Remy Absalon in Chile

On Saturday December 22nd the final round of the 2012 Kona Enduro Montenbaik took place in
the famous Las Varas (Chile). With Remy Absalon among the starters it was clear that the race would be very exciting.


After the second round of the series in Valdivia, the possibility for Chile to host a round of the Enduro World Series in 2014 became a reality. The organizer Montenbaik decided to adapt to the standards required by the EWS, the most important change was to have over 18 minutes of special stages for the fastest classes of riders.


It was not easy to find those 18-minute special stages in “Las Varas.” Everyone said there were not enough trails, but after many hours on Google Earth and months of investigating the area several bike trails with excellent potential were found.
In the end the race had a distance of 40 kilometres with over 18 minutes of special stages and 1700 meters of climbing/downhill.


The transfer stages were hard, not so much for the time limit, but due to the steep trekking, the strong relentless sun and temperatures that climbed above 30°C throughout the entire afternoon. The special stages were technical and loose with little time for rest, especially “Morro Guayacan” a stage unknown to the riders, causing extra strain and fatigue due to improvisation on the 7 minutes track. This on-sight stage quickly knocked out several riders from the race.


The second special stage “The Eagle” was just as demanding, and of similar length. Looking back the
first two special stages determined the outcome of the race, riders needed to be exceptionally fit to handle 7 minutes of loose and narrow track with precarious rocks. In contrast Stages 3 and 4 were easier and shorter, a sensible choice as these stages had to be negotiated during night time.


The night enduro was a new concept for both the riders and the organizers. Between the day and night stages, riders stayed in a comfortable rest area, sited on the top of the hill close to the start. This generated a very cool
camaraderie among all “Endureros”. During rest times riders were able to discuss how fun the first part of the race was, and also to recover lost energy with bananas, apples, raisins, peanuts and water supplied by the event.
When the sun began to fall The “Endureros” fitted lights on their bikes and began to prepare for the 21:30 start at the top of stage 3. The general comments after the night special was how quickly you could ride at night with good lights. Amazingly, several riders had faster times for the night stages. This race was the finale event in the series and there was a tough battle being fought in the Elite category between Pedro Ferreira (Commencal SX) and Nico Prudencio (Giant Reign), each giving it everything to try and take the championship title. However, with Remy Absalon racing there was the possibility of him upsetting the positions. Unfortunately Remy’s 3 flats during the first link of the race put him out of contention.

3ra fecha Kona Montenbaik Enduro, Las Varas from on Vimeo.


In the end it was Pedro Ferreira who put in the best performance, his fitness and excellent flow on downhill terrain
resulted in an amazing time of 19:39 min, leaving him in first place for both the race and the
Meanwhile Nico Prudencio completed a tremendous race with a time of 20:23 min,
followed by Felipe Vasquez (Intense Carbine) 21:16 min, who made it onto the
podium for the first time this year, demonstrating that the 40 year old rider can still
compete among the younger Elite.
We must also emphasize the excellent result from elite 4th place rider Rodrigo “Coco” Cabello (Ibis HD)
another Master B who enrolled in Elite just to be able to do the special stages at night. In
5th place came Ignacio Rojo (Mongoose Teocali) who is beginning to show
more maturity and consistency in his enduro style.
Sixth and seventh were our French friends Remy Absalon (Commençal Meta
AM) and Jérôme Conreaux (Specialized Stumpjumper EVO) who ran the
whole race together helping each other when Remy suffered punctures.
With these results Pedro Ferreira was crowned as National Enduro Champion
2012, Nico Prudencio second and third Felipe Vasquez showing his
consistency over the three events.



In the ladies championship, undisputed leader Espiñeira Florence (Giant
XTC) took first place in the race followed by the dedicated Sarita Donoso
(Giant Anthem) who was the second woman to complete this demanding
track. These results left Flo Espiñeira as leader, followed by Sarita Donoso
and third Sofia Abrigo who is a very promising beginner in the Enduro.



The Experts group was dominated by ex-downhill rider Jan Guzman, who had already
won the first round, his time was followed closely by Diego Ramirez,
someone to watch in this category. Third was our friend and former downhill
rider Sergio Uribe (Giant Reign) who has consistently raised his level throughout the


In the youngest category only two riders managed reached the finish. Ignacio
Gili who ran his first Montenbaik Enduro was ahead by almost 3 minutes, followed by
Matias Saxton (Cannondale Jekyll) who came second but took the
championship without problems.


Master A

Carlos “Chikle” Niklitschek (Ibis HD) was finally able to get on the podium
taking first, coming in fourth in the previous two rounds. Chikle was followed by
the Commençal Team Manager Lesly Etchegaray (Commeçal Meta AM) who
was chased by the Three-Time Master World Champion DH rider
Sebastian Vasquez, on only his second enduro. The championship in this
category was led by José “Calufo Moreno (Pivot Match 5.7 Carbon), second
Carlos “chikle” Niklitschek showing consistency in the championship, and third
place Lesly Etchegaray.

Remy Absalon

Master B

This category contained the most experienced montenbaikers. Fabian Cabrera (Ibis
HD) finally was able to bring home a perfect race, victorious against second place Gerardo Marin
(Ibis-HD). Third came the Spaniard Sergio de la Fuente (Trek Scratch). For
the Championship, this category ended with Marin in first followed by De La
Fuente and third Fabian Cabrera.

Promo Master

Thomas Gleixner surprised everyone with first place against Felipe Barra,
who took second place in the round to win the championship. Barra was
closely followed by Sebastian Barriga. The championship was led by Felipe Barra
who did not miss an event, with Gabriel in second and Thomas Gleixner Convalia in

Promo Sub30

Tomas Abarca dethroned Felipe Fuentes (Cannondale Prophet), a regular at
Las Varas and El Durazno who finished second followed by Cristobal Barrera.
The championship ended with Thomas in first, Felipe Fuentes in second
and former downhiller Jose Miguel Mitjansthird in third.


The 220 XC were highly motivated for this event with 11 riders. Pablo Flores
confirmed his skill taking the win with a time of 23:41. Second came Victor
Galvez (Giant-Anthem) who in previous years had led the Montenbaik
Enduro. In third was Nicolas Spalloni (Giant-Anthem).

“In short it was an epic race, the organizers literally busted their asses finding new trails and organizing this tremendous race, including two unique night stages. For the riders it was very hard, but as the saying goes: what does not kill you makes you stronger. With its long and tough runs, the event is raising the level of enduros. Not everything was perfect and there are still many things to improve, but the event is moving in the right direction and organizers hope to continue to improve next year with a longer championship.
At the end of the Championship awards ceremony, the sponsor Comennçal
Chile donated a Commencal Meta Am frame (the same frame as the 2012
National Champion Pedro Ferreira) in a lottery between all the riders that
participated in all three rounds. Nicolas Montecino was the lucky Endurero
who won.

Organizers want to thank to all the motivated riders, because without them the event would
not exist, and would like to thank our sponsors who made this event possible:
Kona-Oxford, Kia, Commencal, Schwalbe-Giant, Ibis, Papa John’s, Fox-Terrafirma, Nuun, Mall Sport, Helly Hansen, Rario Horizonte 103.3″

Photos Animalejo and Juan Luis De Heeckeren Words Eduardo de Solminihac

Full results here:

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