PHOTOGRAPHY: DAVE TRUMPORE
The Forbidden Synthesis were up against challenging conditions at round two of the UCI Enduro World Cup in Derby. A sloppy practice day followed by a few dry days meant race day track conditions were tacky, but not the good kind. The team dug deep to battle the sticky ground, some very pedally tracks, and a few mishaps to come out on the other side with solid results. Despite the tough conditions, the team was all smiles.
Emmy was in touch all day and flirted with the top three across all stages. A big crash damaged her bike but not her resolve. She continued to push on through the day and finish 5th in ladies' U21. Her effort lands her in 2nd overall after two rounds.
"Tough day of racing out there. Physical stages and a couple of tumbles made for a hectic day. Still, always a good time to race the slick trails in the sun. Glad to have made it through the day and have the best crew making the day more enjoyable.
Insane times in Tasmania these last few weeks! Lots of highs with some lows in there. Loved the crew, the trails and the animals. The bike rode Tasmania like a dream and I'm stoked to have the season in full swing now! Looking forward to some island time now before more racing. "
A flat xc style enduro course isn't exactly a flat pedal downhiller's first choice for a venue. Regardless, nothing beats competing in front of your hometown(country) crowd. Connor pushed hard for a 24th overall on the weekend and now has his sights firmly set on the upcoming DH rounds.
"I’m really happy with how the first block of racing has gone for the year. To have two back-to-back Enduro World Cups in my home country is awesome. To land on the podium at the first round in Maydena was a special feeling, especially with the team finishing as team of the day. Round two in Derby was a lot harder for me. The tracks were very physically demanding with a lot of pedalling in the stages and very minimal technical free-flowing riding, you had to work very hard for every bit of speed. I gave it my best and ended up 24th which I was happy about. I’m looking forward to a few weeks off now and can focus on the downhill world cups full time."
Rhys struggled to find his flow on Derby's demanding course. Despite the struggle, he managed to land inside the top ten on two stages and was never outside the top twenty. Not bad for an off day. Rhys finished 13th on the day and is now sitting in 6th overall.
"The second round of the Enduro World Cup finished up in Derby and brought an end to an awesome trip. The racing in Derby was a bit more challenging than in Maydena, and I struggled to find the flow and speed that seemed to come easy in Maydena. The stages were much flatter, more pedally, and shorter so I wouldn’t say they suited me as well as Maydena’s did. All in all, it was a mostly clean race, and I still finished up 13th. Not exactly what I was hoping for, but also not too bad, and I’m still sitting 6th overall in the series which is a good place to be. I’m looking forward to heading home and I’m more motivated than ever to get to work on some of the areas I think I can improve.
This whole Tasmania block of racing has been some of the most fun racing, and potentially a career-high in Maydena with the entire team's success. In Maydena, I came down and went into the hot seat, and then shortly after that Connor came down and knocked me out. But in doing so we had guaranteed ourselves 3rd and 4th. I then found out that Alex had his career-best finish with 13th, and that Emmy won her race as well: so it was really a special day to have everyone finish and be proud of their results. We even got a team of the day, which should not be taken lightly as that is very hard to do, especially against some of these massive teams. David did beat Goliath that day and it set the tone for an awesome season and turned a lot of heads. It goes without saying that none of this could happen without our amazing sponsors, mechanics, and everyone behind the scenes, but I’ll say it anyways. Thank you for making days like this possible!! Looking forward to more. "
Alex turned heads through the technical sections and is quickly becoming a crowd favourite with his style and finesse. The flat physical stages put his fitness to the absolute test. A puncture on stage 5 put a damper on an already damp weekend. He landed 34th overall and is ready to build on everything he's learned in the season so far.
"We shot up North from Maydena and arrived in Derby Tuesday ready to ride some more Tassie goodness.
It rained for pretty much the entirety of Thursday's practice, which kept things challenging but still had heaps of fun sliding in-between Derby’s surprisingly grippy rocks. Big thanks to Ant-man and Matty who grafted all day Friday to get the rigs clean and prepped ready for race day.
A lot less gradient than Maydena made for a bit of a pedal-fest. I pushed on all day but just didn’t have enough in the tank. A physical day paired with a puncture on Stage 5, landed me into p34 ( thanks to the cushcore that kept me rolling ). 21st in the standings ready for Finale - already buzzing for it.
Thanks everyone for the opportunities!"
Team manager, Mathieu Dupelle and mechanic, Anthony Poulson were on the tools all weekend keeping the bikes clean and prepped for race day.
Complete tear-downs for the whole team after a sloppy practice session.
Team mechanic, Anthony "Ant-Man" Poulson couldn't resist sampling the goods on practice day.
The sun came out for race day and so did the Tassie fans.
Huge thank you to the team partners that make this all possible.