Enduro World Series - Rotorua, New Zealand

March 30 — 2015 | Rotorua, NZ

Clementz and Chausson take the top steps, Minnaar, Johnston, and Leishman injured

Anne-Caroline Chausson continued her dominance in all things bike racing with a narrow win over Tracy Mosely in the women's race, and Jerome Clementz made it a bleu-blanc-rouge double with a win in the men's open. Santa Cruz riders had some unfortunate luck; Greg Minnaar tore a thumb tendon, Chris Johnston broke his collarbone, Nico Prudencio pulled out just ahead of the race, and Sarah Leishman of the Juliana-SRAM Pro Team dislocated her shoulder mid-race. With two weeks until the first World Cup DH in Lourdes, and two months until the Emerald Enduro in Ireland, we're wishing everyone a smooth and speedy recovery. 

 

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Santa Cruz Image
Sven Martin

Greg, pre-crash on the EWS course

Kathy Sessler, Syndicate Team Manager, checked in with this report:
The Syndicate, being down Josh Bryceland and Steve Peat, formed a makeshift crew that added Cedric Gracia and 16-year-old Santa Cruz Free Agent Sean Bell to the squad for the week. The first day of enduro practice on Wednesday was on Stage 7, and we ran into some carnage straightaway. A few runs into the day Greg, CG, and Sean all hit the deck.  Greg hit a stump and bent his thumb back and heard a snap. He didn't experience much pain, but as a precaution we took him to the medical center for X-rays. While we were there we met up with SC Nomad rider Chris Johnston who had broken his collarbone in multiple pieces. You could have had a autograph signing session at the medical center with injured riders coming in. Initial X-rays showed no fractures, but the South African doctor attending to Greg ordered an ultrasound for precaution, especially after Greg told him that he will be racing in 2 weeks at the first World Cup! Ultrasound was scheduled a few hours later which gave Greg enough time to do a downhill practice run. He managed the run, and considered doing more, but went on to get the ultrasound. The ultrasound revealed that he had torn the tendon from the bone, called Stener Lesion. After being told that there was zero chance for that injury to heal on its own, Greg pushed hard to get surgery scheduled right away, which was then scheduled for 2:00 pm the next day. Greg went under for a quick, 40-minute surgery. The doctor said surgery went very well and recommended a hand therapist for Greg to see the next day to get hand braces made.  He had one made for everyday use, and a special one made so he could hold onto a handlebar. Typically the injury will heal in 4-6 weeks, but Greg is eager to test it in Lourdes in two weeks time.  


The three amigos

CG and Sean took over for our little team on the enduro which was brutal.  On the first day of enduro practice they rode for 6 1/2 hours!  For Sean's 3rd enduro ever it was a challenge, but more so to ride in wet, muddy rooty conditions. Enduro race day produced mega carnage with CG crashing 5 times on stage one.  After the long day on the trails CG finished 40th overall and Sean was 15th in the under 21 category. 

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Santa Cruz Image
Sven Martin

From Chris: 
Being originally from NZ I had been looking forward to this event ever since it had been announced. However it wasn't meant to be as I broke my collar bone in practice in the slick, muddy forest near the top of stage 7. Although I was not able to race I made the most of my day touring all the stages with Sven Martin and the other official event photographers to watch and cheer on riders and the rest of the Santa Cruz team. There is a lot to be learned even from the sidelines. It was humbling to see many athletes challenged by the slick conditions and rooty trails. This was truly a tough race!

 

 

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Santa Cruz Image
Sven Martin
A traditional Maori haka dance was performed at the start

 

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Santa Cruz Image
Sven Martin

CG gets down to business

 

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Santa Cruz Image
Sven Martin

Iago rails a rooty section. In his words, "The EWS was one of the best tracks we have had to date. During all week I was feeling really comfortable on my nomad, the kind of tracks here are similar to what I'm used to riding so I was very confident and having a great time riding them. The rain we had before race day made things a little bit harder for me, as we don't get that much mud in Spain. The  first stage was the one that was most affected by the rain and also the one with the most slippery roots. I had a very bad run feeling like I had forgotten how to ride a bike, but luckily things changed, and after stage 2 I was feeling great again!"


16-year-old Sean Bell racing his third-ever enduro

 



Even a long day can't keep the smile off Dylan's face. As he said, "It was off camber, steep, blown out, and full of roots with a high line jump around a tree on entry that required speed. This section had been a carnage zone for the riders in front of me. I told myself i was going to send it like practice and not pussy foot through it as i entered stage five. I went for it and crashed hard. Looking back i was stoked I committed. In the end it was another mental battle I won out on course that day even though i hit the deck."

 

 

Greg washes down Sean's Nomad
 

 

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