EWS LA THUILE ROUND oneTHE KONA GRAVITY TEAM ROLLS OUT IN LA THUILE
Three out of Four Ain't Bad
As predicted, the weather played a role on race day for riders at round three of the EWS in La Thuile, Italy yesterday. The Kona Gravity Team had three riders contesting the steep, technical, and at times muddy course. Connor Fearon, fresh off his DH podium finish in Les Gets, Miranda Miller, and Spanish ripper Carlos Langelaan. All three riders were hoping to build on their results at round one, for the most part, that was achieved.
Like in Canazei, three of the four tracks suited our trio, with the steep climb on stage four wreaking havoc. After three solid stages (a 14th on three), Connor crashed on stage four before the climb, damaging his derailleur, he was then forced to run the climb, moving him from 27th overall after the first three stages to 56th at the end of the day.
Miranda again kept things consistent, kicking the day off with a tenth on stage one, then dropping back a few places for stages two and three. Miranda confesses she’s not attacking quite as hard as she should on her bike, if following Miranda’s off-season on MGM has shown us anything it’s that she CAN ATTACK and that she can most definitely handle anything on the bike.
After a full two weeks on the bike, Carlos is finding some of that enduro fitness he was missing at rounds one and two, riding his Process X CR DL to 46th after some great mid-pack finishes.
We cant wait to see what these three can pull off for round four over the weekend before they all take a well-earned break.
Noah Hoffman landed a clean 6th place in Jr. Men’s.
The athlete experience
The race yesterday was fun. The tracks had a lot of steep sections and only one stage was really physical on the pedals which I liked. I felt like I made improvements on my enduro racing skills, but at times fell back into my downhill race mentality of letting off the brakes at any given chance and getting caught out by some janky enduro corners. I was happy with my first three stages and was confident of another top 30 finish, but I had some problems on the longest stage (stage four) and lost too much time. I think the thing I need to work on most is memorizing the tracks, whether it’s walking the course where possible or watching my practice helmet cam runs ten times over.
Coen Skrypnek will race in Finals tomorrow after qualifying 20th place.
The athlete experience
I started the day well but slipped back through the day and then really fell apart on the final stage. It was an awesome day, testing, but really great. It’s cool to have another shot this weekend to try and improve, with a couple of days to allow me time to tweak my bike set up and rest up. Unlike round one, the tracks here are very similar making it challenging to remember them, but creating a cool test of forcing yourself to ride based on reactions.
The multi-talented Spaniard Carlos Langelaan was back again and improved on his Canazei performance with some sold top 50 stage finishes ending round three of the EWS in 46th position. Like everyone else here in La Thuile he has the same goal of improving on those results come round four on Saturday and Sunday.
Team sponsorsAs always, thank you to our team sponsors for their support.
Latest from the cogWant to read more? Check out our latest posts on the Kona Cog.
Beta Reviews the Process 134 CR DL “the most elegant and full-featured frame they’ve produced to date”
"The mix of agility, efficiency, and trustworthy descending make the Process 134 a perfect do-everything steed that feels at home on a wide range of terrain." Beta Mag recently visited our hometown of Bellingham to do a mini trail bike group test. It would have been...
To give a kidney or not...that is the question. For Ambassador Don Brockett, the likelihood of him being a match for his wife's life-threatening kidney disease was less than 2%. But sometimes, the world works in pretty spectacular ways. Don and Erin's original bond...