and carried the other shoe to the finish. Got pushed along the flat liaison stages by Eddie, Wolfe, Kelly and Jubai otherwise ran and walked!”
81st place for WA’s Jordan Prochyra
Full results here: http://www.enduroworldseries.com/results/2018-round-2-manizales-colombia/
Pics: Enduro World Series / Duncan Philpott