However, it also proved to be a difficult weekend for Enduro 2 competitor Ivan Cervantes, who recorded some disappointing results.
In what was the opening round of the Womens Cup in the EWC, Sanz faced stiff competition from her teammate Puy, the defending champion. Pushing hard in the challenging conditions the multiple trials world champion beat her rival on day one by a narrow nine-second margin. On day two their rivalry continued as Sanz once again placed first. With Puy picking up a one-minute time penalty in the testing conditions, the Spaniard eventually beat her French teammate by one minute and 17 seconds.
Entering Spain as the Enduro 2 class leader, Cervantes’ day one began with a big mistake in the opening enduro test. Crashing hard, he instantly lost over 30 seconds and dropped back to eighth place. Unable to fight for the podium, he eventually placed sixth. On day two his misfortune continued as a crash in the first extreme test pushed him back to 21st overall and 50 seconds adrift of the leaders. Battling back to ninth, Cervantes salvaged the best possible finish from a bad weekend but now remains third overall in the championship standings.
In Enduro Junior, Britain’s Danny McCanney found the speed and consistency to put himself on the podium again at the third round of the 2012 Enduro World Championship. Placing sixth on day one then a fighting third on day two, McCanney, now lies in third position in the 2012 EWC Junior standings.
A winning start for Sanz in Spain ©Enduro21.com
On a course that was more typical of French enduro than Spanish – rolling grassy hillsides and clay-based pine forests of the Basque country near Bilbao – McCanney had struggled on day one, feeling rusty after an enforced lay-off from riding due to injury. But on day two McCanney was back to his best, posting second-fastest times and challenging for the win.
Portugal’s Goncalo Reis finished 11th in Enduro 1 on day one but improved to eighth on day two while in Enduro 3 Seb Guillame returned from injury to finish sixth on day one.
Laia Sanz – Womens Cup: “I am very happy and quite surprised. It is true that I entered with the plan to try to win a race this season, but did not expect so soon, and less here, because although we are close to home, this area is more favorable to the French riders. However, we have learned to manage well the advantage in getting the Extreme special test, especially after the first step, and go without making mistakes. It was not to make mistakes and take no chances that it went so well”.
Danny McCanney – Enduro Junior: “That was a great event. I enjoyed all the tests, we had a bit of everything. It got really technical on day two as overnight rain and so many laps meant the course was very rutted out. The enduro test was long and very tough with ruts and berms like you see on a motocross course, but made slippery by the water that seemed to sit everywhere on the course.
“I struggled on the Saturday; having been off the bike for a while I felt uncomfortable and to push harder would have been risky. I was much happier on Sunday, more familiar, and I changed the way I rode. I?m very happy to be back on the podium, to be challenging the leader again. I?m really looking forward to Portugal now!”