The first Enduro World Series Qualifier Event of 2021 was held in the alpine town of Falls Creek, Victoria over the weekend. I have never ridden at Falls Creek so I was excited for this race and made the trip across from Adelaide. I made my way across with about six other South Australians who are keen racers and are all trying to collect enough EWS points to race this coming year.
The race had six stages and the first was raced on Saturday night. This was my favourite stage, It started with a pretty flowy track then bombed down ski runs to finish with some technical rock sections and stair sets. I like the single stage days because you can really attack it like a downhill race and not worry about pacing yourself for the whole day. I took the win on stage one which gave me a handy five second lead for the final day and five stages.
My day on Sunday went perfectly. On the longer more physical stages I felt I paced myself well which is something I’ve been getting better at. You really have to know how much effort you can put out and time it on tracks for when there are sections you can rest. For example if there is a pinch climb on a stage with a descent after it I know I can sprint up and really give my all knowing there’s a section I can rest after it. If there is a pinch climb which leads to a flat section or really gnarly decent you have to climb and conserve enough energy to make it through the next section. This sort of balancing act is something I’ve never had to worry about racing downhill my whole life! Anyway… After six stages I had no mechanicals or crashes and came away with four stage wins and two second places, giving me the win by a solid 30 seconds with a race time of 20:38.71. The Process X I was riding worked flawlessly, the only change I made to it for this race was to swap out the downhill series ENVE M90 wheelset for a lighter M70 wheelset to help keep the weight down.
It won’t be to long until I’m back behind the gate racing the Process X, I have the Maydena Enduro Festival over in Tasmania in a few weeks which could be my favourite event of the year, so very looking forward to that!
All Photos: Jack Fletcher