Santa Cruz Image

EWS Madeira

 

Enduro World Series 2019 - Round 3 - Madeira

May 14 — 2019 | Madeira, Portugal

Our EWS Road Manager, Krunk Shox, gave us the rundown of the third stop of the 2019 Enduro World Series. Read on for more.

It’s the week of the race and we’re surrounded by the ocean, sunshine and we’ve got some mountain bike racing on our hands—perfect. We’re in Portugal, well actually, we're just south of Portugal and west of Morocco on an island called Madeira, and we’re here for the third round of the Enduro World Series.

Tuesday began with a rather early start because we’d hired a local shuttle company to take us around the island so we could ride all of the best trails that weren’t being used for the weekend’s race. For Iago and Mark, this experience was a great way to shake-off Monday’s travel, calibrate to the island’s conditions and, of course, have a low-key day of shuttles. Green, rugged and excruciatingly beautiful, Madeira's coastline made for a lovely day of biking, snacking and a chance for all of us to acclimate.

Krunk Shox on track to see what the boys would be up against for the weekend. 

Speaking of rugged, Madeira is gnarly. I mean it's f*(@! nuts here. The trail builders are a core group of mountain bikers and they know how to sculpt challenging tracks that compliment the island’s rocky terrain. The Megatower is the perfect vessel for taming the hectic tracks of this volcanic island and after eight stages Mark and Iago wouldn't disagree. Two days of practice meant lots of bike time for the boys. Although we did some shuttling to get around during practice, mostly, we were pedaling to every stage.

#wheeliewednesday

Pedaling in practice is the best. It gives the staff, Bo Macarthur and I, the opportunity to ride and experience first-hand what the boys are up against. In addition, pedaling between stages affords the racers a more social experience. In our case, the upstanding gentlemen from the Vanzacs Mountain Bike Club joined us. Those Vanzacs sure are a riot. When we’re with them the strapping lads of the Santa Cruz X SRAM EWS Team become a legion of ill-mannered hooligans. It should also be noted that between our two teams we make eight, the exact persons-per-side team size requirement for World Cup Dodgeball.

Madeira dreamin'

Race day was, and I guess always will be, eventful. We'll start with Day One. For Gus (Iago), who raced to 15th, 46th, 33rd, the day started quite well. His best result of the weekend was on stage one, to me, the hardest stage of the weekend. The first stage didn't have the monopoly on difficulty—all of these stages were extremely hard to ride fast and clean—but it was rough.

“Conditions were pretty similar to what I ride back home so my run didn’t feel particularly special. I didn’t make any mistakes and I came away with a 15th and that feels great,” said Gus when asked about his stage one experience.

Day One for our friend Mark Scott did not go as well. About halfway through the stage, Mark had a nasty crash. 

“I don’t even really know what happened—I took an RKO from outta nowhere up there. The whole track was a maze of ruts and I took the inside on one of them but got ejected up over the bars. I remember that I found myself falling out of the sky over a ledge. I body slammed some rocks and rolled down the hill a bit. When I stopped I realized my bike was in a bush above me…” - Mark would continue to race the rest of the day with a tremendous amount of pain in his wrist. “…racing the rest of Day One was dog-shit. Anything rough was just not good,” concluded the Scotsman.

When the dust had really settled and the days’ racing was done it was clear that an X-Ray was in order for Mark.

After an X-ray and a chat with the Orthopedic, Mark was assured his wrist, and specifically, his scaphoid wasn’t fractured in the wreck. But I’ll tell you something, after all of that, it didn’t really matter what condition Mark’s wrist was in because the cab driver that took us home from the hospital was driving like a maniac and nearly killed us at least a thousand times.

Day two for Gus was a chance to better his 29th position after day one. When I asked him about how he felt coming into day two he said,  “I was very motivated coming into these tracks. I was excited to race and go hard”. A claw-back in the results is no small task for any man and for Gus it would prove do-able. He managed finishes of 31st, 42nd, 25th, 22nd, 23rd on the day’s five stages. Holding-tight on the final three stages elevated Gus to 23rd overall on the weekend. “I was trying really hard to make up some time. Times were tight. Every millisecond mattered. I knew I had to R2F and not make mistakes. I guess it paid off.” Said Gus of his climb to 23rd.

Marky on the mend and charging into Day Two. 

Day Two for any lesser of a man than Mark would have meant a day on the beach with an ice pack—in reality, any lesser of a man than Mark would not have finished day one. Mark too held-tight (with one hand) and came out of the weekend with another race completed in the face of suboptimal circumstances, a 46th place result and an unfortunate retreat in the overall standings. “You gotta’ be on your shit if you wanna do well at these races and it is not good if you’re unable to hold on to the bars.” 

We’re leaving Madeira tomorrow and it is with great pride that I recall the week’s events. Though we didn’t come away with everything we hoped for, the time we shared and the laughs we had will be more than plenty to be happy about. 

Next stop Val Di Fassa, Italy

Previous Next Post Links

Related Posts