The Northstar race featured five technical stages over two days on the dusty and treacherous terrain of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, including some of the most challenging steeps and rock gardens of this year’s EWS. It was a major departure from the rain, mud and slick roots of Round 6 in Whistler, Canada, but the Giant squad was ready with their new Reign Advanced Pro 29 bikes.
“I’ve been preparing for this race for a long time, and to get my first top-10 here in front of friends and family is the coolest feeling ever,” said Vezina after his 10th place overall finish. “I couldn’t have achieved this result without them. I am also so proud of my team, with all three of us finishing in the top-20.”
Vezina, a Canadian who lives in Southern California most of the year, was consistent all weekend, and saved his best ride for the final stage, when he finished fourth to move up into the top-10 overall. He and his teammates all wore the Giant Line shoes all weekend.
Josh Carlson was coming off his best result of the season, sixth overall at Whistler, and was able to put in a consistent weekend and finish 15th overall. He got off to a rocky start but came back strong on day 2 to move up the leaderboard. The Aussie is now 16th in the EWS rankings with one race left.
“What a weekend it was at Northstar,” Carlson said. “This place couldn’t be more different from the last round in Whistler. But my Reign 29 handled the terrain like a dream. I opted to run DH casing Maxxis Assegai tires front and rear, and my Fox DHX2 coil shock. I was stoked to claw back enough time to claim 15thoverall.”
The team’s third rider, Frenchman Youn Deniaud, finished 18th overall, his best result so far this year. The 2019 Enduro World Series concludes September 21, in Zermatt, Switzerland.