With a growing global popularity Enduro spreads its net further! We checked in with Enduromediterraneo to hear more about the success of the first Enduro Race in Greece!
With 60 athletes and 3 Special Stages – the friendly atmosphere of Enduro Racing made it’s appearance for the first time in Greece! Starts were given to six riders at the same time, giving the opportunity for participants to pedal up in groups of 6 and talk about their times, about the track, where everyone fell, and where valuable time was lost. The weather could not have been any better with bright sunshine and a 30 degree temperature.
3 Special Stages
PS1 (2,6 km) was well known to older riders of the National Championship race which started from the mountain refuge. This year the track was cut in half, with a different lower section suitable even for xc bikes. The total length was about 2,6 km, and the finish was situated in areas even local downhillers hadn’t seen before. The best athlete finished at 3:58.
The next stage, PS2 (2,46 km) was an all new trail for the area, constructed in the last 6 months. The new sections were designed to please the novice but also satisfy even the most wild downhillers. Generally easy to ride, apart from one 20 m section that reminded racers that they were riding downhill trails.. The finish ended on an 200 m uphill dirtroad (a controversial move and something we decided not to do again).
Starting off PS3 (2 km), riders may have initially got the impression that they were in an XC race. But as soon as they pedaled over the first 50 m of uphill, they soon realized that this stage is not XC but enduro, with rolling turns, speed pipes, and mini drops, proper downhill oriented trails!
The whole atmosphere was really friendly, with contestants nothing like competitive, and father and son riding and racing the same tracks (a first for Greek racing), generally it looked like a new kind of racing landed from another planet. Any negative vibes before the race turned into a warm feeling of satisfaction and happiness. All the kind words we heard after the race made us stronger, giving us confidence for the creation of a 3 race series in 2014 in Greece. The level of riders demonstrated a more serious form of extreme cycling and a general turn towards Enduro type mountainbiking, just like as if someone pushed a reset button. The climate was really family friendly, something we are hoping to established on all future Enduro events, and we hope more and more people embrace it.
The participants had the chance to win unique gifts such as heart rate monitors, gift vouchers, stay at wood villages or spa hotels. They also had the opportunity to win an Intense Tazer HT frame with just a 2 beers worth ticket price. The lucky guy was Enrestos Sakelarakis who left Steni village winning this unique fire red Intense Tazer HT frame just with 5 euro.
It is worth mentioning that about 50% of the participants came from small towns all over Greece, which was expected as they are the ones who have closer relationship with nature, and from our side we will commit to selecting beautiful places for future races and events in organized villages and areas that foreigners would not hesitate to visit.
Words & Photos: Enduromediterraneo
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