Round three of the 2018 Enduro World Series was happening this past weekend in the beautiful Montagnes du Caroux in Olargues, France. It was going to be a challenging and very technical race. Damien Oton was particularly looking forward to this event this season. Being his nearly “home race” the Catalan Eagle had big goals for the third round of this ever epic Enduro World Series!
The young Kiwi, Keegan Wright was looking to spark up that fire that was inside him since the last round in Colombia. Keeg was aiming for nothing than the top 10 this weekend. Under Damien’s wings and advices, Keegan showed consistent improvements in his riding and his speed is remarkably increasing every race.
Race Day 1 – Saturday May 12th:
Day 1 was composed of 4 stages that would totalize about 22 minutes… And big liaisons. On Saturday, the riders spent nearly 6 hours on the saddle. Stage 2 was Damien’s favorite this weekend but it took a beat on him. Damien had a big crash on S2 that costed him precious time.
“It’s great to race in front of my family and friends! Just too much mistakes for me today. That big crash in SP2… Let’s forget about it. Tomorrow will be another day,” said Damien about Day 1.
Damien still finished Day 1 with solid stage results that gave him the 7th position while his teammate Keegan, was sitting in 15th place. Keegan was getting closer to his goal of finishing inside the top 10. Keegan rode well on S1 with a 16th place and on S3 as well with a 20th.
Race Day 2 – Sunday May 13th:
Sunday was going to be a whole lot different day than Day 1. Heavy rains all night and the stages were even more technical.
Damien started the day with two crashes on S5 but still managed to end up 8th on that stage. With two 3rd positions on S6 and S7, Damien was now in 5th in the overall of the race. Keegan started his day in good form with a 19th position on S5 that made him jump to the 12th position of the race. He was again getting closer to his top 10! Unfortunately for him, he had a front puncture on stage 6, near the top and couldn’t repair it. He lost very precious time there. He came back to the pits, fresh tire installed and he kept his head up for the last 2 stages where he got 12th and 16th.
Damien wrapped up his day with a win on S8 and a 5th place on the race. He was happy to be in the top 5 but he really knew that could have been better. That motivates him for more for the next races!
“The speed was there this weekend. I felt good on those trails and the bike worked flawlessly here. Made a little mistake on S6, got off line and hit a rock that I shouldn’t and that caused a puncture. When I look at my other stages today it motivates me for the coming races. Round 4 should be a good one!” – Keegan Wright
“5th place is good! Yes I’m happy about the result but I know that the podium was achievable this weekend. Couple unfortunate mistakes but it’s a part of the game I guess! Still sitting in 3rd in the overall so this is good!” – Damien Oton
Damien Oton: 5th (S1: 9th, S2: 45th, S3: 7th, S4: 6th, S5: 8th, S6: 3rd , S7: 3rd , S8: 1st)
Keegan Wright: 34th (S1: 16th, S2: 23rd, S3: 20th, S4: 50th, S5: 19th S6: 163rd, S7: 12th, S8: 16th)
Official results (link)
Photo credits: Sven Martin