Harnden finished fourth overall after shaking off a few bruises
Hattie Harnden’s fourth place overall finish in Round 7 of the Enduro World Series took an impressive comeback effort.
She crashed hard on the opening prologue stage Saturday. And though she and her bike were fine after the impact (Harnden graciously shared the “epic fail” on Instagram), she finished the stage in 11th place, roughly 20 seconds back of race leader Melanie Pugin entering Sunday’s final four stages.
If there was any worry that Harnden might go easy on the Crans-Montana course that day, she quickly put the notion to rest. The 3.06-kilometer Stage 1 opened the day with a hard pedal followed by a very fast bike park section. Harnden set the tone for her race by taking the stage win over Morgan Charre, and jumping six places into fifth overall.
From there, Harnden battled hard on a course that seemed better suited for downhill racers at times. She took seventh and fourth on the next two stages to enter the final stage of the day in seventh place overall. Then on an extended version of Saturday’s prologue, Harnden stayed upright throughout and took fourth.
With the time she gained on the stage, she jumped three spots on the overall, and finished less than seven seconds out of a medal. Harnden was proud of her performance, particularly how she conquered the track that took her down on Saturday.
“I didn’t crash. I had a lot of fun. It’s fast up top. It’s awesome,” Harnden said. “I have no idea how I did, but I’m happy with how it went.”
Harnden’s first elite enduro racing season continues to be a success. Last week, she won EWS Round 5 in Loudenvielle with an incredible Queen Stage performance. Heading into the final two EWS races of the year — Finale, beginning Sept. 18, and Tweed Valley, beginning Sept. 30 — she is third overall on the pro women’s standings with two overall victories, two Queen Stage victories and four total podiums.
With the season winding down, expect Harnden to close strong, just as she has every race this year.
Florian Nicolai takes on Crans-Montana on a Slash AND a Rail
No one was busier than Nicolai, who raced the EWS-E series race in Crans-Montana on Thursday before tackling the EWS race on Saturday and Sunday. Across nine stages on his Rail, Nicolai finished eighth among the pro men, and crossed the finish line with style. Then over five stages on his Slash, and off one day’s rest, he took 28th in the EWS pro men’s race.
Nicolai enjoyed taking on two disciplines so much in just a few days that he’ll be doing it again in Finale this week. Once again, he’ll race EWS-E on Thursday before doing EWS on Saturday and Sunday.
Nicolai wasn’t the only rider to take out a Rail. Trek Factory Racing Enduro chief, T-Mo Racing founder and overall mountain biking legend and badass Tracy Moseley took second in the women’s pro EWS-E race, winning three stages along the way.
Moseley is also on the startlist for Finale. She’ll make it a thrill, just as she does every race.