This weekend's race is going to be long and beautiful, with stages in Austria and Slovenia
If Round 1 of the Enduro World Series in Tweed Valley was an appetizer, Round 2 in Petzen/Jamnica will be a full-blown meal.
The course features nearly twice as much racing — 18.84 kilometers compared to 9.6 kilometers in Tweed Valley — across five stages instead of six. Trek Factory Racing’s Hattie Harnden and Pedro Burns are in for an exhausting weekend in the saddle beginning this Saturday, when they take on a mammoth Pro Stage that’s 6.09 kilometers long and features 1,088 meters of descending.
The good news for the riders? At least the scenery will be spectacular. There certainly isn’t a more unique race on the EWS calendar, with two stages taking place in Austria and three taking place in Slovenia. Petzen Jamnica is being featured on the EWS circuit for just the second time in series history, the first occurring in 2018. The lack of familiarity with the trails among the riders could lead to some chaotic racing in the Eastern Alps.
What happened in Round 1?
Hattie Harnden began her quest to take the final overall podium by finishing fourth in Tweed Valley. She laid down a series of consistent stages on a course that punished even small mistakes and put herself in position to climb into the top three overall with a good performance at Petzen Jamnica.
The course could suit her well. Harnden is a multiple-discipline rider who raced an XC World Cup not long ago, so she certainly has the stamina for a long, hard effort. She also has a habit of doing some of her best riding during the later stages of enduro races, as evidenced by several impressive comebacks last year. Look out for her to close strong on a long Stage 6 that largely mirrors the Pro Stage.
Pedro Burns is on a quest to become a top 20 men’s rider again after a long recovery from a broken ankle last June. He didn’t finish how he wanted in Tweed Valley, coming in at 63rd, but he’s getting closer to 100 percent healthy with each passing day. And more importantly, he’s having a blast riding his bike. Fun is fast, as they say.
“It feels so good to be racing EWS after a year out,” Burns wrote on Instagram after the race. “Even if I didn’t get the result I wanted, being back racing at the highest level just reminds me how much I do love racing and makes me feel hungry for more. Nice to have another chance to do it better in two more weeks for the next round! I am just coming back.”
How to follow the action
There’s no live-streaming available for the race, but there are plenty of ways to follow the action. The best and easiest is heading to the official site of the Enduro World Series, which provides live commentary and extensive pre- and post-race video content.
Saturday’s Pro Stage will begin at 3:30 p.m. local time/9:30 a.m. ET. Sunday’s racing will begin at 10 a.m. local/4 a.m. ET, and is scheduled to 5 p.m. local/11 a.m. ET.