Race Report: Enduro World Series #5 – Les Orres, France

What a season so far! We are already past mid-season point and the fifth round of the Enduro World Series takes us now in the beautiful French Alps. Les Orres was a completely new EWS venue. Big mountains, alpine lines and very tight turns! Du pur VTT francais!

The weather was a bit more clement this week. Two or three thunderstorms rolled in prior the race adding a little bit of moist in the French soil and making it for prime dirt conditions.

Keegan Wright was once again our only UDFR athlete racing for this round. Damien Oton is recovering from his broken vertebrae. He’s recovering well and he now doesn’t feel pain anymore. Bike choice, Keegan selected the Spartan Carbon 29 also for this round. With the help of Rock Shox technicians we managed to dialed a new suspension set-up ready to tackle the Les Orres Bike Park stages.

Keegan was confident coming into Les Orres’ Round. Practices went super well for the Kiwi. But he was struggling a bit with the tight and technical corners of Stages 3 and 4. This unique euro style trails are not Keegan’s favorite, but he was still looking to forward for the other more intuitive stages of Day 2.

The Les Orres race was a two-day race format. Racers had a total of 49km to navigate, with the help of 7 uplifts by chairlifts and 910 meters to climb on the bikes. Good thing we had ice-cream hidden in the team’s cooler when the race would be finished… Keegan could not wait until the end of the race though.

This race was not Keegan’s race. After a decent result in Canazei last week he would have loved to see himself again in the Top 15… but that would only be on Stage 8, where he got the 12th time. The rest of the race was to forget he said. Due to another thunderstorm on Sunday morning, the organization took the decision to cancel the long and demanding Stage 5. This was a 20-minute-long stage. In the end, Keegan completed the 7 stages race in 46 minutes and 16 seconds and placed 57th. Definitely far from his target.

With this result Keegan dropped a bit in the Series’ rankings. He now sits in 9th in the overall.

“Definitely not the race I was expecting. I was not able to find the good pace on day 1 and day 2 was just as bad. Had a little mechanical on stage 7, lost some crucial time there. Stage 8 was good with a Top 15 but it was the shortest stage of the race, not where I could have improved my overall placing. I need to ride more euro stuff,” Said Keegan after his race.

“Round 5 is now behind us! Great venue with world class trails providing good challenge to all the riders. It would have been awesome to have Damien with us this week. I bet he would have loved his time here! Keegan was pumped coming into this round. Bummer it did not clicked for him this week, but it can’t always go to plan! Whistler should be a good one!” – Bastien Major, Team Manager

Georgia Astle from Whistler, BC was again with the team for this round in Les Orres. She finished in 20th position. She had really good stage results on Stage 1 and 2 where she placed 10th and 12th.

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 is doing better and better. We met with him for a nice lunch in Montpellier after the race.
– Keegan is now sitting in 9th place of the EWS overall standings.
– Keegan does 100 push-ups every single day.
– Best team meal of the week: Raclette!
– Team Song of the week: Changes – Tupac

Photos by Seb Schieck and Rick Schubert