Monster Energy’s Sam Hill (AUS) has taken home another win at the Enduro World Series (EWS) round 4 in Petzen (Austria) and Jamnica (Slovenia). The first ever EWS stop to take place in two countries over two days allowed Hill to dominate trails in both countries over the weekend.
Round four marks the halfway point of the 2018 Enduro World Series and is the first time an EWS race has crossed borders – encompassing both Austria and Slovenia. Riders got to traverse directly through Peca Mountain using lights to guide their way.
Featuring six stages over two days, riders were faced with an incredibly diverse range of terrain. The fresh trails of this Eastern European mountain bike heaven came alive over the weekend as 500 of the world’s best enduro riders descended on the region. Rain earlier in the week made the fresh loam as slippery as it gets, especially as the dirt made way for the network of spider web like roots to come out to keep things challenging. Over 56 minutes of total race time, and an underground mine shaft liaison made sure that this weekend would be one racers would not soon forget.
Hill was locked in a battle all weekend, winning 3 of 6 stages convincingly, including the penultimate stage 6, a 13-minute lung buster down the steep, technical tracks at the Petzen gondola. With over 3000’ in descending, it was enough for Hill to build on his 1.6-second lead considerably and take home the overall win by 10.58 seconds. When asked how he felt going into the last stage with only a small margin, Hill said, “That should be plenty.”
After catching his breathe in the finish the Aussie legend talked about his weekend.
“This weekend was awesome,” said Hill. “I really enjoyed the tracks and stages here and had a close battle with Martin Maes all weekend. I was really happy to beat him on the last stage and take the overall. I just tried to stay focused when it came down to the last one, which is about 15 minutes long. I had to keep my cool.” After banging up his ankle in the first day’s racing, Hill had to come out of the gate tentatively this morning.
“I was a bit nervous this morning and took it easy on it on the first stage,” continued Hill. "I didn’t want to go down and catch it again. Martin made up a lot of time on me on the first stage this morning and I had to try and hang onto it. After that I got fired up and my ankle loosened up a bit. I don’t want to play it safe and just focus on the overall; I’m going to try and go out and win races and hopefully it goes my way when we get to the last couple of rounds.”
Hill will now return home for a few weeks of rest and vacation before returning to Europe to race the Italian round in La Thuile in two weeks.