The steep and technical trails of Crans Montana are a perfect match for Canadian riders, it seems, as three Canucks hit the podium on Sunday in the Swiss Enduro World Series round.
Jesse Melamed scored a big podium in the pro men’s race, finishing second. Nathan Stercx matched that result in the under-21 men’s race with Emmy Lan adding another podium finish in the u21 women’s race.
Pro Men: Melamed steps into Moir’s spot
Crans Montana saw the season-long rivalry between Jack Moir (Canyon Cllctv) and Richie Rude (Yeti Fox) disrupted when the Australian crashed during Saturday’s pro stage. Jesse Melamed (Rocky Mountain Race Face) was ready to take advantage of that opportunity, pushing Rude all the way to the finish line on Sunday. Melamed finished second, his best result of 2021, just 6.64 seconds behind Rude. Martin Maes (GT Factory Racing) returned to the podium for the first time this year, nabbing third.
Moir fought through his sore shoulder to climb up to tenth by the end of Sunday after starting placed in the low 30s. That result keeps the Australian in contention for the 2021 EWS series overall but not enough to keep Rude out of the leader’s jersey.
Kasper Woolley (Yeti OneUp Pro Team) followed up his fourth in Loudenvielle, France last week with another big result in Crans Montana. The young Squamish racer was sixth by the end of Sunday’s racing.
McKay Vezina followed in 16th, a big result for the Giant Factory Off-Road Team racer.
Remi Gauvin (Rocky Mountain Race Face) added a 31st, Rhys Verner (Forbidden Synthesis) 41st, Carter Krasny 42nd, Philippe Ricard – who doubled up on the wrenches and on the bike for Devinci Global Racing – 44th, and Evan wall 46th. A little later, Jacob Tooke finished 71st, Thomas Doyle 114th and, rounding out the Canadian pro men, Anthony Poulson in 124th.
Pro Women: Miller time
Miranda Miller started her Sunday in Switzerland fast, pulling into third for parts of the day before slipping a bit on the final two stages. The Kona Gravity Racing rider still pulled off a top 10, and her best result of 2021, in eighth.
It was Melanie Pugin on the podium’s top step, though, flanked by Morgane Charre (Pivot Factory Racing) and Israel’s Noga Korem (GT Factory Racing). The win pads Pugin’s lead in the pro women’s overall points race.
Under-21: Sterckx leads a big Canadian contingent.
Nathan Sterckx scored his first Enduro World Series podium on Sunday, finishing second to Specialized’s Francescu Camoin. It’s a big result for the Canadian who has been pushing steadily through the ranks for a while now. The U.S.A.’s Miles Morgan took third.
Jack Menzies (Forbidden Synthesis) in fifth and Emmett Hancock in sixth – including a win on Sunday’s Queen Stage – made for three Canadians in the top 10. Johnathan Helly piloted We Are One’s new Arrival frame to 15th.
Emmy Lan (Commencal Canada) added a third podium for the Canadians. After a big stint of World Cup downhill racing, Lan finished third in an incredibly close under-21 women’s race. Lisa Baumann, riding at home in Switzerland, edged out Italy’s Sophie Riva by 1.58 seconds to take the win. That, after 33.59.78 on course.
The Enduro World Series heads to Italy next. The classic seaside Finale Ligure venue hosts the penultimate round on September 18, 2021.