Over the course of a dozen years working with some of the top athletes and teams in nearly every discipline of the sport it’s safe to say that we’ve had some incredible seasons. Yet, this year our mountain bike teams, Commencal/Vallnord and Cannondale Factory Racing, took things to another level in the World Cup series and World Championships. Taking the team overall titles in both downhill and cross country, the men’s junior downhill overall, in addition to nine individual World Cup wins, and a World Championship Title had ENVE on the podium at every single round of the series. The consistency necessary to achieve such results race after race is a testament to the ability of our athletes, and the dependability of their equipment.
In a season full of success at every stop in the series, it’s difficult to choose the standout performances, but we did our best to select three rides that were extraordinary.
Myriam Nicole’s season all but ended before it had even begun after a horrific crash in April that resulted in a severely broken ankle. Although she never made the start of a World Cup prior to the World Championships in Mont Saint-Anne, Myriam pulled off the incredible, and pulled on the Rainbow stripes jersey, after a nearly perfect run on a notoriously difficult track.
CFR’s Henrique Avancini taking down World Champion Nino Schurter in Andorra showed the Brazilian’s class and ferocity when a victory was on the line. Henrique’s aggressive racing put Schurter on the back foot throughout the race, allowing CFR’s Maxime Marotte to mark him and ride his wheel to 3rd on the day.
After a distant 7th place in round one, last year’s overall World Cup DH winner Amaury Pierron came roaring back in Fort William, landing on the top step. Not only did Amaury take the win, he did it in crushing fashion with a 3.5-second margin of victory. For World Cup downhill, that might as well have been ten minutes as races are often won and lost by hundredths of a second. Amaury’s result made it ENVE’s fifth win at Fort William.
What does it mean for us to have athletes winning the world’s biggest races on ENVE wheels and components? Having our product validated on the world scene is obviously important to us, but what we’re able to learn working with riders who are pushing the limits of both their body and equipment is where the greatest value is.
Without feedback from the previous teams we’ve partnered with, the Protective Rim Strip that allows Amaury Pierron to push his M930 wheels through the rock gardens at Snowshoe without a single worry of flatting wouldn’t have been developed. Working closely with Cannondale Factory Racing over the years led to the development of the M525, one of the lightest and most vertically compliant cross country wheels on the market that Henrique Avancini calls upon on race day, such as with his short track win in Andorra at round 3 of the World Cup. Developing a handlebar capable of delivering both the vibration damping and strength needed to scorch down the treacherous Mont Saint-Anne World Championship course, where Myriam Nicole pulled on the Rainbow Jersey, is all thanks to ride data from our athletes over the years.v
Our continued work with Cannondale Factory Racing and Commencal/Vallnord means that their success this season only fuels us to keep pushing ourselves to always be improving in order to deliver more to our customers and pro athletes. We expect our riders to leave nothing on the table, so it’s only fitting we ask nothing less of ourselves.
WORLD CUP OVERALL XC TEAM – CANNONDALE FACTORY RACING:
Manuel Fumic, Henrique Avancini, Maxime Marotte
WORLD CUP OVERALL DH TEAM – COMMENCAL/VALLNORD:
Myriam Nicole, Thibaut Daprela, Amaury Pierron, Rémi Thirion, Thibaut Ruffin, Gaetan Ruffin.