Round one of the Enduro World Series 2014 got off to a nail-biting start this weekend in Chile.
Last year’s champions Jerome Clementz and Tracy Moseley were back to defend their titles on the sandy volcanic singletracks of Nevados de Chillan.
However, there is plenty of fresh talent nipping at their heels, which made for an exciting weekend of action. No one could predict who would take the top spot – particularly in the men’s division where positions were changing every few hours.
You can catch all the action from day one in DirtTV’s video catch up below…
French riders dominate round one
It was a mixed top five all weekend for the men with a whole smorgasbord of riders jostling for top spot. Martin Maes, Jared Graves and Cedric Gracia all took first place in Saturday’s three stages.
Australian rider Graves put in a strong performance with four out of six stages in the top five, but it wasn’t enough to beat Clementz. Midway through day two, it was looking rocky for the versatile Frenchman but consistency saw him claim the overall winning position by a mere eight seconds.
Meanwhile in the women’s stages, Anne Caroline Chausson dominated both days by coming first in five out of the six stages. She trumped current reigning champ Tracy Moseley who arrived in Chile fresh from the Downhill Mountain Bike World Cup in Pietermaritzburg.
See the full results below!
Fabien Barel crashes out in first stage
Two-time downhill world champion Fabien Barel suffered after falling down a 10m cliff in the first stage – but the French rider wasn’t deterred. He went on to compete in the second and third stage, finishing both in the top ten.
However, come day two, Barel was still feeling out of sorts and announced his retirement from the first round. Let’s hope he’s back to fighting fitness for round two in Scotland next month.
Junior rider Martin Maes storms into fourth place of Elite Men’s
The 18-year-old Belgian rider could still ride in the junior division for another two years. However, his raw speed times were enough to rival the most advanced riders, taking him into this year’s Elite Men’s series.
18-year-old Martin Maes is definitely one to watch!
Maes stole first place in three out of the six stages – an amazing achievement for his first EWS. However, he was just tipped to the podium by the strength and experience of Jared Graves and Florian Nicolai, leaving him in fourth place overall.
It’s clear this guy will be the Enduro rider to watch this season!