Flyer Zine: Enduro World Cup R3 2023 Finale-Pietra Ligure

The EDR headed to Pietra Ligure in the Finale Outdoor Region for the third race in the new Enduro World Cup series 2023.

Q: When is Finale neither in Finale or a finale?

A: When it’s the Pietra Ligure Enduro World Cup race.

Explainer: For 10 years since the start of the Enduro World Series (RIP), international enduro racing has visited beautiful Finale Ligure on the Mediterranean coast, typically for the season finale, a year-ending bash in one of the world’s greatest combined mountain biking and ice cream tourism destinations.

But for 2023, the new Enduro World Cup (EDR) series headed to neighbouring Pietra Ligure for the third round of racing early in June. Pietra wasn’t entirely new to the scene – in 2020 it hosted a round of the condensed Covid-sticken EWS – but its trails were relatively unknown to riders compared with those of Finale.

The terrain in Pietra isn’t hugely different to that of its more famous neighbour – tracks wind their way through tight forests, dipping and diving through the undulations and changing from earthy soil way up high to fierce rock and sand right down on the coast. In other words, it’s a lot of fun and a proper test for enduro racers, especially when they’re faced with over 2,000 metres of climbing and even more descending across six stages in a tough, hot, one-day race.

With the weekend being a national holiday in Italy, town was packed with beachgoers while the EDR-ers headed out early on Saturday 3 June to catch a shuttle into the hills. From the shuttle drop off at around 800 metres altitude, they then pedalled ten-or-so kilometres before dropping into the first two stages. These opening two were long and physical; the final four stages, down the mountain on the edge of Pietra, were short, sharp, punchy affairs.

Morgane Charre dominated the first two stages, building a sizeable lead over local hero Gloria Scarsi in second place, a gap that would prove unbeatable all day. Scarsi tried and tried but she couldn’t eek enough time out of the short final four stages; she finished second in the race (with one stage win), her best-ever top-level (EWS or EDR) result, sending the amassed crowds into a frenzy. Isabeau Courdurier kept it consistent with top results and a stage win to take third place. Meanwhile, Raphaela Richter won two stages and finished fourth and the 2020 Pietra winner Mélanie Pugin took fifth.

In the elite men’s race, Jesse Melamed stamped his authority after calling out riders for practicing the trails in the weeks before the race. Melamed won two stages and fended off attacks from Rhys Verner and Alex Rudeau, all three adept in the tight tech trees. Verner’s result – second place, with two stage wins – was his best-ever and showed that his confidence and form continue to build. Rudeau stepped onto the podium in third and couldn’t have looked happier. Dimitri ‘Party Boy’ Tordo and Charlie Murray rounded out the top five in that order with brilliant rides.

Congratulations to the riders and organisation for a fantastic event and get well soon to riders injured. For our full report and photo selection, stay tuned for our new Enduro World Cup book, The World Stage 6, which we’re working on now and will be available for pre-order during the summer. Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram and sign up to our newsletters for out Notes emails (event previews with info, rumours and photos). Thanks for the support!

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