For the first time, last Saturday, Montenbaik Enduro had a venue outside of Santiago. It was in Valdivia, 800km south of Santiago.
The reception of the Valdivian people was spectacular, even the weather was on our side! A fully sunny day with a temperature close to 22 ° C and a cool breeze, were the allies of the riders to complete the 3-4 special stages and lengthy liaisons that had the riders riding their bikes for almost 4 hours.
Because the distance of the Special Stages were unknown to the majority of the participants, it gave a special flavor to the race.
Here we saw the true enduro riders who could ride and improvise well. On Friday, the tracks were open for the riders to walk and they were able to get a good idea of the type of terrain that awaited them next day.
More than 140 riders attended the race from Argentina, Chile, Spain, USA, France, South Africa and Peru. The race started in the main square of Corral, a small town a short ferry ride from Valdivia, which is next to the historic Fort of Corral built by the Spaniards in the 16 century.
There was an amazing atmosphere next to the sea, sunny weather, fresh wind, cold Kusntmann Beer, and many spectators and riders to enjoy it all.Enduro 2 (general class) riders rode up to the special stage JC (Jesus Christ) that was the longest and most technical, with more than 6 minutes on a variety of terrain, with great single tracks and rocks eroded from the Valdivian rain. These elements scared many, but gave a special level of difficulty.
The Elite and Enduro 1 began to climb to the Aguada Short-Long Special Stage (SS) that was faster and wider with a variety of lines to choose. The riders said it was like “surfing on the flow ” cause of the natural berms and jumps of the track.
The SS Morro perhaps had the most different types of terrain, open flat pine woods, ancient single tracks surrounded by ferns that kept the moisture on the ground, and had slippery rocky parts.
This venue had a record of women entries, seven ladies came to race, we are sure that this will open a new area in the South American Enduro and we expect for it to continue growing.
On this date again Florencia Espiñeira (Giant XTC ) dominated against the XC national legend Chichi Garcia (Specialized) who raced an enduro for the first time. Third came Daniela Rojas (Kona Entourage).
The Master-B category was led by Felipe Barra followed by the championship leader Gerardo Marin (Ibis HD) who is proving that his training with experienced enduro riders is paying off on the podium. Third came the Spaniard Felipe de la Fuente (Trek-Scratch) that is already very well acclimatized in our country.
The Master Promotional was rocked by local Sebastian Kunstmann (Cannondale Jekyll) who showed that being on home turf works. Second came Gabriel Convalia followed by Juan Ignacio Court (Trek Remedy 9.8) that despite having two crashes and forgetting his camelback at a check point could reach the podium for first time in third place.
Promotional Under 30 was also dominated by a local, Leo Antecao, who was followed by Vicente Zuniga and Jose Miguel Mitjans.
Experts were the most crowded class at this venue with over 30 riders. The winner of this category was Carlos Campos followed by Alfredo Merello and Javier Merelo came third.
In Junior only two competitors were able to finish the whole race, the winner Matias Saxton (Mongoose Teocali) established himself as the category leader followed by Matias Cabrol (Mongoose Teocali) who is just recovering from a fractured tibia.
Master A was on fire. Jose “Calufo” Moreno (Pivot Match5.7 Carbon) established himself as the category leader in the championship with two first places. Second came René Avila, followed by Lesly Etchegaray (Commencal Meta AM) who showed his skills as innate enduro rider, leaving several candidates off the podium.
The XC220 had hard times down the bumpy tracks. Here the leader Pablo Flores was followed by Patricio Gonzalez, and Alvaro Contreras came third.
The fastest category of the weekend was literally a luxury. It included Enduro “World Champion” Jerome Clementz (Cannondale Jekyll Carbon – Sram – WTB) and his teammate Ben Cruz (Cannondale Jekyll MX – Shimano – WTB).
Also competing in this category, the winner of the last two enduros Pedro Ferreira (Commencal Meta AM) and Nico Prudencio (Giant Reign) who had won the previous years and has always been on the podium.
With a very small three second advantage and surprising Jerome Clementz, the North American Ben Cruz won the 2nd date of the Kona Montenbaik Enduro 2012 in Corral, Valdivia, Chile.
The Californian Cruz beat his team mate, Frenchman Jerome Clementz, setting the time of 00:15:45 min (with a time of 3:05:53 hr excluded) from the 4 liaisons and 4 Special Stages, while the French specialist scored 00:15: 48 (3:06:30). Third was the Chilean Elite Nicolás Prudencio with 00:16:20 (3:01:21), followed by Pedro Ferreira Landskron with 00:16:33 (3:12:52), and the Chilean XC Legend Claus Plaut Guzman, 00:16:56 (2:59:11).
The Elite ranking is still led by Pedro Ferreira followed by Nico Prudencio and third Claus Plaut, who is establishing himself as a serious contender among the top three in the championship.
We saw many happy faces again this weekend. The weather was with us, the tracks were awesome and it was great to see new faces on the podiums.
A special thanks to our friends at Bike Adventura, Lemon Henriquez and Pato Kunstmann who helped us a lot with the logistics to carry out this race and as always to our sponsors Kona, KIA, Commençal, Schwalbe, IBIS, FOX, Mall Sport, Nuun, Helly Hansen, Papa Johns and Radio Horizonte.
We must also thank all the riders who traveled to Corral from different parts of Chile and Argentina and around the world. This date will surely become a classic of Montenbaik Enduro.
See you on December 22 at Mall Sport where we will have the participation of French Remy Absalon who won the Mega Avalanche 2012.
Photos: deheeckerenphoto.com, Text: Eduardo de Solminihac
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