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EWS Burke | Liv Racing Report

with RAE MORRISON

For the first time ever, the Enduro World Series traveled to the East Coast of the United States. Rae Morrison of the Liv Racing Collective made her way from Whistler, British Columbia, Canada to Burke, Vermont for the first of two races in the U.S.A.

“America is so big, and every state seems so different, I had no idea what to expect visiting Vermont for the first time,” said Rae.

But with top-notch accommodations and nutrition from the family of a former teammate, friendly faces, and the stunning green backdrop of Burke Mountain, Rae was able to put down her season-best performance to finish 8th.

The trend of incredibly tight racing in the women’s pro field continued. After over 38 minutes of racing, Rae was just one second away from the 7th-place finisher. She also had her best stage finish of the season, with a 4th on stage two.

Before racing continues this weekend in Sugarbush, Maine, we caught up with Rae to get her take on EWS Burke.

Rae Morrison in Burke, Vermont

Liv: How did your travel from Whistler and recovery go ahead of shakedown and training in Burke?  

Rae: It felt like I was straight off the plane from Whistler into this race. Whistler was super demanding on the body, so recovery was key. Monday morning, I did the Liv group ride, which was a great spin for the legs. Then we had a relaxed travel schedule to get to the East Coast, prioritizing sleep wherever we could.

Liv: How did the tracks in Burke compare to others you’ve raced on the EWS circuit?  

Rae: The climbing and stage times were similar to Whistler with over 2,000m of climbing. Vermont was a little shorter, with total racing time coming in at about 38 minutes versus 50 minutes in Whistler. The terrain was very different. Burke was a lot more physical with flat turns and pedaling.

Liv: What were the track conditions like leading into the race days?

Rae: We had rain a few days before which made practice and the pro stage slippery with lots of sniper roots and slick rocks. By Sunday’s race everything was bone dry and running very fast. The conditions were ideal.

Rae Morrison Burke

Liv: What was the atmosphere like for the race days in Burke?

Rae: The locals were amazing. We races felt so welcomed to Burke, there were so many spectators on the stages, and everyone was so friendly it was such a cool place to ride. I love racing in front of crowds and Burke definitely provided such a cool atmosphere and awesome event.

Liv: What were some of the biggest challenges of this race?

Rae: The travel from Whistler to the East Coast was easily the hardest bit, with only three days turnaround to get there and hope that all your bags and bikes made it. Also, not being 100 percent recovered from Whistler EWS to travel and race with a lot of fatigue was difficult.

Liv: You had your best finish – 4th – on the first stage on Sunday, what went right for you on that one?   

Rae: I had a good warm up beforehand and, mentally, I knew it was going to be a very physical stage with two climbs and a lot of flat pedaling in between. I just focused on keeping my momentum going the whole stage.

Rae Morrison in Burke

Liv: Stage 6 was the same as the Pro Stage on Saturday. Once again, you improved on your time significantly, for a 7th place on the stage and securing 8th overall. What was on your mind during the last stage of the day? How did it feel to cross the line for your best result of the season?

Rae: The times were really tight and I had been in 7th place for most of the day. I just gave it my all on the last stage, it was running a little bit dryer on Sunday and having already raced it once, I knew were to go. I’m very happy with my effort and the result.

Liv: What are your goals heading into the final stop of this North American block of racing and how are you preparing for the upcoming weekend?  

Rae: Again, it’s all about recovery. With only a three-hour drive, there is significantly less travel. But now this is our third race in a row, so the fatigue is there. Emphasizing recovery is priority. My goal is to keep this momentum going and keep pushing my hardest until that finish line is crossed.

All photos by Sven Martin Photography.

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