News

2016 EWS Team World Champions

October 05, 2016

​Photos by Matt Wragg.

Nobody ever said it, but after being runner up in 2014 and 2015, the goal at the beginning of this season was to capture the team title. The Rocky Mountain Urge bp Rally Team was gunning to be 2016 Enduro World Series Team World Champions.

EWS Round 1 Corral, Chile

Round #1 began with a flight to South America, and a few trips by boat to travel from our accommodation to the start of the race in Corral. The team would see 200km of riding between the four days of practice and racing, a big test of their off-season training. There was concern of a forest fire at one point, but when the smoke and the dust settled the team settled into their groove. It was a start much like the season would end in Finale, racing from the hilltops down to the ocean. 

  • Florian Nicolai — 5th
  • Alexandre Cure — 15th
  • Rémi Gauvin — 25th
  • Jesse Melamed — 36th
  • Sébastien Claquin, U21 — 2nd U21

EWS Round 2 Cerro Catedral, Bariloche, Argentina

We remained in South America for Round #2, Argentina. The race moved from the sea-side hills to the high Andes, with views and scenery to back it up. Argentina took dry and dusty to the next level, making grip and what was under the moon-dust unpredictable. We saw Remi Gauvin break into the lauded top 20 of this sport, and young Seb "The Claq" Claquin show he's got power and confidence when it gets rough. Jesse was carrying a shoulder injury, but pushed through.
  • Florian Nicolai — 12th
  • Alexandre Cure — 34th
  • Rémi Gauvin — 19th
  • Jesse Melamed — 48th
  • Sébastien Claquin — 1st U21

EWS Round 3 Wicklow, Ireland

It was time for a change of pace and to come back to Ireland where we've had good results, and incredible hospitality. Wicklow does a great job of using the little elevation they have to create a fun, technical course. Voted best race on the circuit last year, the fans really get into the race and make for a great atmosphere—nothing like hundreds of Irishmen screaming at you to motivate a sprint to the finish! With all five racers placing inside the Top 20, the Rally Team took 1st in the Team category and jumped into the lead for the team overall.

  • Florian Nicolai — 5th
  • Alexandre Cure — 10th
  • Rémi Gauvin — 19th
  • Jesse Melamed — 16th
  • Sébastien Claquin — 4th U21

Back to the towering mountains of Italy, in La Thuile, we saw the return of ALN (Andréane Lanthier Nadeau). She was out with an injury early in the season but was back and eager to race! With long punishing descents that would be more commonly ridden on a downhill bike, the La Thuile course put riders to the test. The big story this weekend was ALN. Maybe it was the espresso, or the pizza, but whatever fueled her hunger it worked, as Andreane landed on the 3rd step of the podium, proving that she has the speed and skills to play at the top!

EWS Round 4 La Thuile, Italy

  • Florian Nicolai — 5th
  • Alexandre Cure — 11th
  • Rémi Gauvin — 23rd
  • Jesse Melamed — 13th
  • Sébastien Claquin — 2nd U21
  • Andréane Lanthier Nadeau — 3rd

EWS Round 5 Aspen Snowmass, USA

The USA round is always a tough one for the Frenchies for whatever reason. Maybe the high altitude, or the different terrain, but we suspect it's the lack of baguettes, meat, and cheese. The tracks in Colorado are generally fast, tight, and loose—a big change from the steep, technical tracks of Italy. Flo and Alex pushed through to take respectable results, but it was Jesse who broke into the Top 10 for the first time. Another team win extended our lead on the category, and we headed north to Canada for the next round.

  • Florian Nicolai — 13th
  • Alexandre Cure — 26th
  • Rémi Gauvin — 12th
  • Jesse Melamed — 8th
  • Sébastien Claquin — 2nd U21
  • Andréane Lanthier Nadeau — 11th

EWS Round 6 Whistler, Canada

Whistler is our second home, and the first home of Jesse Melamed. The Crankworx EWS course is a monster of a race that takes a toll on both rider and bike, combining bike park and the raw, natural trails of Whistler and Blackcomb. Unfortunately another hand injury took ALN out for the rest of the season, so it was up to the five remaining riders to get it done. All the pressure or none, Jesse rode his race from beginning to end, knocking loudly on Richie Rude's door, and taking 2nd place! His first EWS podium, with family and friends surrounding him at the Whistler Village finish line. 

  • Florian Nicolai — DNF
  • Alexandre Cure — 105th
  • Rémi Gauvin — 12th
  • Jesse Melamed — 2nd
  • Sébastien Claquin — 2nd U21

EWS Round 7 Valberg-Guillaumes, France

The French side of the team was excited to return to their native soil. The legendary tracks in Valberg are steep, wild, and natural—an incredible venue for the penultimate race of the season. Alex and Flo bounced back from crashes and mechanicals in Whistler to take solid results in the maritime alps. "A lot of nose turn here at Valberg, it's really cool ride at home," said Flo. However, it was Jesse that stole the show, taking 3rd—backing up his podium in Whistler, and silencing any whispers of home track advantage. The Claq stayed consistent with another 2nd place finish in U21, and the whole team was fired up to bring it home. 

  • Florian Nicolai — 4th
  • Alexandre Cure — 10th
  • Rémi Gauvin — 24th
  • Jesse Melamed — 3rd
  • Sébastien Claquin — 2nd U21

EWS Round 8 Finale Ligure, Italy

A series of consistent results brought the Rally Team to Finalé sitting in top spot for the Team overall standings, but the overall win wasn't a sure thing. To make matters worse, Jesse was fighting a nasty illness. The whole team had to battle hard this weekend, but ultimately had a great race with three top 10s and the whole team finishing within the top 25.

  • Florian Nicolai — 8th
  • Alexandre Cure — 13th
  • Rémi Gauvin — 22nd
  • Jesse Melamed — 7th
  • Sébastien Claquin — 7th U21

In the dusty hills above the Mediterranean Sea, our little Rally Team took on all comers and sewed up the Enduro World Series Team Overall World Champion title! In the individual overall rankings Flo finished the year in 6th, Jesse in 9th, Rémi in 15th, and Alex in 17th. The Claq earned himself 2nd place in U21. By all measures a year we're massively proud of.

Mission complete. Finalé is a great place to finish the season. Whether you win or lose, you're at the beach in Italy, on the Mediterranean with great coffee and food, and your bike. This year we managed to win the Team Overall, and have some individual successes along the way. We'll look to come back next year with more determination, focus, and fun. 

Thank you to Florian Nicolaï, Jesse Melamed, Rémi Gauvin, Seb Claquin, Alex Cure, and ALN for an incredible year. Thanks to Lilian, Matthieu, Scott, and the rest of the crew—and thanks to Fred Glo for supporting this from the very beginning. The end of this season is bittersweet, with some of our favourite competitors retiring from racing. Salute to Anne Caroline Chausson, Nicolas Vouilloz, and Anka Martin for their contributions to mountain biking. It won't be the same without you on the circuit!

We would like to thank all of our sponsors, who have supported us from the first pedal stroke and supply us with the best parts available: Urge Bike ProductsMaxxisShimanoFoxStan's NotubesFTI ConsultingRace FaceRoyal RacingEVOC bagsSmith OpticsVal d'AllosOne Up ComponentsClif Bar7 iDP, and WTB.

See you on track next year!

—Rocky Mountain Bicycles & Urge Bike Products

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