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Small in stature but big in presence, 2013 Enduro World Series Champion Jerome Clementz had to sit a majority of the 2014 season out due to injury. Patiently waiting and watching as the worlds best battled it out for the title that once was his, Clementz diligently studied, prepared and fortified his motivation for the following year. As the 2015 season rapidly approached the former champion, without recent comparison to fellow competitor could only hope and assume he had prepared enough to prove he could endure the long, challenging and demanding race here in Rotorua, New Zealand for the opening round of the EWS.

 

 

"We train," said Clementz. "We don't know what the other [riders] do in the winter, but we try to do our best. And when you get a reward like this—winning a race and having all of the people cheering for you—it's a good feeling, I cannot lie."

Although nowhere near his native homeland of France, Clementz felt right at home in the six dynamic and varying stages of the Whakarewarewa Forest and seventh final stage in the Skyline Gravity Park.

"This is the stuff that Jerome really likes to ride," explained his mechanic Matteo Nati. "So we kind of got the setup on the bike sorted straight away—and tire choice since the beginning of the week of practice. Usually, once we get the setup dialed straight away like that, we've got a smooth ride."

After a full day of racing a mere 20 seconds separated Clementz and fellow countryman and three-time Downhill World Champion Fabian Barel with only the final stage remaining. Barel, feeling strong as the day progressed seemed to find his stride later in the day.

"The longer the day got, the better it was for me, because I was more consistent and solid on my runs—probably not as aggressive on the pedaling sections, but more solid on my riding skills. I think I finished [stages] 6 and 7 with pretty good times, and I won the fifth stage as well. It was hard at takeoff, but the rest of the day was quite good for me."

With only one final stage standing between Clementz and victory he used his matured experience and prowess to execute what would eventually become his final statement on the day solidifying the overall lead and victory in the opening round of the 2015 Enduro World Series.

Using SRAM XX1 drivetrain and RockShox Reverb, multiple EWS round winner and fellow country mate Ann-Caroline Chausson showed true to form claiming and solidifying her lead early on in the day to eventually take the win.

RESULTS

Men

1st - Jerome Clementz (Cannondale)

2nd - Fabien Barel (Canyon Factory Enduro Team)

3rd - Wyn Masters (Team Bulls)

Women

Ann-Caroline Chausson (Ibis)