Enduro World Series Race Report: Manizales, Colombia
Round two of the 2018 Enduro World Series could not have been more different from the first.
Not only did the Colombia race feature an urban stage through the street of Manizales, but the conditions were stark. Where Chile featured dry, near moon-like conditions, the dense Colombia rainforest meant regular downpours during both the mountain race and practice. These conditions created a wild day of racing, where at times it was easier (and faster) for riders to run through the deep mud rather than ride.
Alchemy rider Anneke Beerten started the weekend off perfectly, taking her Arktos 27.5 to the top step of the podium in the urban DH and earning Alchemy its first stage win in EWS racing. Beerten continued her success at the Colombia round, finishing every stage in the top 10 and eventually ending the weekend in 7th overall – a big step up from her previous weekend’s overall in Chile.
After a crash-filled race in Chile, Alchemy rider Cody Kelley started the Manizales race on good form. He fought hard in the first three stages on day 2 before crashing hard on stage 5, bruising ribs and struggling to finish the day. Kelley soldiered on to finish the last two stages and ended up a respectable 57th place. It was not where he necessarily wanted to be, but it puts him in 46th place overall after two rounds.
Here's what Anneke and Cody had to say when we caught up with them following the race:
Anneke: "It was a tricky course, with big crowds and some water on the staircases, so you had to be cautious but still go fast. I knew if I just rode solidly I would have a chance at the win, and it worked out just as I planned. I am very happy to give Alchemy and the Arktos 27.5 its first win in EWS racing."
Cody: “I felt really good at the top of the stage, so I started letting ‘er go to try and make up some of the time I lost in the earlier stages. It wasn’t long after that I was laying on the ground, struggling to catch my breath and wondering if I would finish the day.”
Next up is round 3 of the EWS series, which takes the Alchemy Factory Racing Team to a new venue in the South of France. The race promises to be an arduous one, with two full days of racing and over 30 miles of riding each day. The EWS organization has rated it 5 out of 5 stars for physicality, which means it will be even tougher than this last round.
All photos courtesy Dave Trumpore