Photo : Sven Martin
This weekend 16 year old Martin Maes not only smashed the junior opposition with a massive 5 minutes 40 seconds clear between him and the rest of the field but he firmly staked his place in the men’s series by posting an amazing 3rd Place by General Classification time. Maes finished the 2 day race only 28.9 seconds behind race winner and overall World Series Champion Jerome Clementz after 1 hour 7 minutes of racing across the toughest terrain the series has thrown up so far, dropping over 1000 vertical metres from 2800m altitude over tracks newly marked for the race which took in fast grass fields, technical rocky descents and some testing climbs.
Stages 1 and 2 started in breathtaking alpine meadows before descending on dusty and technical trails. Martin threw himself at both stages, finishing 2nd to Jared Graves on Stage 1 and 3rd on Stage 2. Stage 3 was wet after a dramatic Alpine storm, Graves lost around 40 seconds crashing on this stage but the slippery conditions suited Martin’s loose riding style down to the ground as team-mate Dan Atherton had predicted. This final section of day 1 was long and extremely physical which took its toll on the young rider, regardless he still managed a very impressive 5th on the stage, finishing the day exhausted but elated!
Organisers and riders were understandably nervous about what Day 2’s weather would bring but as riders left the start of the first stage the sun broke out from behind the mountains. Once again Martin made easy work of the loose conditions gaining 5th place overall in both stages, 4th overall for the day and 3rd overall for the event with 1st place in the juniors.
Enduro team mechanic Matteo Nati said “We stayed on clip pedals because there were a few significant climbs in the stages, but didn’t make many changes to the bike, we were pretty happy with how it’s been running, Martin was confident as always and we were both excited about the event – and now we’re very happy with the result!”
Martin agreed “It was very hard out there at times, very exhausting but I’m very happy now.”
Results – General Classification
1 Jerome Clementz 1:07:03:71
2 Jared Graves 1:07:15.4 +11.7
3 Martin Maes 1:07:32:61 +28.9
4 Fabien Barel 1:07:35:43 +31.7
5 Nico Lau 1:08:11:88 +1.08