Enduro World Series Race Report: Austria/Slovenia
After a six-week break, the Enduro World Series resumed last weekend with another round in Europe – this time in the Alps. The race crisscrossed the border between Slovenia and Austria for two long days of technical tracks and very physical climbs. It was a hard-fought event for Alchemy Factory Racing riders Cody Kelley and Anneke Beerten. For Kelley, it was the first race back after a big off put him on bed-rest for a four-week period.
“I knew it was going to be a tough event for me, both physically and mentally,” commented Kelley. “My crash had me riding the couch until about a week before the race, so I just wasn’t where I needed to be. It didn’t help that it was the most difficult EWS in history, but I’m happy I got through it without anything major happening and it was really good preparation for the next round. My speed is definitely returning and I am excited to spend the next few weeks in Europe preparing for La Thuile.”
Beerten proved that consistency pays off in EWS racing, as she earned a respectable 15th-place overall this past weekend.
“I rode well throughout the event, but I just didn’t have the speed I wanted to get inside the top ten,” says Beerten. “The tracks were so difficult and the days very long. It really just takes a toll on a rider. I think La Thuile will be more suited to my riding style. I am really looking forward to this next race."
The EWS series has been the proving grounds for the new Arktos 29, a bike we introduced at the Sea Otter Classic this year and Anneke has been racing at the past two rounds.
“We are really happy with both the performance and durability of the Arktos29,” mentioned team mechanic Joe Binatena. “Racing the EWS series beats down equipment and the fact that we have been problem-free after two tough, muddy rounds is a testament to the bike and the engineering behind it.”
The EWS series stays in Europe for the majority of the series, with the next stop in Italy promising to be another one for the books. Nestled in the valleys below the famous Mont Blanc, the La Thuile race is a rider favorite.