Oh beautiful Tassie! It’s good to see you again! Last time the Enduro World Series stopped in Derby, Tasmania, it was in 2017 the year of the Enduro Wet Series. And this year we got luckier.
But before the racing action got going the team took part in the Official Unsanctioned EWS Whip Off hosted by the local bike shop, Vertigo MTB and the media squids… And we had quite a blast! Massive trains and airs on the finest jump line of Tasmania! Air Ya Garn! We ran a little comp on our social media to see who did it better between the rider, the mechanic or the manager. Manager’s Table Top casted the more votes!
Weapon of choice for Keegan this week? Again, the trusty Troy 29 Carbon that led him to the silver medal the previous week at EWS Rotorua. Same set-up, same pressures, same tires… Why change what works!
Trainings took place during Friday and Keegan enjoyed every single bits of the Tasmanian trails. Fast and flowy but also very rocky. Good thing the Cushcores inserts were on.
The race was divided in two days. On Saturday racers only had Stage 1, the Queen Stage of the event. Full of confidence coming from his best ever EWS result the week before, Keegs wanted to have a strong start of the day to really gauge his pace with the rest of the field. He placed 8th on that stage. 11 seconds behind Martin Maes.
Stage 2 was a good challenge for the riders. The famous tight rock tunnels and sharp rock gardens, Keegan was committed on that stage and grabbed 2nd. With four more stage to go Keegan was sitting in 5th.
“Derby offers some of the best trails of the year. Short and punchy, but the flow, the lines and the features make them so awesome to ride!” – Keegan Wright
Stage 3 was another really good stage for our Kiwi. Keegan managed to finish this stage in 3rd, 2 seconds behind Maes, who seemingly was unstoppable… winning every single stage since the beginning of the season!
Stage 4 was the flattest and the most pedally of the race. Keegan was expecting it to be tough and he was planning on charging hard. And it costed him… He slipped his front wheels in a turn and lost some very precious time. 43rd on that stage and 8th in the race at that point.
After stage 4, the riders had a mandatory tech & feed zone in the pits. While eating his veggie sandwich, Keegan had a quick watch at his GoPro POV’s from stage 5 and 6 before heading back to the top of the mountain. Doing so helps him rememorize crucial lines and sections of the stages. Remember that they only have one practice run on each stage prior to the race! So the mounted cameras become very useful training tools for the riders.
Last two stages of the races were also very good for Keegan. He placed Top 10 in both, 9th and 7th. Which is very impressive. At the last stage, Keegs gained few spots and concluded his solid day of work in 6th. Another very good result in the bag for our 22 years old New Zealander.
Reached by phone after the race, here’s what Damien, his fellow teammate had to say: “Wow! Good job to Keegan! After Rotorua I knew that he would build up on his podium performance and do well in Derby. Last year I was giving him the advice to not ride in the red zone, and only stay in the 80-90% range during race runs, but coming from his downhill and explosive background, it was tough for him. He tried it and it worked in Rotorua and I guess it paid off again this weekend!”
“Awesome day out! Bit of rain yesterday which helps to make the trails faster. Everyone was super fast, solid racing! Unfortunate crash on Stage 4 which costed me a bit of time. But to climb up a few places on the last stages and to finish 6th got me really stoked!” – Keegan Wright
Keegan now sits 3rd in the overall of the Enduro World Series. We got 6 weeks off before Round 3 in Madeira, Portugal, where Keegan had really good stages results last time in 2017.
“Two big weeks of racing all wrapped up! Awesome times with the crew in New Zealand and Tasmania. Keegan has shown to everyone that he has the speed to battle for wins and Damien has already started the recovery process for his broken scaphoid. Overall, I’m very happy with everything we’ve achieved in the past few weeks and we are looking forward to Round 3 in Madeira!” – Bastien Major, Team Manager
Thanks to everyone at Unior and Devinci. Huge thanks to all our team partners, the race organizer, the fans and the families for the amazing support. We would not be there without you!
Key facts of the week:
– Damien injured, off the bike for still undetermined period.
– Keegan is now sitting in 3rd place of the EWS overall standings
– Keegan raced EWS2 on the Troy 29 Carbon with the same exact settings from EWS1.
– Keegan ate 1kg of cheese in 6 days.
– Keegan raced on the same wheelsets for EWS1 and EWS2.
– Team expression of the week: “OUINNN” à la Québécoise!
– Best team meal of the week: Mango chicken curry with greek salad.
– Team Song of the week: Wow. – Post Malone.
– We saw 7 wallabies and 1 forest kangaroo.
– We saw 7 wallabies and 1 forest kangaroo.
PHOTO CREDITS: SVEN MARTIN