In 2013 after the Enduro World Series dust had settled, worn racing lines were washed away by rain and wind and a quiet calm settled over Punta Ala. However, at 9am this morning, Punta Ala was again the host for the first round of an exciting new series, the European Enduro Series presented by XS Power Drink. Excited riders lined up on the start ramp to battle it out in the red dust and rock of the challenging trails of the Maremma Bandite Trails.

Der Renntag begrüßte die Starter des ersten Rennens der European Enduro Series mit traumhaften Wetter.
Race day arrived and starters were greeted with fantastic weather.

The race was a big one with a 52km circuit, starting from the sea and taking in more than 1700m of climbing and descending, it was a challenging day that tested body and mind! The Bandite trail had been groomed and perfected for the race, and the racing was fierce. The area has been attracting visiting enduro riders for years, and with long unbroken technical trails, it is the perfect venue for an international enduro!

Yesterday riders raced it out on the prologue stage, a pedaly ribbon of singletrack that was all about power and speed. The top spots were a clean sweep for UK and Ireland, with Sam Shucksmith taking the podium, Robert Williams in second and Irelands Daniel Wolfe in third. In the Women’s category Chiara Pastore dominated the stage.

Racers arrived this morning to a perfect Sunday here in Punta Ala, with bright sunshine and vibrant blue sky. The wind, initially quite invigorating, calmed down a bit and the temperature was perfect for a days racing. The soil was not dusty nor wet, just grippy and fast – all is all, not a bad day to out on bike.

Die Fahrer konnten es kaum erwarten die gezeiteten Stages in Angriff zu nehmen.
Riders could not wait to get into the timed stages.

This morning as riders lined up to start, everyone was wondering if the Italian superstars, Marco Milivinti, Davide Sottocornola and the young gun Denny Lupato, would challenge the Brits for the podium. Stage One, “Tre Dita / 3 Fingers“ is a long ribbon of perfect but technical singletrack with a short but punchy climb in the middle. A true racers favourite, this trail is a joy to ride. From the beginning the British and Irish guys set remarkable times, they went fast through the transfers to enter the stages first. It looked initially that Sam Shucksmith would maintain his lead when he set a blistering time but the Italians had an answer, 2014 Super Enduro Champ Davide Sottocornolo came flying down the hill to what we all thought was an unbeatable time. It wasn’t to be so easy for Davide though, Denny Lupato came through to snatch a 10 second lead and an early victory from his fellow countryman.

Die Zuschauer am Streckenrand bekamen einiges geboten. Top Athleten aus 11 verschiedenen Ländern kamen zum Kick-Off der European Enduro Series.
The spectators along the course were rewarded with a great show. Top athletes from 11 different countries attended the kick-off of the European Enduro Series.

Denny’s tactics on the course were different from the British and Irish riders, he choose to take the time to catch his breath between stages. 20 Year old Vittorio Gambirasio helped maintain the Italian dominance coming in third.

Stage 3 was a stage that all riders feared, the longest and hardest section of technical single track on the Italian coast, well known as „Rock’Oh“, a long and sinuous rocky gully, where line choice is everything and mistakes are punished hard! Again the Italians kept on the pressure and took the victories on this stage. After a long day in the saddle, there was plenty of high fives and excited voices at the end of the final stage „La Torretta“! After a full day out in the hills and under the forest canopy, riders cruised their way down to the ocean, with sweeping views above the coastline and their final destination, the beach!

Denny Lupato auf dem Weg zum Sieg. Am Ende gewann er das Rennen satten 27 Sekunden Vorsprung.
Denny Lupato on the way to victory. In the end he won the race 27 seconds ahead of the second placed racer.

Both winning riders came from behind, but used the long and demanding course to overtake the XS Power Ride Prolog winners Samuel Shucksmith and Chiara Pastore.

Podium Herrn: Denny Lupato gewinnt vor
Podium Pro-Men: Denny Lupato wins in front of Davide Sottocornola and Vittorio Gambirasio.
Tobias Reiser vom Focus Trail Team landete als bester deutscher Fahrer auf Platz 9.
Tobias Reiser from the Focus Trail Team was the fastest German rider and ended up in 9th position.
Ludwig Döhl vom Cube Action Team musste erst kürzlich seine Saisonvorbereitung aufgrund einer Verletzung unterbrechen. Hier in Punta Ala landete er auf Platz 14.
Ludwig Döhl from the Cube Action Team had recently interrupted his pre-season training because of an injury. Here in Punta Ala, he ended up in 14th place
Podium Women:
Podium Women: Lorraine Truong won the race, Laura Rossin ended up second and Chiara Pastore third.
Lorraine Truong lies alle anderen Mädels hinter sich und sicherte sich so ihren ersten Rennsieg bei der European Enduro Series.
Lorraine Truong (Norco – Leysin) dominated the girls race, thus securing her first race win at the European Enduro Series.
Laura Brethauer vom Cube Action Team landet als beste Deutsche auf Rank 5.
Laura Brethauer from the Cube Action Team ends up as the fastest German, finishing in 5th place.

Again Punta Ala was a perfect place to host an opening round, for both spectators and racers. Everybody loves the Bandite Trail Area and the beach. European Enduro Series presented by XS Power Drink heads to the high mountains of Flims in Switzerland for the next race. Save the date in your diary – July 3rd to 5th.

Here are all the results at a glance:

Result PuntaAla Pro Men

Result PuntaAla Pro Women

All details and results you will find on the official website

Words: Trevor Worsey Fotos: Axel Brunst

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