Gaining a fresh logo from which to promote the championship, it will now become known as the Women’s Enduro FIM World Cup and expands to four rounds for 2012, meaning that this year’s world champion will be crowned over eight days of racing. With the championship commencing next weekend, May 5/6 at the GP of Euskadi in Spain, we take a closer look at the main contenders.
Defending champion Ludivine Puy (Gas Gas) remains the favourite to retain the title, which she has won for the last two seasons. Puy has already declared 2012 to be her last season of competition and wants nothing more to cap it off with a third world title.
However, 11-time trials world champion and Dakar Rally victor Laia Sanz (Gas Gas) is very capable of stealing her crown. Runner up to Puy in 2011, the Spanish lady will be intent on giving her new teammate a real challenge.
Husaberg’s Blandine Dufrene, third in last year’s championship, will be hoping to become the spoiler in the Gas Gas party. Germany’s Heike Petrick (KTM), who last year finished fourth, will be hoping to reach the podium in Spain.
One rider sure to deliver a strong result is that of Australia’s Jemma Wilson. A member of Greece based INA TV Yamaha Racing, the young 22-year old two times Australian Womens Offroad champion will be eager to make a impression in Europe.
Adding in expected challenges of Jessica Jonsson (Gas Gas), Geraldine Fournel (Husaberg) and Juliette Berrez (TM) ensures the fight for victory will be as strong as ever.
The opening round of the Women’s Enduro FIM World Cup commences at round three of the EWC GP of Euskadi in Muntibar on May 5/6.
Women’s Enduro FIM World Cup
Round 1: 5/6 May GP of Euskadi, Muntibar
Round 2: 12/13 May GP of Portugal, Torres Vedras
Round 3: 30 June/1 July GP of Italy, Castiglion Fiorentino
Round 4: 20/21 October GP of France, Brignoles