Mountain Biking

Enduro World Series Pietra Ligure in Photos: Genuine All-Weather Mountain Biking –

Eddie Masters found time for a little nose bonk on this rain-soaked stone on his way to 5th place overall. Note the brace on his right wrist.

In the weeks leading up to this year’s EWS race in Pietra Ligure, Italy, the trails around Monte Carmo were blanked with a thick comforter of summer dust. Riders had their bikes and minds set on a loose powder-cloud event. The rains finally came on the eve of the big race, adding grip in some places and slip in others. A downpour during stage three would see a handful of riders hit the deck, including Belgian favorite Martin Maes.

The top-five pilots in the women’s race included e-bike pro Melanie Pugin in first position followed by Isabeau Courdurier, Morgane Charre, Estelle Charles, and Morganne Jonnier to round out the all-French podium. This is the first time Courdurier has finished off the top step in a few years, thanks in part to an ankle injury suffered in practice a few weeks back. She still managed to take the win on the first two stages, while Pugin led the final three for the overall victory.

The men’s race was a touch more diverse, consisting of athletes from Australia and New Zealand to fill out the podium alongside three Frenchmen. Adrien Dailly took the win on stages one and five to seal the overall win, followed by Florian Nicolai, Jack Moir, Dimitri Tordo, and Eddie Masters rounding out the day. Canadians Rys Verner and Jesse Melamed each won a stage, with Verner taking the Queen’s Stage title and Melamed literally sliding into the win on stage one.

The trails in Pietra Ligure are fairly similar to those in Finale, with plenty of awkwardly-placed rocks for hopping.
The locals were stoked to have a bike race in town.
Mud-butt was the chosen look for the day.
Maes runs Saint brakes and his mechanic says he hardly uses them. “They could go a whole season without being bled.”
Miranda Miller pinned on stage three.
Here’s a second shot of Miller with a bit more color.
Pedro Burns getting loose atop stage five.
Rae Morrison sprinting for a respectable 10th place overall.
Courdurier looked wicked fast for someone nursing a janky ankle.
Noga Korem keeping the tires low and grippy.
Kevin Miquel had some solid stage results to land in 6th overall.
The clouds parted by the end of stage five.
Julie Duvert had a solid ride, finishing in 8th place at just under two-minutes off the lead.
This rider needs a few more sponsors on the kit.
A few bikes were equipped with STFU dampers to silence the descents.
Charles Murray with both eyes pealed.
Miranda Miller moves toward one of the many slimy ruts on stage four.
Morgane Charre with the French national stripes.
Youn Deniaud was pushing hard all day, and will likely be added to the French podium sometime soon.
Morgane Jonnier making team Peugeot proud.
Robert Williams on the hip.
Fellow VTT journalist Emeric Ienzer rode to a solid 54th place. It’s no wonder we can’t keep up with him at press camps.
These conditions were like home for Elliot Heap, who finished off the race in 16th of the 107 rider elite men’s field.
ALN on the hunt.
Miller time, with the elbows out, heals down, eyes up. This kit is ideal for photos — hint — hint.
Australian Jack Moir floating over the stones to third position.
Raphaela Richter flew the German stripes to 13th place overall, with a fifth place finish on stage five.
It takes a load of force to puncture DH casings, and a load of glitter to fill the hole.
Rocky Mountain Race Face rider Remi Gauvin flicking through the last few turns on stage five.
Melamed in the power stance.
That’s all until next weekend in Finale Ligure. Fingers crossed for more dust on those rocks.