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Enduro of Nations race does double duty
From the all-time celebration of all things mountain biking at Crankworx Whistler, the Enduro World Series moves next to Val d'Isere, France on August 24-25, where enduro's founding visionary Fred Glo and Tribe Events gets set to host round 6 of the series, in conjunction with the Enduro of Nations.
The Enduro of Nations is a team event, established by Glo in 2008, that crowns the best national team, based on results from two day's worth of racing over six stages by the top three ranked riders from each country.
As the Enduro World Series rulebook articulates, "Teamwork, consistency and strategy are key components in the Enduro of Nations, with the championship title being awarded to the national team who has the lowest combined time of all team members, over all the special stages during the race."
Inspired by motorcycling's Enduro Trophy of Nations, the team event has been won five out of six times by Team France, with the big upset taking place in 2012 when Italy hosted the race and Team Great Britain took the win.
EWS Managing Director Chris Ball said, "The Enduro of Nations is really the first ever genuine team event in mountain biking. It is the only event of the year in which riders compete together. Athletes who normally race against each other will have their times added up, making them only as good as each other."
With national teams being comprised of the top three ranked riders in the individual Enduro World Series standing, it's Team France that go in as the favourites, with a men's team comprised of Jerome Clementz, Fabien Barel and Remy Absalon, and a women's team made up of Cecile Ravanel, Anne Caroline Chausson and Pauline Dieffenthaler.
But anything could happen on race day, as evidenced over the past five rounds of the Enduro World Series. Strong teams from the USA, Italy and Great Britain could easily upset the favourites.
The complete list of the teams taking part in the Enduro of Nations race will be published on Saturday morning before the race.
As the enduro discipline grows and develops, EMBA aims to separate the EWS and the Enduro of Nations events, but in its inaugural year, the two will be hosted concurrently.
The Enduro of Nations event will finish with all team riders starting together in a mass start stage, providing a one off opportunity for team members to ride side-by-side, maintaining the established tradition of the Enduro of Nations.
The individual result of the sixth Enduro World Series round will be calculated following the final individual start special stage on Sunday.
Current oversall standings after five rounds are led by France's Jérôme Clementz (Cannondale Overmountain) and Great Britain's Tracy Moseley (Trek Factory Racing) among the elite men and women, and Belgium's Martin Maes (GT Factory Racing) tops the junior division.