Enduro World Series E Zermatt
On my MOUNTAINBIKE-TO-DO-LIST was for a long time that I would like to start at an EWS (Enduro World Series) race sometime. Thanks to the numerous Covid-19 race cancellations I already took the opportunity to do this. The race in Zermatt was not only an EWS, it was the worlds first EWS on the E-MTB. I started there for the BERGSTROM factory team.
On Thursday we trained on the six stages and on Friday the race took place there.
My start time was at 8:12 am and we rode the opposite direction up the Sunegga Flowtrail. The first stage was not very long and not really technical. Only the first left turn was extremely difficult because there were a lot of stones on the ideal line. But I mastered this turn well and finished the stage in 2min 26sec. My feeling on the bike was not very good yet.
This stage took place on the final part of the so called Rock’n Roll Trail. I already knew this trail from my training camp a month ago, but it changed a lot during the training. Nevertheless, I had a lot of fun on this trail with it’s various drops, stones and roots. My attitude for this stage was the following: What works with the XCO-Bike and 110mm travel, also works with the Endurobike with 150mm travel.
After a short break and a battery change we went on the second loop with another 1000 altitude meters. The start of Stage 3 was extremely successful and I was able to close the 30 second gap to the rider who started in front of me. Most of the time I made in the physical pedal passages.
Unfortunately the chain dropped off my chainring during a hard hit and so I lost some seconds again.
After a long and steep transfer climb, Stage 4 was the longest and hardest. I had a little respect to be caught up there by the rider behind me, as this was the U21 EWS World Champion of the 2017 season.
After a part with many tight turns we turned back on the Rock’n Roll Trail. I gave my all and tried to hit the lines perfectly. I was not caught up until the finish and finished this stage in 19th place. This was also my best result on a stage.
Again there was a short break and we were allowed to change the battery. After a short transfer we went to the power stage (uphill stage). Unlike the uphill stages in Verbier, this one was extremely technical and perfect for me as an XCO rider.
This was the most important stage for me and I set myself a high goal. I probably put a little too much pressure on myself and accordingly I made a lot of mistakes. That’s why I only made it to 22nd place there. I am still very disappointed about that.
On the last stage a part of the Rock’n Roll Trail was integrated again. I knew every part perfectly and wanted to attack again.
While we were waiting for the start, a thunderstorm came up and the ground changed completely within a very short time. Normally I love muddy conditions, but after a few meters and some tight situations with trees and stones I lost my confidence in the tires and my bike. Since I was also slowly tired after more than 4 hours of riding, I decided not to risk everything anymore.
In the end, It was enough for an acceptable 23rd place. Actually I wanted to do the race just for fun, but as soon as I have a start number on my bike my ambition comes out and I want to do my best and so I analyze the race critically.
Without the dropped chain and the messed power stage a top-20 result would have been possible for sure.
From these two great days in Zermatt I could take a lot of valuable experiences with me, which will also help me to improve as a mountainbiker. After the race it was clear to me, that this was certainly not my last EWS-E. At the next suitable opportunity, I will be back at the start and learn from the mistakes I made.