Jérôme Gilloux stays on top, Mélanie Pugin makes a comeback
Castiglione dei Pepoli (Italy), Sunday 6 June – The second race of the second round of the season presented by Suzuki Hybrid is in the books.
With another qualifying and race on the same day, rest and rider self-care was key to make it through to the end of the race on Sunday.
The climb up to the race track was similar today, with a longer start and less total climb. Most riders found it harder than the Saturday, although everyone said it was a good, technical race.
In the Women’s field Mélanie Pugin (BH), following her problems on the first day, managed to pull in the win, beating Nathalie Schneitter (Trek Bosch) who came in second place. Third step of the podium for Jaqueline Mariacher (E-Team Magneti Marelli Checkstar) at her debut in the series. Karen Pepper(Lapierre) had a few technical problems today, however, her fifth place took her to the second place in the overall standings. The reigning World Champion extended her lead in the Women’s standings over Sofia Wiedenroth (Specialized).
Jérôme Gilloux (Moustache) showed his professional, almost unstoppable riding quality and got his fourth win in a row.
Joris Ryf (Bergstrom) tried again to beat him, but Jérôme was too strong and he had to settle for second again. Watching Jérôme riding closely in one particular part of the track highlighted the fact that his riding skill is top notch, with his bike floating over the surface in places where other riders were becoming more stuck into the dirt. In the Men’s race, Cecce Camoin (Specialized) finished fifth in today’s race and got third in the overall standings.
Italian Andrea Garibbo (Haibike) managed to secure a third place, and finished looking fairly refreshed on the finish line, possibly a contender for future rounds?
The track held out well as did the weather despite the thunder that could be heard but did not make it to the race track.
Overall the field was more relaxed at the start and there was an air of enjoyment in the pits, despite the hard racing. Aussie Josh Carlson (Giant) commented on his enjoyment of the race format and said he will likely return for later races in the season, cementing the UCI E-MTB XC World Cup as a serious proposition on the racing calendar.
Next WES stop at Charade/Clermont-Ferrand, France is scheduled for 17-18 July.