Hattie Harnden capped her 2nd elite season with a major milestone
In 2021, Hattie Harnden won two Enduro World Series races in her first elite season, and finished off the final overall podium by the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it margin of 0.32 seconds.
This past Sunday, she climbed that last podium spot, finishing fifth in Loudenvielle to overcome a slim 30-point deficit to the bronze medal position. Harnden took third on the EWS overall after winning two races and finishing in the top five in all but two rounds of the series.
Harnden suffered a puncture in Slovenia and an elbow fracture that forced her to miss the EWS round in Sugarloaf. Those setbacks cost her significant points to her rivals, but Harden was determined to make up the deficit.
“It was a really great weekend. It felt so good to make it onto the overall podium,” Harnden said after the race. “I guess I had a bit more fire in me to make sure I made it on the podium this year after only being 15 points short last year. It was a big goal of mine for the season and I’m super, super glad I managed to pull it off.”
As has been the case all year, Harnden was consistent in Loudenvielle, taking top six in five of six stages, including a second-place finish on the Queen Stage. The only misfire of the weekend came on Stage 4, when she suffered a puncture near the top to finish 21st, 32 seconds behind stage winner Morgane Charre.
Those seconds proved pivotal on a weekend when Harden was just 28 seconds out of third, but they didn’t dampen her spirits much.
“I’m super, super happy and buzzing off of it,” Harnden said. “The weekend as a whole was really good.”
A week after breaking her rim, Harnden admitted that the race in Loudenvielle was once again “a bit more eventful than I’d hoped.” Just like in Crans-Montana, Harnden’s rivals helped her fix her puncture. Fortunately, she was able to stop at the Trek Factory Racing pits before Stage 5 and get her tire replaced, allowing her to close out the weekend with a pair of strong stages.
Pedro Burns also wrapped up his EWS season in Loudenvielle. The upbeat Chilean rider has had a trying season following his recovery from a broken ankle in 2021. But he closed the season well, taking 28th on Stage 2 and 30th on the Queen Stage. He finished 57th on the day, but if not for a bad crash on the Pro Stage, he likely would have garnered one of his best results of the season after taking 30th in Crans-Montana.
“I’m really happy for Pedro,” Harnden said. “After his crash on Pro Stage on Saturday, he still put a really good day together on Sunday.”
Burns is still battling to get back into the top 20 of the men’s field. As he prepares for the offseason, he can feel confident that he’s trending upwards.
Both Harnden and Burns will be hungry for even bigger results in 2023. The season begins with two races in Tasmania on the last weekend of March and the first weekend of April, just six months away. We can’t wait to see what comes next.