EWS Tweed Valley Race Report
The final race of the 2021 Enduro World Series and final race of the season was held in the UK mountain bike hotspot of the Tweed Valley in Scotland. Morgane sat in 2nd overall in the series while team Pivot were in a battle over 3rd. To help the team and score some vital points Bernard came out of enduro retirement to race another EWS race.
With tight steep trails in Scotland riders knew it would be a challenge but a week of rain leading up to the event soaked the tracks, cutting them up and turning some sections to rivers.
Matt was feeling good, dodging and diving through the trees. He made the choice to cut his handlebars down to let him squeeze through even faster. Morgane was enjoying the conditions, riding the steep and muddy trails with the commitment expected form a flat pedal rider.
Bernard had yet again picked a wet and cold EWS to race. Jumping in at the deep end with a big day out on the bike practicing 5 stages he was taking all the advice he could from Morgane and Matt. A successful day training for the team left a lot of cleaning to be done before the Pro Stage on Saturday.
The Pro Stage started high in the open moor above the Tweed Valley and heading down into the tight, steep and dark woods. With the trees so close and wet roots lining the track there was little room for error. A heavy storm passed through as the riders dropped in for the race, making visibility a challenge but actually improving grip on the track by washing some of the sticky mud.
Morgane had a clean run in the rain, riding the river down the track to find the grip she finished in a great 3rd place, less than 2 seconds off the race lead.
Matt and Bernard both had great runs, pushing hard through the horrible conditions Matt finished 10th. Bernard attacked the stage as he would a downhill run, fully committed he posted a brilliant time for 14th on the stage and well and truly at the business end for Sunday's full day of racing.
Brighter skies greeted the riders for the final 5 stages of the 2021 season. Stage 2, the first of the day, started the day off as it would go on, wet tracks, tight trees and heaps of fans. The Fans had come from all over the UK and cheered Bernard on to a great top ten finish on the stage. Matt was only a few seconds back posting 14th.
Morgan had a few stalls on some of the tightest corners costing her some time on the opening stage. Dropping back to a place she wasn’t phased as the long hard day would bring more opportunities.
Bernard’s stage 3 was going great until he misjudged an inside line and blew straight off course. Having to stop and get back onto the racing line, he lost at least 10 seconds by his estimates. Not ideal but with the challenging conditions no one was having a perfect day.
Morgan came back all gun blazing with the fastest time of the stage on the classic New York New York stage 3. Matt maintained his top ten positioning with a clean ride.
Stage 4 was one of the shortest and also Bernard’s best ride of the weekend, finding his flow on the stage he posted the 6th fastest time, gaining back any time lost on the previous mistake and back up the rankings. Morgan rode a safe stage to maintain her 3rd overall.
Stage 5 was the queen stage, the longest and most challenging of the race; the queen stage came with extra championship points for the winner. Barely anything could separate Bernard and Matt on the long and physical stage. Finishing in 10th and 11th with less than a second between them they maintained their top ten placings for the day overall.
Morgane took another stage win and with it some championship points. A great ride through the tight trees and packed crowds she was getting loose really enjoying the conditions.
The final stage came around with all riders sitting in great positions. Morgane was on a podium run in 3rd with Matt holding 7th and Bernard 10th.
Morgane didn’t put a wheel wrong on the final run, securing her 3rd overall and with it an amazing 2nd in the 2021 EWS series.
Bernard finished the day in 10th while Matt had a flying final stage finishing the day in 6th. An amazing ride from all riders was enough for Pivot Factory Racing to win team of the day and secure the Pivot team with 3rd for the 2021 season overall. An amazing result made even more impressive as we were down a rider the second half of the season after Eddie's crash.
A great weekend of racing for all the team was rounded off with big end of season celebrations. Everyone will head home now for some much needed rest before starting to prepare for the 2022 season! We can't wait to see you there.