Three days racing, but also a lot of fun in holiday-mood; That is the goal of the three-day Enduro race, Sierra Enduro, which takes place on the 23rd to 26th October 2014, for the first time in the valleys of Las Alpujarras at the foot of the Sierra Nevada in Southern Spain.


The idea of an Enduro race has haunted Michael Saunders from Switchbacks Holidays already for some time, but the initial spark was still missing. Only when Lee Jordan, in those days a guest at Switchbacks now co-organizer, expressed the idea of an Enduro race, the spark has jumped and the two have tackled the challenge of a 3-day multiple stage timed race. The perfect conditions for this are lying at Michael’s doorstep. For nearly 15 years, the Canadian has been leading a Bike Holiday Company, Switchbacks Holiday in Bubiòn in Southern Spain.

“The region is simply ideal for a race. The weather, the trails, the environment; everything is right,” he says about his second home. Here, the bikers will find what defines Enduro: natural singletracks which are not predictable, a constantly changing underground, technical mountain biking which has nothing to do with bike parks. “You can not just flame around the corner and expect a beautiful groomed piece following it. You must be able to react to surprises.” Flowy high-speed passages, 180 degrees switchbacks, loose ground, canyons with their river beds; just original mountain biking! And just on these trails the Sierra Enduro Challenge takes place from 23 to 26th of October.


The mountain village Bubiòn where the riders will be accommodated throughout the race, is with its 1300 meters of altitude not just around the corner. Malaga, and thus the nearest airport is a two hours drive away. But just this seclusion and biking in the wonderful and nearly untouched nature Apart from the racing thoughts fun is a major paramount at “Sierra Enduro”. “I want it to be a Mates-Race. A group of friends shall go traveling for a week, enjoying the time together on the bike and joining a race in the same time”, explains Michael. For this reason, times will only be taken at the downhill sections. There will be no time window in which the riders must appear at the start of the next stage. “So riders can wait after the descents for their friends and master the uphills chatting an enjoying together” A Enduro Race, packed in a holiday; like at Megavalanche or at the Trans-Provence.

Ladies first

The trails on the different stages will contain fast, predictable passages, but also tricky and partially exposed rockgardens and switchbacks. Big jumps or drops are not to be found. “And if it gets too technical for somebody, you can dismount your bike and walk everywhere,” relativized Michael. “However the tracks are challenging and the riders must be well acquainted with their bikes.”
Further “Sierra Enduro” takes a big focus on the ladies. Female Rides don’t just only a category mentioned on the side, but get their own trophy and leader’s jersey, their own Lady-sponsors like ION Clothing oder MTB4HER and there will be a special Ladies package for them to book including an exclusive 2-day “Ladies-only coaching” in the region where the race takes place.


Racing with the pros

The “Sierra Enduro” is not affiliated with any official tour. It is an individual race, with neither getting any points or big prize money. It is about the joy of a multi staged Enduro race and the associated experiences. The winner goes for glory and honour,” grins Michael. “You can win nice little prizes and every rider will receive a cool give-away as a reminder”. Therefore various sponsors, including “Chain Reaction Cycles, Banshee Bikes, Invisiframe or MBUK stand for the “Sierra Enduro”. The timing will be done by the team of “No Fuss Events”, which are also responsible for the timing of the Scottish Enduro Series. The “Sierra Enduro”-Team expects riders from all over Europe: “In addition to the UK-Riders, we’re gonna have people from Scandinavia, Germany, Switzerland and Austria. 65 positions are assigned and some of them will be occupied by distinguished names of the Enduro scene – The participation of Pat Campbell Jenner can already be confirmed. A race on the sweetest singletracks together with the best riders in the world and this at the conclusion of the racing season.


The “Sierra Enduro” not only takes place at the end of a long race season, but is also the season finale of Switchbacks. With the closing lights of Sierra Enduro Michael Saunders retreats to his winter quarters in Malaga and runs his Downhill Holiday-Company until the end of April. The Final party will therefore definitely not turn out too small …

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Words: Sierra Enduro PR

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