Andréane Lanthier Nadeau was the top Canadian finisher at the grueling, long Enduro World Series in Pietre Ligure on Sunday. ALN finished sixth in the elite women’s race at the new EWS venue, after 50 km and five stages of racing.
ALN wasn’t the only strong Canuck result though. On a day dominated by the French, Squamish’s Rhys Verner won the day’s Queen Stage in the men’s race. Jesse Melamed joined his Rocky Mountain Race Face teammate, Lanthier Nadeau, in the top 10, finishing seventh.
The EWS now moves to nearby Finale Ligure for the final race of a condensed 2020 season.
Pugin unplugs, ALN makes 2020 debut
Sunday’s race, the second of a compressed three-stop 2020 EWS calendar, was won by Melanie Pugin. It was the Frenchwoman’s season debut on the analogue bikes, but not her first win this year. At the opening round in Zermatt, Switzerland, Pugin won the electric EWS-E, held the day before the traditional, human-powered EWS race. In Pietre Ligure, Pugin opted to unplug and proved to be just as fast unassisted. eMTB racing is new for the Enduro World Series in 2020.
Pugin is the first rider since Cecile Ravanel in 2018 to unseat Isabeau Cordurier. After a perfect 2019 season and a win in Zermatt, Pietre Ligure is the first race Cordurier has lost in over a year. Despite starting the weekend with an injured ankle, Cordurier still won the first two of five race stages. Pugin took the lead on the Queen Stage, though, and never looked back.
Lanthier Nadeau made her 2020 debut in Pietre Ligure after sitting out Zermatt following an injury in practice. All healed up, the Candian quickly worked up to pace. ALN’s stage results improved all day, leaving her in sixth overall by the end of five stages.
Miranda Miller, the only other Canuck in the pro women’s race, finished 20th.
Verner wins Queen Stage, Melamed stays in top 10
Squamish’s Rhys Verner landed his first Enduro World Series stage win since moving up to the elite ranks. And it wasn’t just any stage. Verner won Sunday’s Queen Stage in Italy. While any stage win is a big accomplishment, taking the Queen stage is especially difficult. It is the stage determined by officials to be the hardest, and often the longest, and is worth more towards the final result than other stages. Verner ended his day just outside the top 10, in 11th.
The race was won by France’s Adrien Dailly. Second place was Florian Nicolai, also of France. Downhill convert Jack Moir seems to be adapting to enduro quickly, finishing third for his first EWS podium appearance.
After winning a wet and wild opening round in Zermatt, Jesse Melamed finished his day in Italy in seventh. Melamed won the second stage, but a 35th on the Queen Stage pushed him a little down the standings at the day’s end.
Remi Gauvin 32nd, after sliding into the valley on a section that scuppered many racer’s days. Carter Krasny finished 61st, rounding out the Canadian entries.
The third and final Enduro World Series round of 2020 takes place next week in the nearby town of Finale Ligure. The town traditionally closes out the EWS’s season, and will once again this year.
Full Results: 2020 EWS Pietre Ligure