Enduro World Series 2019 - Round 8 - Zermatt

September 21 — 2019 | Zermatt, Switzerland

And then there was one. The final race of the Enduro World Series season landed the boys of the Santa Cruz SRAM Enduro team in Zermatt, Switzerland last weekend. With the Matterhorn in the background and big descents ahead of them Krunk, Mark, and Iago were in for a five-stage thrasher that stretched over 18KM and covered more than 2800 meters of truly rough, high alpine descending.  


EWS 8 


Mark Scott15th27th
Iago Garay20th 23rd 

Wednesday and Thursday were open lift access for registered racers, a nice way to get acclimated and make the mental switch from the loose, fast, and dusty conditions of Northstar to the consistent chunk and altitude of Switzerland. A few tweaks and a little puzzling later, it was time for training. Friday's training bounced between stages one through five throughout the day and the conditions and weather stayed clear. After a 2018 season peppered with rainy days and mud—unpredictable at best—finishing off the 2019 season with clear skies was a welcome high-five from Mother Nature.

Last week Northstar. This week the Matterhorn. Half the battle is acclimating fast.

The race at the top of the results was tighter than ever. Neither Mark nor Iago rolled into this round in contention for a top finish for the season, so Saturday was about finishing the season strong and creating the kind of momentum that would carry them into the Trophy of Nations (coming next) with confidence. In the history of the EWS, there's never been a Champion crowned anywhere other than Finale Ligure, so this venue—in the shadow of the Matterhorn—had a unique feel right from the start.

The variation of terrain in Zermatt is another factor. One minute your heart is beating out of your chest at altitude, the next you're scrubbing roots with a rock-garden exit.

Fueled by the endless stoke of Krunkshox and the steady wrench of Bo Macarthur, Mark and Iago made the best of Saturday's prime conditions. Mark and his Megatower cracked the top 25 in the first stage and progressively picked up speed from stage to stage. He flowed across the fast ridges, heart-rate cooking pedally sections, and tire-slicing rocks to ultimately land in 15th in the overall and a day-best 11th place finish on stage 5. Mark finishes the season in 27th in the overall.

Iago on his way to finish ten places ahead of his overall finish last year.

Fun fact: a couple of weeks ago Mark won the 70km Duke's Weekender gravel enduro. 

Iago's race day was a bit of the opposite. His best placements of the day were on stages one and two. He would slot in just behind Mark on stage one and then beat him by a couple of spots on the techy, rock-strewn stage two. Stages three, four, and five were rougher for Iago. He did his best to stay smooth and pick his way through a mix of very physical, slick rock, skidder lines, and root-infested chop through the trees that brought everyone back to town. Ultimately, Iago would land in 20th, just five spots behind Mark, and 23rd in the overall. For Iago this improves his year-over-year standing by 10 places (he finished 2018 in 33rd).

Get the full five-stage video recap. 

You can't have an EWS season without a stop on the shores of Finale, and Trophy of Nations lands there in just a few days. See the party from last year, and we'll catch you back here after the weekend. 


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