The Power of Passion – This weekend me and Manuel travelled to the centre of Italy for the second edition of the Superenduro at Monte della Tolfa.
After the summer break for Superenduro, during which we have only been racing the French format of enduro, we were looking forward to coming home to Superenduro. It felt good to be back racing here in Italy, where the races are so well-run that you can just focus on your riding. I don’t like the amount of practice there is here in Italy, but this case it was perfect, just doing a few laps of the race course. We arrived on Thursday evening and on Friday and Saturday we were riding with the local riders, looking for lines, joking and getting to know each other. They were two great days, we could share this fun experience with new people. To finish the days with new friends and a beer was great. This is the side to enduro that I prefer!
Thinking of my season, I come to think of how many places, so many famous names, from both the world of ski or mountain bikes that have hosted enduro races. Then we come here back to the centre of Italy where, for some reason, enduro hasn’t exploded. To be precise, Tolfa is a beautiful, little village in a dry, hilly area, not far from the sea. Looking at the place with a tourist’s eye, you wouldn’t expect to find much, maybe a few restaurants or shops, but what is there for a biker? The answer is that here is something that isn’t found everywhere… There is passion!
This passion binds an incredible number of people together, people who love mountain bikes and who have started from nothing to create a really unique event. They believed when there was nothing to build on, lovers of the sport who were maybe also visionaries, who saw a trail where there was only bushes. People who are moved by the strength of their love for the sport to take care of every detail for the race and are willing to open their doors to you and share their passion with other bikers. Passion that is transferred by a handshake, while you talk to them you can see it in their eyes!
The race was hard, 40km with four special stages. This was maybe the toughest race on the Superenduro Sprint calendar! The hills aren’t steep here, but the stages were very physical with technical sections alternating with pedalling sections to put you to the test. There weren’t many women at this race, but it was really good to see new faces racing. My race was really rich with emotion, I had a big fight with Laura Rossin for first place. In the end I was able to take the victory! I really wanted this one, I got so much support from the fans along the route and it was really emotional for me to stand on the podium here in Tolfa!
Manuel unfortunately had to retire after a rock sliced through his tyre. But it didn’t dampen his spirits, it was different to other times when we’ve had mechanical problems as the support you receive from the public here is so good. In this area, the fans aren’t just riders, I think that this might be the race with the most public support of any I have been to. Here the passion is total!
We are really happy to have taken part in this race, because once again the people here have made us leave with smile on our a faces and a shine in our eyes.
Words: Valentina Macheda | Photos: Luigi Sestili