The Bandite Trail Area in Punta Ala awaited international racers of 11 nations to race the first ever European Enduro Series. Known from last year’s opening event of the Enduro World Series, Punta Ala offers some very challenging tracks. As official media partner ENDURO was on location to bring you the latest news! Read on to discover what the riders experienced during Saturday’s training on the four stages and the prologue race!

The stages in the Bandite Trail Area

While the pouring rain in the morning served as a strong reminder that it’s still April, the conditions improved throughout the day: The sun, the Mediterranean sea and smiling faces is all we saw after the first day! The four stages provide a very diverse and challenging course with a total length of 50 kilometers and 1750 meters of altitude difference (Amateur’s class: 30 kilometers, 1250 meters of altitude difference).

Racen mit Meerblick in Punta Ala
Great views on the trails of Punta Ala.
Feinste Trails durch Urwald-ähnliche Vegetation
Fun trails in a jungle-like vegetation – today was very humid due to the rain in the morning.

For the European Enduro Series, trail builders have opened some new trail sections to complement the trails from last years Enduro World Series. Flowing fast high-speed sections are as much part of the courses as gnarly tight segments, curves and challenging rock sections.

Die sandigen Böden lieferten auch bei Nässe ordentlich Grip
The sandy terrain offers a lot of traction – even after the rain!

Stage 3 is only for the riders in the pro-category, the reason why stands on a sign right on its entrance, stating clearly that it is the most difficult trail in the whole region! With more than 30 “enduro” trails in the region this is a bold statement! Although there are some very flowing sections in this trail, deep rock gutters alternate with steep and tight sections. The many different line options require a good memory in order to hit the right ones tomorrow, or some good reactive skills riding “kind of” on sight.

Cube Action Team Fahrer Ludwig Döhl vor großer Kulisse. Platz 8 beim Prolog für ihn.
Cube Action Team rider Ludwig Döhl finished 8th in the prologue race.
Beim Prolog war Treten angesagt - der Spaß kam trotzdem nicht zu kurz.
Pedal to the metal! In the prologue you had to pedal hard to finish in a good position – still fun though.

After the practice finished, the prologue race took place in the late afternoon. You could call it stage 0. On a super mellow and pedally trail the racers could gain (or more importantly lose) some valuable seconds for the race on Sunday. The fastest pro rider in the prologue was Samuel Shucksmith (Pro Ride Guides) with a 3:16.172, right ahead of fellow countryman Robert Williams (UK WTB Enduro Team, +0.263) and Daniel Wolfe (Specialized Ireland) from Ireland. In the women’s category it was Chiara Pastore (cicobikes-dsb-ion) from Italy who finished first (3:53.567), fastest in master’s category was Francesco Fregona (WeekendWheels ASD). Here are the full results:

Sam Shucksmith schnellster beim Prolog - ein heißer Anwärter auf den Gesamtsieg?
Sam Shucksmith (GBR – Pro Ride Guides) was the fastest in the prologue – will he be able to take the win on sunday?

Will the times of the prologue be representative for Sunday’s results? With four challenging and diverse stages ahead still everything can happen. Watch this space on Sunday for the latest news!

More info:

Words: Aaron Steinke / Robin Schmitt Photos: Axel Brunst

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About the author

Aaron Steinke

Aaron was our first employee and actively helped make our company what it is today, significantly shaping the look and direction of our various magazines. Aaron has been pursuing his own projects since mid-2020 but he continues to advise and support us on issues of marketing and technology. For many years, you would usually have found Aaron at casual enduro races, but increasingly you'll find him riding his road bike – long live freedom on two wheels!