The Canyon Enduro Extreme is known as one of the hardest races in Spain. When you look at the format you can certainly see why, not only does the race feature hard tracks, exhausting ascents and challenging descents, but also timed ascents and secret stages only revealed the day before the race. This is enduro racing at its fairest, equal conditions for everybody.
The Canyon Enduro Extreme has been growing in popularity since its inception, starting with 126 participants in 2012, 250 in 2013, and this year 351 riders took on the challenge. The organizers think that 350ish is the perfect amount of riders, so they wont raise the number of participants in the future.
The race consists of two main categories. “Extrem” which includes license holding racers, with tighter transitions giving riders who start in this class less time for the ascents. The “Endurance” category is aimed more at beginners, with 5 mins more for every ascent, which is almost half an hour during the whole race. Almost half of the riders started in this category during the first year. In 2014, most took the challenge and started in category “Extrem”.
On Sunday, 09 March, 351 riders took part in the third edition of the Canyon Enduro Extreme – with 1600m of ascent, a 31km loop and 4 stages, it was a big one. The race started at 08.30 with a brutal 55 minute ascent, leading to the first stage which contained 1km of fast pedaling single track with some technical steps followed by another fast single track and a final rocky section. Eduardo Cuesta of Canyon/BikeMadrid Team was the fastest with a time of 5’26” followed by Jacobo Santana Mondraker team and Rafa Molina Bikesupport team.
Stage 2 started with a 55 minute ascent which left the riders on top of the highest mountain around – 1360m – for the start of the exciting second stage. This stage was the most technical of the course. Jacobo Santana took the win, stopping the chrono in 4’42” followed by Eduardo Cuesta, Rafa Molina and Alberto Sepulveda.
A long 40 minute ascent to the third stage was next – a beautiful forest with many nice turns and berms. Very technical. Again, Jacobo Santana was the best rider with a time of 3’22” with Edu Cuesta, Tony Perez actual champion and Joseba León following.
The last ascent was about 40 minutes long, leading to Stage 4 which was very technical and very physical. 1km of technical rocky section followed by 2km of single track – fast, with a lots of pedaling sections. Then, at the end, 1km of very steep and rocky loose section. Every rider knew that this would be hard. And no surprise – Jacobo Santana was the fastest with an incredible time of 9’25” with Joseba León and Rafa Molina behind him.
At the end of the day, riders, families and friends enjoyed a big barbecue and made plans to enter again next year.