The first race of the Specialized Enduro series 2013 took place on Sunday 30th June in Kouty nad Desnou. The architect of the course was Rob Trnka – die hard biker, whose mantra is the idea of MTB as a combination of freedom, adrenaline, fun, return to nature and friendship.
Sunday welcomed all the riders with huge night rain shower and cloudy skies. But all the 126 brave men and 9 women, who had to ride through the 39 km long course in time limit of 4.5 hours, were in good mood.
There were not only czech, but also worldwide known names on the start of the race: Michal Prokop (4 times world champion in 4X who now also competes in MTB enduro), downhill and 4X elite riders – Kamil Tatarkovič, Pavel Čep, Jiří Fikejz, Přemek Tejchman, Katarína Tothová, Tereza Votavová and many others. Also elite czech XC rider Jan Škarnitzl and his sister Jitka who came to experience something new – and they both started on hardtail bikes, which is quite unusuall. Former biketrial world champion Pepa Dressler and the course architect Rob Trnka were competing as well.
Some riders had to face not only the hard track but also technical problems. Because there is not allowed any assistance from outside during the race, many of them had to use their own repairing skills.
The riders had to go through four speed trials and their separate times from these trials were then counted together. They also had to watch the overall time limit of 4.5 hours and therefore suitably schedule time to take a rest. Unknowing spectators might think that the biggest favorites spent too much time resting on the square, but the opposite was true – this race was not just about fitness and technique, but also about choosing the right strategy.
An exemplary strategy was chosen by Michal Prokop, who bet on his experience from international enduro races and managed to win the speed trial 1 and 3, and gained the third position in speed trial 2 and 4. That also brought him 1st place in total. “It was as challenging as these races are supposed to be. The whole track was fun, there were sprint parts, physically demanding parts, which were little bit painful, and technical speed trials…but that all are real components of enduro. I have the opportunity to compare this race to races in Italy or the World Cup, and this one was equally hard.”
Courageously fought the creator of the track Rob Trnka, whom belong 11th place and his fellow and test driver of the track Pepa Dressler (third oldest rider by age but by spirit, heart and body forever young), who reached the 19th place. Media representative of the bike scene dolekop.com Filip “Keli” Švrček (whose little son also wanted to race with him), pulled out a nice 15th place, even with the starting number 133, which starts from the last wave…
As we already mentioned, there were also courageous women! All of them finished the race within the time limit and their performance deserves a great respect. Jitka Škarnitzlová gained nice second place, the first place in the women category belongs to Ivana Pechoutová.
We believe that enduro races will become even more popular in the Czech Republic and we can look forward to a great turnout of competitors during the second race of Specialized Enduro Series 2013, wich will be held 4th August in Šumava – Zadov.
Big photo gallery see: http://www.enduroserie.cz/Zavod_galerie.php?id=440