To create a great enduro race you need a number of important ingredients, good trails, amazing views and keen riders. This is the first time that Enduro has visited Kronplatz, and standing at 2275m with alpine meadows and dense forest, the mountain looks the perfect host for an enduro event. The organisers of Round 6 of the Specialized SRAM Enduro Series have put on an event that challenges both rider fitness and speed, with a climb on stage one that delivers a sucker punch to those thinking enduro is all about downhill! The Kronplatz event has embraced the true spirit of enduro to deliver a course that offers true variety with each stage, showcasing the unique riding in the region. Today was official practice over the 5 stages and with over 270 riders in attendance and the prologue about to start at 5PM the stage has been set for a weekend of exciting fast paced racing.
After the punishment of Stage 1, Stages 2 and 3 capture the alpine feel of the mountain, with riders feeling that the ‘hills are alive’ as they cut lines over alpine meadow and pasture, to the applause of melodic cowbells! After some tough transition climbs, riders are thrown into a trail that is the embodiment of high thrills, the legendary Herrnsteig trail, dropping over 1300m in just 7km, a relentless collection of berms, jumps and clever woodwork. Rather than use the whole trail which would be unfeasible as a single stage, the organisers have zoned off two sections as special stages. Riders would need to be on their game to navigate the maze of woodwork, jumps and fades at race speed!
While the big hitters of the enduro world fight it out in Winter Park for stage 4 of the Enduro World Series, a capacity list of enthusiastic riders have turned up to race in the heat and dust. Being just a stone’s throw from Germany the event has attracting a very large and fast German field, but walking around the pits it is clear that riders have travelled from all over Europe to race in this exciting new location.
It all begins at 5PM tonight with the start of the prologue. Check back on www.enduro-mtb.com for a full race report tomorrow.
Words and Photos: Trev Worsey