The Specialized-SRAM Enduro Series 2014 has its first winner! In Terlago, Italy, just a few kilometers away from the well-known bike region around Lake Garda, the first race of the established series took place – and more than 330 riders came to experience the finest trails and high-class racing.
For most of them, the little town of Terlago was unknown; and the Specialized-SRAM series was visiting this place for the first time. “90% flow” was the promise before the race, and that’s exactly what the racers found. A diverse mix of fast and flowy sections, rocky passages, some steeper parts and short pedaling-sections put a big smile in every riders face. The great landscapes and views during the transfer stages played an important role too, the region around Terlago is a simply beautiful place. But with 1500 meters of altitude, about 40 kilometers and five timed stages (amateur class: three timed stages) the race course was more than a chilled sightseeing tour.
While both training and prologue on Saturday took place with the sun shining, rain began to fall during in the night and kept going on through most of the raceday. So starters had to deal with totally different conditions than those they found in training: the dusty trails from Saturday were now full of slippery rock sections, wet roots and muddy corners and much more difficult to ride. Also good time-management was important: riders who hurried on the transfers found the timed stages in better conditions.
So exciting racing was guaranteed, especially given the high-class field of riders. In addition to internationally known riders like Anneke Beerten (Specialized Factory Racing) and Michal Prokop (Specialized Racing) the who-is-who of the German enduro community found their way to Terlago: Laura Brethauer (Cube Action Team), Antje Kramer (Giant Germany), Petrik Brückner (Radon Flow Team), Fabian Scholz, Tobias & Markus Reiser (all Focus Trail Team) und Ludwig Döhl (Cube Action Team), just to name a few, the list is long! Also, many local riders were racing too.
And one rider, Marco Milivinti (torpado factory team), the winner of the first race of the Italian SuperEnduro Series had an amazing day. Taking only 25:10.65 minutes to complete all five stages, he was the fastest man in Terlago too, leading by nearly 26 seconds over Ludwig Döhl (Cube Action Team) and Fabian Scholz (Focus Trail Team) in 2nd and 3rd. Crazy: The gap between 2nd and 5th was less than 0.7 seconds – a big proof of the high level of competition in the Specialized-SRAM series.
Fastest in the Pro Women category was Anneke Beerten (Specialized Factory Racing) with a total stage time of 30:41.63 and therefore more than one minute faster than 16 year old Raphaela Richter (Radon Factory Enduro) and Birgit Braumann (Trek Gravity Girls) in places 2nd and 3rd. In Master’s category, Benedikt Purner (O’fetzn Racing) won with a time of 26:23.89 followed by Remo Heutschi (gravityunion.ch) and Guido Wachter.
The Specialized-SRAM Enduro Series will continue with its second stop in a few days in Laka Garda. Rough trails and even more top athletes will bring us high-class racing again – putting on a show for both riders and the many spectators of the surrounding BIKE festival.
More information and registration atwww.enduroseries.net
Words: Aaron Steinke | Photos: Axel Brunst