Take a trip to Blue Derby, Tasmania to find out what happened when the world came to this tiny Aussie town!
All hail the King
There was a roar from the crowd any time Sam Hill was on course. And while he was a little off his usual pace in Derby, he was not moving slowly, and rode a wave of noise down Trouty, winning the stage.
But in the end, it was Martin Maes who took the overall, with Connor Fearon in 3rd behind Florian Nicolai in 2nd. In the women Isabeau Courdurier continued to dominate, with Jill Kintner placing 2nd in her first EWS, and Taswegian Rowena Fry scoring 3rd– a huge result in front of a home crowd.
The afternoon ran into the night as the podium presentations took place in the warm Tasmanian sun. The beer garden was heaving, the crowd was hungry for shoeys on the podium – and the winners obliged.
Some people fell into bed, others pushed on into the early hours. But there was no denying that just like in 2017, the EWS in Derby was a roaring success, it was just dry this time. Make no mistake, if you like riding mountain bikes, you'll love riding the trails in Blue Derby. And thanks to the EWS coming again – mountain bikers around the world know that too.
Thanks to Tourism Tasmania for the help with our visit to Blue Derby for the EWS – and our trip to Maydena Bike Park. But more on that in a coming issue!
Things to know:
Can I ride the EWS trails?
All the trails used for the EWS are open to ride. Just like in 2017, the new additions will stay as part of the Blue Derby trail network.
Vertigo MTB have been doing it the longest, but there are a few other people in town like MAD MTB and Premium MTB Transfers. Evolution Biking also have a service coming soon.
There's lots now! Your best bet is to check out the options via the Blue Derby website, or do a search on AirBNB. The Blue Derby Pods Ride is a great option for a luxurious stay!
Rider Feature: Lachlan McKillop
We spotted Lachlan McKillop in the field, who used to do a lot of our bike testing here at AMB. As Lachy loves to race, we weren't surprised to see him racing the EWS.
“I wanted to do the EWS when it first came up and their was the Conti series. I just wanted to tick it off the list really. I did some downhill World Cups, I never went well, so I just wanted to tick this off the list as well. And why not? I just like racing. I think enduro is not all about racing weirdly enough. You hang out with your mates between the stages, and you push it, but it's no different to what you'd do on the weekends on a ride to be honest. You have your Strava segments and go and smash those.
“I think racing is an integral part of all sports and that pushes technology. It's not the be all and end all, but I think enduro is the best race to do if you're going to do a race.”
And was it what he expected?
“It was really hard! I wouldn't say harder than I thought. I could have eaten better and had better nutrition through the day, and a bit more caffeine at the end of the day. Everything else was pretty good. I can't fault my bike or anything.” In fact Lachy really only thought he could have changed his training to suit the enduro format.
“I didn't do any sprint stuff, you have to work on your sprints. So I'd sprint, go lactic and then pretty much die – but it was good!”
The time against the clock was just one part of his day though, it was really about the time on the bike and with other riders.
“Everyone is rad on the liaison stages. In downhill, everyone is head down, no one really chats. But here, everyone chats the whole way up, it's pretty cool. I did a downhill race a couple of weeks ago leading up to this. My ride time for the weekend was 24 minutes. It's fun, downhill is sweet, don't get me wrong. But I just want to ride my bike all day, it's stress relief. I prefer this format. It definitely pushes your limits. A couple of stages I tried to go into survival mode, but then I cut loose and pushed it a bit too much. It's finding that limit. I haven't raced in a long time so finding that edge is hard. I'd go too hard then crash, I had a few moments. One was in the rock garden and I took out a few spectators.”