After five demanding and distinctively different rounds, Husqvarna E-Bicycles Racing’s participation in the 2022 eMTB Enduro World Series drew to a close today in Finale Ligure, Italy. Guido Tschugg earned another podium result in Masters, while Simon Carlsson ended his 2022 season in 17th overall.
Long regarded as a mecca for mountain biking, the iconic Italian trails are well known for being the birthplace for enduro racing. However, despite their beautiful coastal location, the trails of Finale Ligure are not for the faint hearted.
Littered with rocks, roots and slippery dust, they are tough to master. And with 12 stages, including three uphill power stages to master, round five was in many ways the toughest of the championship.
More podium pie for Guido
With a win last time out in the Swiss Alps, Guido was keen to earn himself some more silverware in Italy. Fifth on the opening Power Stage, he then worked his way up the leaderboard. Fastest in three of the day’s 12 stages, he finished a well-fought third overall on his Mountain Cross LE.
“Finale Ligure was a hard race, one of the hardest this year,” told Guido. “We were on the limit all day, with tough liaisons to make on time. But in the end it worked good and I finished on the podium.
“Overall it’s been a good season. I managed to take four podiums, including a win in Switzerland. Only a hand injury stopped me finishing every race. As a team we worked well together, learned a lot and always enjoyed the racing.”
Pro class battles
In the Pro class both Simon Carlsson and Alex Fayolle were determined to put in a strong performance in Italy. After a steady opening stage, Simon got his head down and punched in some solid stage times.
Pushing hard to stay inside the top-30, the competition was proving fierce. Three top-25 stage results kept him in the mix. But a slow puncture on stage 11 hurt his chances and he ended his day seven seconds outside the top-30 in 33rd.
“It was a very challenging race for sure,” said Simon. “Finale is always tough on rider and bike. On most loops I had a mechanical to overcome, first with my derailleur, then a puncture.
With finishes at all five rounds of this year’s EWS-E, Simon can be pleased with signing off on his debut eMTB season in 17th overall.
“Overall I’m happy to make it through the season and finish every race. This was my first year in the EWS-E. It was a big change to switch completely to the eMTB, but I’ve loved it so far. Of course there were lots of up and downs, but I’ve kept fighting through every race, which I’m proud of.”
For Alex, Finale Ligure was an up and down affair. Never one to favour the Power Stages, having three of them in one race hurt his chances of a better result. But showing his speed where he could, he managed to finish 13th fastest on stages five and nine.
“I’m happy to have finished this tough race in Finale,” told Alex. “The Power Stage is never my strong point and we had three of them today, which wasn’t easy. But where the stages suited me, I was inside the top-15 on times.”