New Zealand and France win in the Men’s and Women’s races, while Italy rounds out the podium in third in the U21 Women and Master Men categories
With the Bluegrass Trophy of Nations and the highly anticipated battle amongst Nations Teams, the intense week of racing comes to its end here in the Finale Outdoor Region – a destination that year after year proves to be one of the most iconic in the whole of the scene, thanks to the warm hospitality and its quality trail network.
The Bluegrass Trophy of Nations, back to Finale after the 2019 edition, is a one-of-a-kind race. It is the most important team competition in MTB enduro and, for this reason, is one of the most loved by riders and enthusiasts alike. This year there were no less than 66 teams participating from 28 Nations and about 250 pro riders.
The 2022 Trophy of Nations Champions – awarded on stage the coveted rainbow jersey and the UCI medal – are New Zealand’s athletes Murray, Walker and Masters in the Men’s category and France’s Pugin, Charre and Courdurier in the Women’s.
The Under 21 categories have been dominated by the United States – with Haggart, Bingham and Bixler in the Women’s category and Chapin, Fisher and Keller in the Men’s.
Italy claims the third step of the podium both in the Under21 Women’s field with three riders from Valle d’Aosta (Pesse, Polo, Riva) and in Master 35+ category, thanks to Modesti, Rossa and Fruet – able to finish with an overall time of 1:56:20, only 0:03:02 behind the winners, Team GB (Lochhead, Edgworth, Austermuhle). Our fellow nationals Rossin, Ellecosta and Scarsi finished fourth in the PRO Women’s category, slowed down by some mechanicals at the beginning, but clearly picking up speed towards the end of the competition.
The race saw a number of dramatic twists and turns mainly due to mechanicals during the first two very long Special Stages – PS1 Fast and Furious and PS2 Megaroller – both located in the upper Val Maremola area. Together, these two trails total 13.3 km and 1,815 meters of descent – equivalent to about 26 minutes of racing: getting it wrong here meant making worthless any other effort.
Top-level performances and fierce, dramatic racing took over from the start, delighting a large crowd of enthusiasts that during the morning left the seafront and the Event Village to go and watch the action trackside along the Special Stages.
The Special Stages most popular with fans were certainly PS3 Final-Borgo and PS5 DH Men, easy to reach and so unique. The first Stage offers amazing views over the roofs of one of the most beautiful towns in Italy, Finalborgo, while the second, high above the town of Varigotti, really seems to drop into the sea. We are also glad to mention that, no later than this morning, this coast has been awarded the 2022 Blue Flag status in the person of Massimo Rescinio, the Councillor (State Property, Environment and Sport) of the Municipality of Finale Ligure.
In all respects, Finale Ligure, host to many prestigious competitions, has offered once again a main stage to the best of international enduro, this year also in its EWS-E form. Considering the amateur racers of the Riders Trophy and the riders of the Industry Trophy – together with those participating in the EWS-E races on Thursday – more than 800 people attended the event all together.
In addition to sponsors and exhibitors, the organizers of all main EWS races – in Italy and internationally – were present in Finale to discuss the future of this discipline and the developments for the next seasons, when new important changes will take place in the enduro scene.
The organizers of Finalenduro and the Finale Outdoor Region express their gratitude to all sponsors, partners, staff and volunteers, and invite everyone to join them again in June 2023, when Finale will be offering another great season of racing to the MTB enthusiasts. It is now on everyone’s lips: “Finale is always Finale” and on 2/3/4 June 2023 there will be the opportunity to prove it again.