Martin Maes dominated the junior category of EWS Round 5 at Whistler winning 5 out of 5 stages to finish 7.29 min ahead of the field, a result that would have put in in 9th in the Men’s overall. Canadian riders Wight and Panozzo took second and third.
In what’s been reported as the toughest Round of the EWS to date, a total ride of 51km including19km of timed stages the demands on both athlete and bike were a true test of quality and endurance.
Team mechanic Matteo said ” I am so pleased with Martin, he rode so fast and took real good care of the bike at the same time – it was important because of the particular format of this race, we spent a lot of time in planning and it got us a great result today – and we’ve had a great time getting here! – the riding has been awesome.
Riders were completely on their own until after stage 4 when they could drop into the pits before tackling the brutal 10.63 km of stage 5 so bike set up and what riders chose to carry became vitally important.
Martin made his presence felt immediately, taking the lead by an impressive 1.06 minutes on Stage 1, Stage 2 toppled easily but Stage 3 which featured some intense climbing was closer – initially the team believed that Martin was 2nd by 13 seconds but a correction on timing soon put him at 16 seconds clear.
Martin said “ I enjoyed this race very much, we have had such a good time riding the Whistler park. I feel that I am riding very fast and I am very grateful to Matteo who has advised me well and done such good work with the bike.”
Next stop Val d’Isere for Round 6.