Year after year, Finale Ligure, Italy, marks the end of a long Enduro World Series season of racing that brings riders together to race around the world. Every year the EWS ends with the race to the sea on the classic Men’s DH stage above Varigotti in an amazing spectacle. The track is lined with fans for as far as you can see and the scene is framed by the glistening Mediterranean Sea below.
In 2018, it would be the final chance for Cécile Ravanel to be the first-ever rider to accomplish a perfect EWS season by winning each round of the series.
That season comprised eight races in different countries with a vastly diverse range of trails and conditions. Winning one of them or even winning one of the many stages, might be the biggest accomplishment of many riders’ careers. Winning all eight of them seems to be an almost impossible feat. So much can happen over the course of the hundreds of kilometres each rider covers during a season; a crash in practice or a small mechanical on a race stage can just too easily take you out of contention.
After an amazing season for Cécile, winning every single EWS round up to this point, it came all down to the last stage of the year. The classic Finale trail with its gnarly, rough and loose rock sections.
After a crash earlier in the race, Cécile was sitting in second by a considerable margin behind a young and hungry Isabeau Courdurier, who was relentlessly fighting for her first-ever EWS win.
Cécile put everything on the line: cutting through the crazy Italian crowds on this final descent, she managed to pull back almost 10 seconds in the overall. Just enough to come out ahead of Courdurier and make it the first ever perfect season in EWS history.
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