All change for Round 3 of the new Enduro World Series.
No sooner has the dust settled after the battle that was Round 2 at Val d’Allos but the riders are settling in at Les Deux Alpes, three hours breath-taking drive to the North.
Dan currently stands 7th in the EWS rankings despite last weekend’s puncture and Martin leads the juniors but both will be hoping for a much smoother run in Round 3?
Riders: Dan Atherton, Martin Maes
Mechanics: Matteo Nati
Support : Dan Brown
Bikes: GT Force
The course is scheduled to be revealed on Thursday night but so far we know that there will be 4 stages. On Friday all riders will have chance to walk the course and choose lines but as last week there’ll be no riding on the course until Saturday. Where Round 3 differs though is that all day Saturday is official practise before Sunday’s race runs, so, presuming that everything goes to plan the riders should be able to put in 2 practise runs per stage.
We’re expecting a mix of chairlifts and pedalling to reach each liaison and that the course will descend from wide –open top of mountain sections to more technical tree-lined sections on the lower slopes.
Sat and Sunday are predicted to be warm (18/19 degrees), dry in the mornings with light winds and likelihood of showers in the afternoons.
Dan and Martin will be looking to put Val d’Alos behind them – it’s a measure of the weight of expectation placed upon Martin that even with his junior victory he’s less than happy with last week’s result.
At Round 1 in Punta Ala Martin benefitted from some intense practice runs with Dan –even with the limited practice allowed here the team will be hoping to replicate some of those benefits.
Current situation – team perspectives
Dan: “I always knew that Val d’Alos was going to be tough for me – riding blind is just not something I’m comfortable with. I’ve raced here before at Mountain of Hell so I already feel a little more comfortable with the terrain and if we can get in a couple of practise runs per stage I’ll be a lot happier.
It’s always good to come to Crankworx, I’m expecting to see a lot of the guys from Cycling Sports Group and Gee and Rachel will be here – in fact it’s the first time that the whole of the GT Factory Racing team will be riding at the same event so that’s something else to look forward to. ”
Martin: “Last week I made some mistakes and Dan was very unlucky with a puncture. I’m looking forward to riding these stages in a new format and to meeting up with the rest of the guys on the team”.