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EWS Race Report: Rotorua, New Zealand

Hayden Noel



The first round of the 2019 Enduro World Series went off with a bang last weekend, with round one taking place in Rotorua, New Zealand. Alchemy racer Cody Kelley had a great event, finishing in 25th overall and taking honors as the top American finisher at the event.

“I had a strong, injury-free offseason and was really excited to get back to racing,” said Kelley. “Maybe I started off a little too cautious in the first stages at Roto, but by the end of the day, my flow was working and I managed to get some really solid times.”


Kelley’s best results came in the longest stages, which meant his two top 20s meant a lot in terms of gaining time.

“It was so important to go fast enough to keep in the mix,” said Kelley. “But the stages we  long, it was important to maintain consistency from start to finish. I could have pushed a little hard to improve my results, but overall I am happy where things ended up.”

Kelley is contesting the series on the new Arktos 29, which features 140mm rear travel, but for EWS racing Kelley has boosted the fork from the normal 160mm to a 170mm travel Fox 36. Kelley’s Arktos also uses suspension that has been race-tuned by factory mechanic Joe Binatena, the owner of Bikeco bike shop located in Orange County, California.


From Rotorua, the series continues its Southern journey, as the EWS heads to Derby, Tasmania for Round 2. Derby features some of the rider’s favorite course, with hand-cut trails winding way through the rainforest singletrack.

Photos Courtesy Andy Vathis and Dave Trumpore


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