No one could say that this year’s Enduro World Series hasn’t been exciting so far, its sure had its fair share of drama! After Lucy Schick’s and Leah Maunsell’s 1-2 on the U21 podium last week in Canazei, Italy we weren’t to sure how you could top that. Well, Miranda sure showed us how, after a solid four days on the bike, including two days of full-on racing, she would end the weekend standing in third place on her first every EWS podium. And Lucy and Leah? The would repeat the week’s previous result and finish in first and second again.
Miranda spent time before the race really working through bike setup, after a post Canazei chat with Kona Gravity Team Manager (and team mechanic) Mathieu Dupelle she opted for a few changes.
“The biggest difference I made this weekend was working more on my set up with the guys at SRAM. Mathieu Dupelle and I talked about it after Italy and decided that I should try “softer” settings. I felt I could push a bit harder with better traction and hang on longer. I tried to just stay relaxed during the racing to minimize mistakes as there was a lot of off camber and soft, tight turns. I ended day one in fifth and was so happy to move forward on the second day. Even better to end on the podium! A lot of work was put in by everyone at Kona and the team to help Rhys and I have the best weekends possible so it’s extra cool when it pays off like this. Thank you!” – Miranda Miller
Coming off a strong 26th place last week in Canazei, team mate Rhys Verner came into Les Orres on a high. It showed in his solid 33 place finish on stage one, and he was ready to throw it all into stage two but a massive over the bars would put paid to those plans. Rhys would fight back on day two and after 24th and a 33rd Rhys would claw make some valuable time and points, finishing in 44th place.
“I took a massive crash on stage two and smashed up my fingers… I got back on and tried to finish stage two strong. After the crash, I was pretty banged up and sore and struggled pretty hard on stages three and four. The next day my finger was pretty sore, so I focused on carrying speed through corners instead of hauling down the straits. It ended up paying off pretty well with a 24th place on stage seven and a 33rd on stage eight. Overall I ended up in 44th place. I’m excited to have made the most of a tough weekend and hang in there all things considered. I’m so unbelievably pumped for Miranda! – Rhys Verner
Leah and Lucy would follow up their one-two finish from Canazei, Italy last week with the same result again in Les Orres. The second place would move Leah into first place overall in the series, 100 points clear of her nearest competitor. That said the weekend didn’t go entirely to plan for Leah.
“It was a tough week here in Les Orres for me. After two bad crashes in practice, I was left fairly battered headed into the weekends racing. With all my injuries taped up I was still excited to get racing on these longer alpine stages. I got unlucky on stage two, losing a contact lens leaving me with vision out of only one eye which cost me some time. Staying positive I was ready to get after it on day two but I struggled to get time back on such fast-paced tracks. All in all, I still had a good week and learned a lot. Super stoked for the team’s results dominating all around with the U21 podium (Lucy in P1 and myself in P2) and Miranda grabbing her first of many podiums I’m sure. I’m also super happy to now be leading the series.” – Leah Maunsell
“This weekend was all about surviving the long two days and not crashing. With some technical stages right off the bat, it was difficult to get going on day one but I managed to hold on. Day two was shorter than expected but the stages were running SO good that I forgot we were racing and just focused on having fun! I was stoked to take my second EWS win and I am feeling so much more prepared for the rest of my season!”– Lucy Schick