“Pietra Ligure was my first EWS race this season, and I was happy to have raced French National Championships last weekend to prepare for it,” Deniaud said. “I had a long two months away from my Reign Advanced Pro 29 while my ankle injury healed and it feels great to finally have that behind me and be in competition again.”
The Pietra Ligure race was the second EWS event in a season that has been shortened due to COVID-19. The series kicked off in Zermatt, Switzerland on August 30 and will conclude with the final round at Finale Ligure, Italy, September 25-26.
Racers faced challenging conditions at Pietra Ligure, a new venue for the EWS this year. They raced a total of five stages over 51.8km, with the timed sections featuring mostly tight, rocky singletrack. A storm moved in halfway through the competition, which quickly led to a deterioration of conditions.
“I had a great start to the race with a top-10 on Stage 1, and then it stormed hard 15 minutes before Stage 3 and things got sketchy,” said Deniaud, who raced on his Reign Advanced Pro 29 and wore Giant Line enduro/trail shoes. “At times it was so dark in the forest that it was hard to see, and the rain made it even more technical.”
The Frenchman was able to stay consistent through the final stages, ending the day in 8th overall. “I know I can do better in a few areas, and I have one more chance to improve in Finale for the last EWS of the year,” he said.