Race Recap | Team Life Cycle at the EWS #2 and #3

The Team Life Cycle consists of Valentina Macheda and Manuel Ducci, life partners and partners in crime when it comes to enduro racing. This report from Valentina covers up the second round in Ireland, the Emerald Enduro and the third round of the Enduro World Series in the Tweed Valley of Scottland.

Following one path, in racing and life - Team Life Cycle.
Following one path, in racing and life – Team Life Cycle.

In the last two weeks, we’ve raced the second and third rounds of the EWS in
Ireland and Scotland – it was the first time in the history of the World Series
two races took place in consecutive weeks without a weekend off. On the one hand
it was a logistical advantage, given that the two races were geographically
close, but on the other, was very hard to recover the energy spent in racing and
practice in order to be ready for the second race!


I think one of the hardest things for an athlete is just managing energy during
the racing season, knowing when to focus on recovery and being able to pull the
plug before it’s too late seems obvious or simple, but it is not. When you’re
feeling fit you can’t give up, you continue to push yourself to do more and
more, until your body starts to send you signals and tells you that you are
crossing the threshold, and when this happens, it is better to spend a few days
to recover. After the Irish round, however, there wasn’t really time to do so
as there was only Monday and Tuesday to rest, most which was spent on travel and
arranging accommodation and food for the coming week.


Manuel and I were lucky enough to explore two fantastic places, the first was
Wicklow where we could find that even with only one hill 400m above sea level and
all on private land, you can create fantastic tracks, and the Irish team managed
to organize an incredible event with all the trimmings, most notable for it’s
wild and really incredible crowds! At this race, the weather was on our side,
giving us sunny days and springtime weather, which meant we were riding on
totally unexpected dusty trails. If Ireland’s weather was kind, we definitely
can not say the same of Scotland – in the village of Peebles we could enjoy all 4
seasons in a week and sometimes in a single day, it went from sunshine to rain
and even hail, and coupled with the wind, it was really cold, often with
temperatures around or below 5 degrees. In Sanremo, even in winter you barely
touch those temperatures, so we’re definitely not used to these temperatures
year round, and when confronted with these conditions we really struggled to
settle in!


Unstable weather aside, Scotland reconfirmed its position, as expected, as a
spectacular race – the guys at the Tweedlove Festival managed once again to give
us a perfectly organized event, with an incredible number of children during the
departure from the main stage, lining the trails and giving us high fives!


Practice in both locations was strictly pedal powered, without the option of
using vans. I find it very difficult to find the right pace in the race when
I’ve only ridden the stages once or twice, I know it’s the same for everyone
and I’m working to try and improve in this respect! In nine days, including five
days of practice and three days of racing, we rode almost 450 km between
transfers and stages, with more than 45 hours spent in the saddle, managing to
discover fantastic trails and breathtaking views! They were intense days with
weather conditions and constantly evolving terrain due to the weather, which
required considerable effort from all the riders who came to race these two


In both races I finished 22nd, unfortunately due to a wrong choice on the setup
of the bike in Ireland I couldn’t give my very best performance. On the first
day in Scotland I had a mechanical problem, which affected my first day of
competition, and in the second because of strong winds and cold, the race was
shortened by two stages, but nevertheless proved extremely intense due to sticky
but slippery mud which I was not very confident in, and so wasn’t able to climb
as high in the final standings as I’d have liked.


Now my world ranking is 16th, which is a great result for me if I think back only
a few years when I first got into riding, calling Manuel on the phone and saying
“I did 5 km climb!!!” and I was super happy – although I’m not the strongest
rider on the planet, I am very proud to be able to grow as a rider like this and
be able to share all this with my life partner who gave me this fantastic


Words: Valentina Macheda | Photos: Jeremie Reuiller

Did you enjoy this article? If so, we would be stoked if you decide to support us with a monthly contribution. By becoming a supporter of ENDURO, you will help secure a sustainable future for high-quality mountain bike journalism. Click here to learn more.

Deja un comentario