The stage is set and this morning riders from all over the world will be climbing out into the hills of Finale Ligure, to battle it out in what must be the highlight event of the season. Over the 2 days riders will race over 60km, with 2,300m of climbing and descending. Many top riders are estimating about 30-32 minutes of times stages so the action will be tight. All the trails have been cleaned and renovated by Blue Bike especially for the race and offer a diverse mixture of challenging terrain.
For the first time at the Finale Ligure Superenduro, the race will link together the four territories of Finalborgo, Borgio Verezzi, Varigotti and Noli. By bringing together these 4 zones, riders will be faced with every type of terrain found in the region, from the fast, flowing woodland trails to the rocky, technical coastal paths.
Stage 1: Is a true Finale classic, the famous Dolmen trail, notorious for being the first trail of this race since 2008. At 1.8km long, it is the perfect introduction to the race weekend. Starting with a fast pedal the stage soon starts to drop over challenging features. With a rough rock staircase and tight hairpin half way down it is a stage where time can be won and lost. The stage features a new finish compared to last year with a fall-line plummet onto a new trail that has riders battling through a tough jumble of large rocks.
Stage 2: Riders will then transfer about 10km, through Finalborgo and up towards Borgo Verezzi for stage two. The trail, “Caprazoppa” is a new addition to the race here in Finale, a 2.4km long trail that was first opened in 1997 for the Blue Bike Cup XC race. Don’t be fooled by the history though, it starts off gently, followed by a tough, physical section and then into a steep, intense descent. Check out Cube UK’s Scott Laughlands practice run of the stage!
Stage 3: After stage two riders must return to the CO for a time check. Riders will get a short rest, then back out and up 10.5km to Le Manie for the stage, “San Michele” which will also be the Red Bull Time Rush. The trail is 1.9km long and drops riders down into Noli. The first part is loose and fast, while the second part is a series of very steep switchbacks, deep gullies and rock features overlooking the sea.
Stage 4: Next there is a 5km transfer up to Le Manie for the last stage of the day, a lengthened version of “la DH Donne”. It is 3.8km long and starts in Bric Corvi and finishes in Varigotti, with stunning views of the Ligurian Sea to finish the day. Check out Scott’s run and look out for the near miss with a motorised wheelbarrow at the end!
Stage 5: Sunday starts with a 14km road transfer to a another new trail for this year: “Cacciatore vs. Guardia.”This is the longest stage of the weekend (4.1km) and the most varied, passing through Chestnut forest, Mediterranean scrub and into unforgiving limestone outcrops. Feedback from the pits is that this is so much fun that it easy to forget that you need to race, getting swept away with the awesome riding…
Stage 6: is a repeat of stage 2.
Cheers to Cube UK rider Scott Laughland for the practice course runs!