After a successful race in La Thuile a couple weeks ago for round four of the Enduro World Series, where the team got their first podium, we hopped on a plane to make it across the pond. The team started their North American campaign in Aspen, Colorado for round five of the Enduro World Series. We were welcomed by gorgeous Colorado weather but the high altitude of the Rockies proved to be harsh for everyone with dizziness and shortness of breath.
As the team van was in Europe with all spares parts and tools we travelled with only what we could carry. It was necessary so we wouldn't go over the luggage weight allowance, but it was difficult not having access to all that we would need or like, especially tool-wise. We had to rely on each other, sharing and patience are key.
The X-Fusion boys, Mike D and Clarke, made the trip from Santa Cruz, CA especially to give us a hand and give some much-needed love to our suspension, which they needed, especially after the roughness of La Thuile.
With the apartment a stone throw from the pits, the athletes had some time in the morning to enjoy the view and chill, get their morning rituals dialled; breakfast on the balcony to enjoy the sunrise and packing their snacks for the day before getting to full speed on the trails.
Anita was absolutely pinned this weekend and craving for a spot on the podium, especially after the close call in La Thuile at the past race a couple of weeks ago. From being 3rd after the first day, she rode to her best stages finish in 2nd a couple of times on Sunday, which landed her on the 2nd step of the podium at the end of the weekend. Her best results this season moves her up a spot in the series ranking and she is now in 3rd.
Dillon Santos, our U21 California ripper was hauling this weekend even though he came into the weekend with a sprained ankle from his previous race in Ashland, OR. Unfortunately, a couple of mechanicals paired with spraining his second ankle kept him away from the top five. He would complete his first EWS in 6th, which all in all is not bad for his first race.
Caro Gehrig rode hard all weekend but could not equal her sisters' results, still finishing with an honorable 6th place, which keeps her in 5th in the series ranking.
Some parts of the course were fast, very fast and the boys had a contest going to see if they could pass 70km/h. Robin got up to 72km/h!
Talking of Robin, he started the weekend cautiously as it was his first time racing at high altitude and on tracks that do not suit him. He got faster as the weekend went on and more comfortable on the tracks. He concluded the race at a respectable 14th place this past weekend and getting him to the top 20 in the series ranking. If it was not for his DNF in Ireland, he would be in the top ten overall right now.
Gary Forrest is healing well and on the way back to form, getting his best results of the season on day 1. Living close to sea level usually, it was a tough, lung burning second day that saw him slide back to 47th.
For the second race weekend in a row, the team is back on the podium with a 2nd place thanks to all the riders great work, which asserts our 2nd place in the team series ranking.
See ya Colorado! It has been real, but Whistler is calling.