Enduro World Series mountain bikers heap praise on Derby trails

Rock and a hard place: Riders tackle the notorious chute between giant boulders on the Derby mountain bike network. Picture: Scott Gelston

Rock and a hard place: Riders tackle the notorious chute between giant boulders on the Derby mountain bike network. Picture: Scott Gelston

The planet’s top enduro mountain bikers have given the Derby trails a ringing endorsement with many hoping the sport’s world series will make a return visit next year.

A month after descending on the North-East mountain bike Mecca, the Enduro World Series has moved on to Portugal but its fleet is still singing the praises of its maiden Australian race.

Riders including round winners Isabeau Coudurier and Wyn Masters led the chorus on Facebook and in Spoke magazine.

“The EWS in Tasmania was for me one of the best race I've ever done,” said Coudurier, the Frenchwoman who burst into tears when her breakthrough victory was announced.

“The landscape, the nice people, the wildlife and the trails were amazing. The work that has been done on the trails was simply incredible and the race day ran very smoothly thanks to the marshals and many volunteers.

“The crowd was also massive and very enthusiastic which was a true help to maintain a positive mind in such hard conditions. Tasmania was a blast and I will always remember this race!”

Kiwi Rae Morrison said: “Tasmania was an incredible event. Not only the race tracks that were the perfect combination of fast, flowy and technical, but also the venue in the remote location of Derby.”

Swiss rider Anita Gehrig described Tasmania as “a mind blowing experience”. 

“You could just feel that that whole little town was involved into the event and everyone put so much love and effort into it,” she said. 

“The trails surprised us big time [and] come race day the Aussies came in thousands and lined every single rack, such a sick crowd.”

Twin sister Caro said she “loved every single stage” and “had a blast” in Derby while New Zealander Justin Leov and sixth-placed Brit Bex Baraona echoed the praise.

“Tasmania was such a well organised event, the atmosphere was amazing, you could tell the whole island was excited to welcome the EWS to the amazing Derby trails,” Baraona said. 

“The trails made for an amazing race, a mix of tame flowy trails and technical rocky, muddy trails. It's up there as my favourite EWS to date I think!”

Irishman Greg Callaghan and Cecile Ravanel, of France, claimed the round-three honours in Madeira at the weekend before the series heads to further events in Ireland, France, USA, Canada and Italy.

The EWS is scheduled to return to Australia in 2019 but Derby is expected to face strong competition from mainland venues for hosting privileges.

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