Sharing the same ethos, Enduro Mountainbike Magazine will be following Team Life Cycle through the 2013 season, sharing with you the highs and the lows of life at the top end of enduro. This weekend was definitely a highlight as Manu won the Superenduro Pro race in Gemona. Congratulazione!!!
Before a racer, I’m a biker, I love discovering new trails and destinations… and Gemona is one of the best I have found in a long time!
It was a short PRO race, only 36km long, but it was more physical and difficult than the EWS race at Punta Ala. With tough stages and changing weather conditions, it meant I had a lot to think about in the build-up to the race. I went three through different settings on my bike, changing the shock and tyres, before I was happy with the bike.
In the race it was very intense, after a month of rain the stages were slippery, meaning you needed to spend your energy carefully and there was practically no grip. To earn those precious seconds, you had to ride at about 80% of the maximum.
I went through many emotions during the race day here in Gemona. I have felt like I could win for a while now, I knew I had it in me, and that really spurred me on in the first stage, knowing I could do it… When I emerged from the first stage, knowing I had won the longest and toughest stage of the race was such a high, only to be dashed by a small fall in the second stage. To have nearly lost it all for such a small mistake! Then on the third to regain the lead with only the short sprint through the streets to go! Just keep it steady, it was a lot of pressure and the two minutes after, waiting for Vittorio to arrive… It was pure anxiety, but hearing the announcer call my name was such a rush of adrenaline and then liberation! This is one of the reasons why I love to race, in one race you can feel emotions that you maybe would find in a whole year of a normal life.
I also need to take my hat of too the Superenduro staff and the organisers in Gemona. Such an incredible group of people, who work hard and are always ready with a smile!
We decided to head home Sunday night. It’s a long drive, about eight hours and it was just me and Vale racing this weekend. At midnight a wheel broke on the autostrada… We managed to make the first exit and just had to take the first hotel we could find, wait for the morning to find a mechanic. We followed the signs to the nearest motel, it seemed strange, but we were in no place to be picky. We regsistered, climbed up to our room and then couldn’t stop laughing… The room had mirrors all over the walls and the ceiling, even on the nightstand! It also had nightclub-style furniture and a 4x4m bed… It was the most absurd thing we had ever seen! It got worse when we turned the lights off as it was all lit in neon red… Well, what better way to celebrate a victory?
Words: Manuel Ducci Fotos: Matt Wragg