The race weekend kicked off with track practice on Friday. Initially, three stages were on the program. The fourth stage, which was run twice in total, we were then allowed to practice on Saturday before the prostage.
The characteristics of the tracks in Crans Montana can be described quite simply. Fast, rough bike park tracks, with demanding pedaling passages. During the training, the rain still surprisingly stayed away, which is why the ground was dry as dust and the roots and stones were very grippy.
Helen and Torben felt directly comfortable on the tracks and could check out some good lines. This only increased the excitement for the race!
The bad weather forecast had not promised too much. Just in time for the first race day, the morning view of the mountains showed snow-covered mountainsides. However, after a short update from the race organizers it was clear, only with a half hour delay (8:30 am) we went up the mountain for the Prostage training.
Despite the difficult conditions Helen and Torben had a lot of fun! On the first third of the stage there was still snow on the tracks, in the middle part the ground was just wet and in the lowest sections in the forest there were even dust-dry curves. A crazy mix of conditions, and all that only on one stage.
In the afternoon the race of the Prostage was on. Helen secured herself the 3rd place in the women U21 class with a controlled run.
Unfortunately, Torben's race did not go according to plan. A crash in the first third of the stage brought him out of the rhythm and in the lower part of the track he made another dismount. Due to a defect on his bike he had to roll Chainless from then on to the finish. With the 91st place his disappointment was accordingly big. However, the goal for the following day was clear: to make up as many places as possible!
On Sunday the remaining four stages were ridden.
Helen made it through the race well after her long break. Despite two crashes she was able to hit many lines and brought down solid runs. At the end of the day she even made it to the podium with third place in her age class.
For Torben, not everything went according to plan on Sunday either. He crashed twice, but still found his flow and worked his way up from stage to stage to 62nd place.
Now, Helen and Torben are on their way to the next EWS in Loudenvielle.
Photos: Boris Beyer (Instagram: @maddogboris)