September 13th, 2018 12:00am
The North American Enduro Series will wrap up its inaugural year this weekend with the Clif Enduro East Series Finals at Burke Mountain / Victory Hill.
The third and final round of the series will see racers take to the start line in Vermont this weekend for two big days of riding as they compete to be crowned the North American Enduro Champion.
And the man most likely to claim that title is none other than Richie Rude (Yeti/Fox Shox Factory Racing), who leads the series after convincing wins at rounds one and two in Aspen Snowmass and Northstar respectively. The former World Champion will be looking to make it a hat trick to take the race as well as the championship. He'll be facing stiff competition from the likes of team mate Jubal Davis and local rider Isaac Allaire.
In the women's competition it's Amy Morrison who is out front, with Zephyr Sylvester sitting just 55 points behind in second. However third placed Andreane Lanthier Nadeau (Rocky Mountain Race Face Enduro Team) beat both at the last round and is definitely a threat again this weekend.
The race will feature eight stages (seven for the amateurs) over two days, and riders are in for some big days in the saddle. Taking place on the legendary trails at both Burke Mountain and Victory Hill, the race even includes over a mile of brand new trail that opens for the first time this weekend.
Legendary trail builder and accomplished local rider Knight Ide has been busy this summer expanding the offerings in the Victory Hill sector and reworking some classic lines on Burke Mountain in anticipation of the big event.
He said: "Earlier this summer I teamed up with two-time EWS champion Richie Rude to revamp one of Burke Mountain's best enduro tracks. I am honoured and stoked to share the new lines and features that Richie and I found there with some of the best riders in the world. Racers can expect lots of rock slabs, and a fresh cut 'loam garden'. The Victory Hill portion will feature more than a mile of new track. Racers will drop from a spectacular vista point that extends the longest stage at Victory to 1200 vertical feet of descending over two miles."
The North American Enduro Series is part of the EWS Continental Series, which will feed into a new Global EWS points structure, allowing EWS members to gain EWS ranking points. Ranking points can also be earned through the Qualifier Races and these will be combined with any Continental and main EWS races competed in to give an overall EWS ranking. Bridging the gap between Qualifying events and the main EWS races, the series allows up and coming riders to compete in existing events closer to home, gain ranking points and the chance to win a completely new Championship title; North American Enduro Enduro Champion.
George Ulmer from Clif Enduro East said: "Racers can expect a truly rewarding enduro experience this weekend that will have them coming back to Vermont and these trails for years to come.
"The climbs to the top are rewarded with some of the best trail descents you'll find anywhere in the country, featuring enough tech to keep them on point but enough flow to keep them smiling the entire way. We cant wait to showcase what the CLIF Enduro East and north east racing has to offer."