Following numerous delays to the racing season due to COVID-19 shutdowns and travel restrictions, the mountain bike world returned to racing in the Fall with a shortened Enduro World Series, the long awaited second stop of Crankworx in Innsbruck, and an extremely late start to the UCI World Cup.
PIVOT FACTORY RACING CROWNED 2020 EWS WORLD CHAMPIONS
Pivot Factory Racing gathered in Europe to attack the abbreviated 3-stop Enduro World Series. New teammate and freshly crowned French Enduro Champion, Morgane Charre was riding fast out of the gate on her Firebird 29, winning stages at every stop. At the last round in Finale Ligure, Charre claimed the Women’s Elite overall, although individual titles were not awarded this year. Eddie Masters mixed things up with the world’s fastest in the Men’s Elite field posting solid results on nearly every stage, while development rider Charles Murray kept him honest with some heated head-to-head racing. The efforts of all the riders earned Pivot Factory Racing its first team title and were crowned 2020 Enduro World Series Team Champions.
A RETURN TO CRANKWORX
With EWS done for the year, Pivot Factory Racing made the trip north to Innsbruck, Austria for the second stop of Crankworx for some more gravity-oriented racing. Dual Slalom was first, with the Charre, Masters, Kerr, and Murray all taking part. Demonstrating her versatility as a rider, Morgane rode here Switchblade to gold in the Pro Women’s category. In the Pro Men’s, Bernard shook off the EWS vibes for a more familiar form of racing and took 3rd. Eddie and Charlie were unfortunately eliminated early on. Downhill was on Sunday.
Everybody was excited to get back on the big bikes, with Innsbruck being the first race for Charlie on his new Phoenix 29. Morgane continued to add to her medal collection taking 3rd in the Pro Women’s field. Having not raced downhill since CWX Rotorua in February, Eddie quickly found speed on track and took 2nd in the Pro Men’s field. Bernard finished strong in 10th, with Charlie crossing the line in 20th.
UCI WORLD CUP RACING KICKS OFF IN NOVA MESTO
In the Czech Republic, World Cup racing returned with two rounds of cross country and short track. Stans Pivot’s Keegan Swenson made the trip oversees, while teammates Rose Grant and Chloe Woodruff stayed stateside to race at home. The Blue Train of Pivot Cycles OTE also made the trip with several racers including Leandre Bouchard. Being held later in the year than normal, inclement weather made for some challenging (muddy) racing. Round 1 proved to be very much a shakedown race with solid performances for the first WC of the year, loosening the legs up for Round 2 where the action really happened. Both riders had great performances. Swenson posted career-best by finishing 23rd in the Short Track and 26th in the XCO. Bouchard had a great Short Track with several moves at the front to finish 17th, and a respectable 31st in the XCO.
STRAIT ACRES INVITATIONAL BRING SLALOM RACING STATESIDE
In Southern California, the American mountain bike royalty Kyle and Rachel Strait made up for COVID cancelling most US events, including the legendary Sea Otter Classic, by hosting a pro-only invitational dual slalom race on their home property. Pivot Racer Kialane Hines made her return to racing with this event after recovering from a crash earlier in the year. There was no shortage of neck and neck racing with Hines ultimately proving to be the fastest woman on course, taking the win in the women’s field.
Pivot Cycles OTE