Hattie, the youngest rider to ever win an elite EWS race, finished fourth overall
Hattie Harnden entered the 2021 Enduro World Series coming off a busy slate of cyclocross and XC racing. Changing disciplines never once seemed to knock her off stride, however. She took the podium in just her second ever elite EWS race, then won two weeks later (and then won again!)
On Sunday, she closed the season just as strongly as it began, taking second in Tweed Valley to cap the series in fourth overall, just behind enduro mainstays Isabeau Courdurier (third), Morgane Charre (second) and Melanie Pugin (first). Harnden was just 20 points behind Courdurier for the final podium.
“I had an amazing time,” Harnden said, summing her EWS season. “A great bunch to be with, so it was a great environment to be in all year. Obviously there are a few bits that were not as great as others, but I mean I did top 10 in every race, which is pretty awesome. I wasn’t expecting that. My goal was to get on the podium once this year, and I managed to succeed at that one. I ticked all my boxes, and even more so.”
As a 20-year-old newcomer to elite-level racing, Harnden should be incredibly proud of the results. She was in position to take her third win of the season, leading the race in Tweed Valley by four seconds over Rebecca Baraona heading into the final stage of the day. Harnden took fifth on the final stage, but couldn’t quite hold off Baraona, who won the stage to take the race by a razor margin of 0.32 seconds.
That miniscule span of time was all that kept Harnden from standing on the overall podium.
“It’s awesome that the women’s racing is so close that a half an hour racing comes down to that tiny little margin,” Harnden said. “I didn’t quite get enough points to get to third. So I was a little bit like, ‘Oh, that was annoying.’ But next year I’m like, ‘Right, I’m all fired up. I’m ready.’ [Laughs]”
With fall now here officially, Harnden is gearing up for another season of cyclocross. She is headed to Waterloo, Wisconsin, this weekend to race in the first World Cup race of the new season. She is hoping that switching her Trek Slash for the brand new Boone won’t be too jarring.
“I think it will be a bit of a shock to the system,” Harnden said. “But I’m going to do these few races, hopefully get a few points in the World Cup series and then have a break after America. Come home, have a break, and then do some prep for all the Christmas races that will come around in no time I’m sure.”
Harnden may not be slowing down much after her enduro season, but everyone else should take a moment to appreciate what she was able to accomplish as a rookie in a grueling sport. There is no one quite like her anywhere in cycling.
Jamie Edmondson takes men's U21 EWS overall title on final day
Jamie Edmondson is another young, multi-talented rider. He raced on the men’s elite downhill World Cup circuit this season at just 20 years old, and mixed in U21 EWS races between trips to places like Leogang, Lenzerheide and Snowshoe.
The Scotsman closed out the season on native soil, taking three stage wins out of six to win Tweed Valley. After winning Saturday’s Pro Stage, he was second on the overall standings. His 11-second win over Jack Menzie gave him just enough points to edge out Francescu Camoin, who took ninth in Tweed Valley to finish second overall.
“Hopefully next year I can keep the momentum going into elite.”
Before the race, Edmondson looked forward to performing in front of a Scottish crowd. Suffice to say, the RockShox Trek rider gave them a good show.
“Really excited to be racing in Scotland. After not having international races in Scotland for almost 2 years it’s good to have it back and the fans are better than ever!” Edmondson said. “Feels like the end of the season has come round so quickly which is a shame, as I was really enjoying it. For 2022 there is definitely more focus on DH but I’m still keen to do a few good EWS rounds.”
Watch out for Edmondson next season wherever fierce downhill racing can be found.