Kona Global Enduro Team rider Alexander Kangas recently competed in the third round of the Enduro World Series in Montagnes du Caroux, France. He had a strong weekend and finished in 23rd place overall. Check out his race report below.
Another World Enduro is in the books, and damn this one was a tough one. I Arrived in Toulouse on Tuesday afternoon and meet up with my buddies Dan Wolfe and Sam Flockhart. We picked up our car and drove over to our accommodation, a really nice cabin located up in the mountains, an old-school French style houses rock.
On Wednesday we signed in and did a little track walk of the urban stage on and got ourselves and our bikes ready for Thursday, the first day of practice.
Practice started in reverse order, on Thursday we did stages five through eight. These were really fun, awesome stages. Stage five went really well for me, as did half of stage 6. I got midway down the stage, came into a corner a wee bit too hot and had a silly crash- nothing major. I picked the bike up and started to adjust my brake levers as the left one got twisted down, grabbed the bars and was gonna take off when I realized something was wrong. My left little finger (pinky) was dislocated at the top joint, basically pointing the completely wrong direction.
I pulled the finger out and dragged it back in to place. I never want to do that again. After that I took it easy and did the next few stages, the finger was sore but it was rideable.
Friday was the second day of practice and after hitting stages five to eight on Thursday it was time to hit stages one to four. Stage one was a bit rank, but stage two was fricken awesome. It has to be one of the best trails I’ve ever ridden. Three was good as well, really long and rocky and it featured a bit of everything. Stage four was another street race stage, which I don’t like at all, but it is really good for the sport to put them in there and to have that visibility.
The first day of racing! I made a few mistakes on stage one. I hit my left foot on a big ass rock and thought I’d broken all my toes in the process, but it was all good. I rode on and had a sweet bottom section of the stage ending it in 27th place which was a good start to the day.
I had a really good stage two (besides from losing my Allen keys midway down), and finished the stage in 10th place!
Stage three was good apart from a crash midway down, it was just a small crash but it cost me a lot of time since my bars got twisted and I had to stop again and put my cockpit back in place. I lost valuable time on stage three and finished in 33rd place. After stage two I was sitting in 15th place overall before but after the crash on three and the urban stage I got dropped down to 25th place overall.
Sunday saw the second day of racing and the rain arrive. I put a mud tire on for the front, which would turn out to be a bad call. I should have stayed on the setup I was running on Saturday but that’s part of the game sometimes.
The second day of racing was a bit tougher, I struggled a bit more with the stages but was consistently inside the top 30. After a weekend of good racing, I ended the weekend in 23rd place, which is my best EWS finish ever! I’m stoked with my speed at the moment and how I’m riding, and beyond excited to finish in 23rd, that top 10 on stage two Saturday was pretty damn rad too.
Follow Alexander on Instagram here.