For the third time in history, Treuchtlingen played host to the Specialized-SRAM Enduro Series, kicking off the battle for positions that will last the entirety of the 2015 season. With exactly 550 competitors, this race weekend, organised by RCG Weißenburg, saw many of Germany’s top riders compete.

Michal Prokop zeigte bereits im Training eine beachtliche Geschwindigkeit.
Michal Prokop going fast in the training.

With many riders having arrived on Friday, Saturday gave opportunity for that much-needed training and recce of the course. Thanks to the previous week’s summer-like weather conditions, the track appeared dry and dusty, which – combined with some newly created and excitingly varied stages – ensured that riders’ moods were high.

Die teils felsigen, schnellen Stages kamen bei den Fahrern gut an.
The riders loved the rocky, fast stages.

After the initial training session, it started to get serious for the riders as 5pm heralded the start of the first race, the LUPINE Prolog. On a floodlit slalom descent, crucial precision was demanded in order to guarantee a clean and crash-free ride into the spectator-packed finish.

Gustav Wildhaber in einer der vielen offenen Wiesenkurven des Prologs.
Gustav Wildhaber in one of many open turns of the prologue.

With Daniel Ludwig (GER – Scott Germany) and Kim Schwemmer (GER – Herobikes) clocking the fastest times in the Elite category, Uli Hofbeck (GER – Herobikes) managed to convincingly beat the Amateur field. Amongst the Elite Masters, Walter Martinschitz (AUT – was the fastest.

Petrik Brückner beim stylen im Wiesenslalom.
Petrik Brückner throwing down some whips on the slalom course.

At 8am on Sunday morning the riders began their respective races with 24km and 5 stages for the amateurs, and 32km with 7 stages for the Elite. Spectator-lined, dusty, dry trails awaited the riders, and the atmosphere was rapturous, particularly along stages 3 and 4, which guaranteed high spirits and even higher speeds for the riders.

Nach dem Training warteten am Sonntag staubige und ausgefahrene Strecken auf die Fahrer.
On raceday, the tracks were dusty and bombed out.
Fabian Scholz (GER - Focus Trail Team) auf dem Weg zu Platz 4.
Fabian Scholz, last year’s series champion, trying to defend his title. In the end, he finished 4th.

By the end of the weekend the results were in and the Michal Prokop (CZE – Specialized Racing) took victory in the Elite Men’s category with a time of 11:37.05. Gustav Wildhaber (SUI – Cube Action Team) took second and Noel Niederberger (SUI – SDS Swiss Downhill Syndicate) completed the podium in third.

Das Podium der Elite Men.
Elite Mens’ podium.

Raphaele Richter (GER – Radon Factory Enduro) led the women’s category with a minute advantage, clocking 14:06.09 ahead of Monika Büchi (SUI – Schmid Velosport) and Kim Schwemmer (GER – Herobikes), second and third respectively.

Raphaela Richter auf dem Weg zu ihrem ersten Saisonsieg.
Raphaela Richter on the way to her first victory of the year.

The master’s category was dominated by Andre Kleindienst (GER – Endura BERGAMONT Factory Racing) with an overall time of 12:19.55. Second and third places went to Michael Meister (GER – Stuttgarter Härte) and Marcin Motyka (POL – Romet Racing Team). The faster Amateur rider was Benjamin Prescher (GER – Bensenpictures) with 9:11.04, ahead of Jimmy Lacroix (FRA – Specialized Workforce) and Hannes Suter (SUI – Scott Germany). Katrin Rahrig (GER – Haibike Enduro Crew) was the leading Amateur woman, beating second-placed Sandra Peverelli (SUI – Trailseeker) and third-placed Annette Dülfer (GER – BingoBongoRacing).

Die drei schnellsten Starter der Pro Masters.
The fastest riders of the Pro Masters category.

After this successful season opener, it is now just two weeks until the second round of the Specialized-SRAM Enduro Series, which takes place as part of the BIKE Festival in Riva.

Text: Martin Stöckl Pictures: Axel Brunst

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