Enduro is basically about having one bike for everything. A bike with the right balance: Light enough to climb every mountain and strong enough to smash it down on any trail! Enduro is about being free and independent from shuttles or uplifts. Enduro is about a common spirit every rider has and about fair play, like when you go out for a ride with your buddies and everybody cares about the others and can rely on their help. This first round is probably the most exciting and challenging event for enduro and enduro racing ever! There are nine world champions, racers of all ages and disciplines together in one special event, something totally unseen before! But there is also a risk, as all these highly professional racers have their very own approach to racing and all of them (and definitely more top-level participants) want to win. Nobody knows exactly how they will perform! If you think you know it, then check out our Enduro World Series betting game here!
Compared to downhill enduro racing is very different – or should be at least! But just before the race weekend we experienced more similarities than we wanted. The reason why you’ll read on the following lines.
Before we come to the great part of the event, we want to anticipate some constructive criticism of today’s training: In comparison to the enduro sport downhill is highly restricted, there are clear rules for training and training times. If you don’t obey you’ll get suspended – as simple as that! In enduro the stages are located quite far away from each other and it is hard to control them.
The tracks of this first Enduro World Series race in Punta Ala have been released weeks ago allowing people to come here to check out the trails and train – for those that have the time, money and will to come here! The result is that the chances for everybody and the general fairness are at stake!
During the press conference every rider was clear about the fact, that there was too much training and (possible) time for training.
But let’s get down to business: Training! On the uphills you saw only few people pedaling…
… like Enduro Mag racer Fabian Scholz. Nevertheless even he was looking for a shuttle. The reason for that is not that he’s to lazy (well maybe yes!), but more that the uphills on the sticky gravel roads are very demanding and nearly everybody did shuttle runs to save energy!
The way up to the stages had more traffic this day than the Autobahn between Stuttgart and Munich!
As always there are pros and contras for everything but generally this was way too much and is against the original enduro spirit of being independent from machines and respecting nature. If you want shuttle runs go downhill racing!
Over 60kms and 2.000 meters of height difference were the facts of the technically as well as physically very demanding loop in Punta Ala. Due to the weather conditions and the riders’ feedback the organization decided to cancel Stage 2 resulting in a 50km loop!
Especially on stage 3 clever line choice and a smooth riding style will pay off! Here we see Caro and Anita from TwinsMTBRacing checking some lines.
One thing was clear: You won’t be able to ride at 100% the whole race as the loop and the special stages are too demanding with their alternating conditions and mix of pedaling and technical sections!
Another challenge for all the riders are the fast changing weather conditions.
Soon we will give you some impressions from the paddock area and the big teams that have shown up here – making the test: How familiar is the atmosphere?
PS: Please don’t get us wrong. Enduro and enduro is amazing and we are really happy about how fast this discipline has grown. But as it is . We don’t pretend to be a teacher, but just want to give our vision of the facts and make people think about it! Of course there were plenty of people out there having a blast on these amazing trails and a beer afterwards on the beach!
Words: Robin Schmitt Photos: Matteo Cappé / SuperEnduro
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