One of the goals for the Yeti NZ Enduro Devo Team is to help prepare riders as best possible, so when they go overseas they have the best possible chance of success. Its an expensive business to travel to Europe and try your hand at world cup racing, so its wise to go prepared.
This year we had four riders (Bradley Harris in , Joe Millington, Dylan Walton & Ollie Jenkins)travel over for three World Cup EDR (Enduro) events, as they were close together and it made for a compact trip in central europe. Dylan unfortunately wasn't qualified for the Pro events so had to race the Open races, but decided to go and get the experience and make the most it anyway.
As part of the devo team concept, Yeti Cycles created an international Devo team and invited 2-3 riders from NZ, Australia and USA to form this team. We had to make the tough choice, but nominated Joe Millington and Bradley Harris to be part of this team. They had a team tent and mechanical support, had a team edition bike and slick team clothing. So a very cool opportunity and hopefully it really helped them.
The first event is in southern Italy, in Pietra Ligure / Finale. This area has hosted countless enduro EWS over the years and is renowned for brutal steep and rocky trails. Our riders struggled a little, but still pulled out solid results. Bradley managed a P54, Joe P31, Ollie P50 and Dylan P20.
One following weekend was the Lenzerheide, Switzerland. DH world cup. Joe Millington had his DH bike with him and had big plans to race the world cups that didn't have enduros, plus do the world champs. In his first attempt, Joe qualified 30th, which unfortunately meant he just missed out on the finals, as top 25 qualify.
The following week was Leogang, Austria which was the first event with both Enduro and DH. There was no Open race this weekend, so Dylan wasn't able to race. But the others rode brilliant, with Bradley taking an incredible P38 in Pro, Joe taking his PB with a great P11 in U21, and Ollie a credible P41.
Unfortunately the day after Leogang Joe had a little accident, where he washed out on a berm riding around with friends. Sadly it resulted in a broken ankle and the end of his european campaign.
The final hit out was Val di Fassa, Italy. Bradley managed P49 and Ollie a P48. Finally Dylan was back in action and took his best result of the Euro rounds, with a P15.
Without a doubt all four riders will be coming home with a huge amount more confidence and experience, so congrats to you all !
See photos below by Clancy Kelly