Presented by Pivot Cycles NZ
Rotorua is home to some the of most fertile soil in all of New Zealand. Rich in culture, with its roots deeply planted in the mountain bike world, it is a fitting location to kick off the 2019 Enduro World Series. This year however was set to be the driest edition of the infamous race with only two and a half days of rain in the past three months.
All eyes were firmly planted on Wyn Masters and the local boy Keegan Wright coming into this years race. After 2017, it was clear that having local advantage was a huge benefit for this rumble in the rainforest, and left many questions around whether Wyn could do repeat or if the in-form, Keegan, had what it took.
Even before the dust started to fly, the forecast for Sunday looked to be terrible...
With two days of practice in the dust, Saturdays overnight rain looked to change the conditions out on trail for race day. The rain damped the intense root-networks on many of the native stages, but not enough to change the ankle deep dust in amongst it all. Instead, as riders began to come down the stage, they pulled all that moon dust across the still wet roots and turned them into greasy, unpredictable day enders.
Martin Maes dominated the race, winning all five stages, to take the top step of the podium 24 seconds in front of NZ’s own Keegan Wright who slotted into a career best second place. Cole Lucas also had a good day and found himself in 5th place. Isabeau Courdurier had a near-perfect day, taking 4 of the 5 stages to take the women’s race with Morgane Charre in second.
‘Til next time, Rotorua!
Words and Images: Cameron Mackenzie
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