Enduro World Series - Rotorua
First EWS Stop of the Season Challenges All
Rotorua, New Zealand played host to the first Enduro World Series race this past weekend, alongside the Crankworx festival. Not only was it the first EWS race of the year, but the inaugural Toa Enduro marked the Juliana-SRAM Pro Team's first race as a full team. Kelli and Sarah each spent about 15 hours in the air on their way to the southern hemisphere, while Anka got the good end of the traveling deal, for once, and only had to hop an island and head about 600km to the north. All three were anxious to test themselves on the Whakarewarewa forest's network of trails, and excited to see friends from all over the world, ride bikes, and take in everything New Zealand has to offer (including baby kiwi birds!).
The race was technical, wet, and extremely challenging for everyone. Anka had a great showing, and finished 13th overall. Kelli overcame a rough couple of stages to finish in 16th. Sarah had a nasty crash on the sixth stage, and dislocated her shoulder. She wasn't able to continue, but she was very happy with her first-ever EWS race, and is looking forward to healing up and getting back on the bike. Scroll on for some great photos from the weekend.
Anka drops out of the start gate and heads into the jungle
Santa Cruz and Juliana Doer of Things Allan Cooke made sure the teams were well taken care of.
Anka's all smiles ahead of the start
Sarah started the day off with a bang, and she was one of the only riders (male or female) to clear a section dubbed "the impossible corner." It was a tight, off-camber left hander with spiderweb roots covering the entire turn. Sarah iced it and finished her first ever EWS stage in 19th.
Anka making use of some of her 'home trail' advantage
Sarah hammering on her way to the 8th fastest time on Stage 2
Kelli rolled out of the start with the number 8 plate, and started off with solid, top-20 finishes the first two stages
Stage 6 is where is all came undone for Sarah. She came in hot to a big double drop section, went over the bars on the second drop, and slammed her shoulder into the ground. Her shoulder was dislocated and thumb badly sprained. Her race was done, but she was in good spirits the rest of the day.
Kelli builds speed on one of the more technical downhill sectionsAnka flying downhill on her way to 13th overallAll in all, it was a great first outing for the Juliana-SRAM Pro Team. We're wishing Sarah a very speedy recovery, and can't wait until EWS stop #2 at the Emerald Enduro in Ireland on May 23rd!
Posted on: March 30 — 2015 | Rotorua, NZ | All News