The rainy weather and amazing geography of Itaipava mountainous area on Rio de Janeiro, set the scenario and atmosphere for the first stage of Shimano Brasil Enduro Series, a loop of 3 stages that is triggering the category in Brazil and Latin America.


Friday morning on Petropolis Municipal Park, organization and Shimano staff started assembling the MTB circus for the 150 plus riders previously enrolled in the race. The site of the event, just near the small cozy city of Itaipava, gathered fine conditions to host such an event like this: the city is already known for MTB tradition due to its geography, great climate and proximity to Rio de Janeiro’s city. The park with its beautiful surroundings offered good infrastructure with clean restrooms, nearby restaurants and bars and parking was also available.


Friday was a day for setting up the structure, checking the tracks and for the Shimano Neutral Service to adjust some bikes. According to Ronaldo Huhm, Shimano’s tech staff in charge of Neutral Services, there was not so many bikes to be serviced. “As it is a new modality of competition here in Brazil, nobody is really prepared and riders don’t know exactly will find.” Ronaldo reminded that riders were coming up to Shimano’s tent asking how much would be the services. On Saturday riders went for field recognition and to get kits and technical congress.


Regarding the competition itself, Ronaldo, who is also experienced MTB and DH rider made some comments: “The route was quite demanding. Lots of pedaling and climbs took riders by surprise. However everyone agreed it was a nice track”. Around 70% of the bikes ridden by riders were 27,5″ Enduro bikes, and the remaining 30% a mix of XC full suspension bikes that could handle the terrain.

Shimano Brasil Enduro Series #1

On Sunday the race was divided in transitions (D1, D2 and D3) and timed stages (E1, E2 and E3). Stage 1 was very technical, according to rider Luiz Felipe Viani: “it was along path with a climb right in the middle. The terrain looked like a jeep track, most part of it was inside a ditch and you ride at your limit all of the time. After descending until the bottom you had a climb of 26 minutes, taking you to Stage 2, that starts with a climb on a single track, and takes to stage 3.The final loop was made of a 42km ride with chronometer.


The event was recognized as a tough one by athletes and staff. Rider Luciano Kdra Lancelotti (ESPN) mentioned that it was in accordance to the name Enduro: in Portuguese means that something is “hard”. Also according to athlete Gustavo Astolphi (Pedal Urbano) “the whole circuit was very fun and difficult: that’s the essence of Mountain Biking. Riders had to count on their skills and make the best use of their bikes on descends and on climbs.”

Shimano Brasil Enduro Series #1

The 150 + riders were split into 8 categories: PRO, Expert, Women, Master 1, 2 and 3, Senior and Amateur. We finally came to know the first winner of the Shimano BES: Bernardo Cruz, Shimano, GT Bicycles and Red Bull athlete with total time of: 14min11seg454, followed by Nataniel Giacomozzi (HUPI Bikes/Santa Cruz) 7 seconds behind him, Ronny Renke (Shimano) in third with 15min04min440, Guilherme Renke (Shimano) on fourth place with 15min06seg103 and Diego Neumann (Pimp Bikeshop) with a time of 15:06.400.


Organizers were satisfied with the outcome. According to Theo Duarte (Santa Cruz Bicycles) “It was very important for this region to receive a competition of this level. This place has been a fountain of mountain bike XC and Downhill champions for the past years. We hope Enduro will follow this tradition. Also the city hall has given us lots of support. Of course, we have some points to improve until next stage in Santa Catarina state in august. Bia Ferragi (Viper) was the first among women.

Shimano Brasil Enduro Series is sponsored by Shimano, Viper, Hupi Bikes and Santa Cruz Bicycles. It is also supported by Session Brasil, Maxxis/Calipso, Exceed Nutrition, Specialized bicycles and Bike & Adventure. The event also is offered by Petrópolis City Hall, Sports and Leisure secretary, Tourism and Culture Secretaries of the city of Petrópolis.

Words: João Magalhães | Pictures: Pedro Cury, Ximiti

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