The final stage of the Enduro World Series (EWS) took place last weekend (Oct. 4 - 5) in Finale de Ligure, Italy and Jesse Melamed was there to finish off f his season on a high note.
He placed 37th out of a field of 240 of the world’s best enduro riders, happy to finish after his DNF result from last year at the race.
“(Last year) in the first stage, within the first 30 seconds I crashed out and separated my shoulder,” said Melamed. “This year was better than that, but didn’t go as well as I’d hoped. My goal this year was to make it through the whole race, after last year I just wanted to have a good fun race. I’m in school and don’t want to have an injury right now and just wanted to enjoy it.”
Since his disappointing result at the Crankworx Enduro in August due to a mechanical, Melamed had taken some time off the mountain bike in September before heading to Italy for the final of the seven-race worldwide series, keeping his fitness in check with a trainer and by riding his road bike. The course in Finale de Ligure consisted of six stages over two days and was compared by many of the pro riders to the course in Whistler.
“I think it was harder than Whistler personally, because there were two big days,” said Melamed. “The first day was 50 km and the second was about 45 km. The first day I got full on cramps like I usually get in the Test of Metal, so it was quite interesting. The next day started with a 1,200m, two-hour climb. It was a tough race.”
After racing all seven stops of the EWS, Melamed is now officially ranked 24th in the world. That result included his unfortunate mechanical at Whistler and a DNF in Tweed Valley, Scotland. His consistent performance at the other five races also helped boost his team Rocky Mountain-Urge Rally to second place in the series behind the Trek Factory Racing Enduro Team.
“I’m one to have high expectations of myself, so I kind of wanted a bit more (in Finale),” said Melamed. “I don’t want to finish that far back after I’ve had a couple of top-15 finishes. I have the pace, I know I can be there and I want to be there, but I had a good, clean race.”
But with sponsors happy, the team result and his top 25 finish, Melamed is looking to next year to hopefully better his performance and consistently make the top-15 ranking. Cross training during winter will be in full swing soon.
“This year I wanted to have a good consistent season, but it’s hard to not be happy with a top 25 overall,” he said. “I’ll take at least a month off right now to relax and let the mind and body recuperate. But it’s almost harder to take a rest than to not work out.”