Overcast skies remained making the Giant Toa Enduro one of the darkest, slickest and most dangerous Enduro World Series openers ever.
The rain never came but overcast skies remained making the Giant Toa Enduro one of the darkest, slickest and most dangerous Enduro World Series openers ever. Over seven stages, amateurs and pros tested their mettle in the dense Whakarewarewa forest and over the steep steps of the Skyline Gondola terrain. Visibility was a constant issue as was an ever evolving trail network which seemed only to reveal more roots and plenty of silky loamy dirt to break riders trust and catch riders out.
After last seasons issues, Jerome Clementz and with his main competitor Jared Graves has come back with a vengeance. His first place looked certain right throughout the day, aggressively attack not only stages but transitions as well a combination that easily gave him the win. Fabian Barel fought hard, after crashes and mistakes in early stages forced him down the field, he pushed back in later stages to claw back second. With such a feat in the bag already, if he can put it all together, another enduro win is surely on the way. In third Wyn Masters used his local knowledge to put the Enduro boys on their toes. His downhill skill and raw style leading him easily to the podium even if it was by a mere second to compatriot Justin Leov in fourth.
In the Womens field it was a tight fight to the end between two of the greatest queens of mountain biking Anne Caroline Chausson and Tracey Mosely. The not so subtle downhill nature of most of the tracks clearly suiting both riders former careers. In the end it was Chausson who edged ahead of Mosely putting ten seconds plus into her competitor over the course of the day. Cecile Ravenel was a minute behind in third with crossover specialist Anneke Beerten in fourth.