French enduro star, Jerome Clementz (Cannondale) won the opening round of the Superenduro Powered by SRAM 2013 PRO season in Sestri Levante, Liguria.
500 riders from across Europe took to the mountains above the Ligurian seaside resort to compete in a course that covered more than 40km of riding, with around 1,500m of climbing. Over four timed stages, Clementz, was dominant. Defending champion, Davide Sottocornola (Cicobikes/Santa Cruz), pushed hard, but after more than 22 minutes of racing across the four stages, the Frenchman held nearly a minute and half advantage. Last year’s number three-ranked rider, Manuel Ducci (Life Cycle/Ibis) rounded out the podium.
Italian young gun, Alex Lupato (FRM/Lapierre), was looking strong on the first stage, but a mechanical on the second put him of the running for the top spots. 4X World Champion, Michal Prokop (Specialized) made his Superenduro debut this weekend, finishing a creditable 49th in a discipline that surely doesn’t suit his incredible explosive power.
In the women’s race, the podium was dominated by the French. Pauline Diefenthaler (Cannondale) won by a margin of nearly two minutes, with her countrywoman, Isabeau Courdurier (Maxima Team/Santa Cruz) in third. Only Valentina Macheda (Life Cycle/Ibis) could break the French stranglehold, putting in her best-ever performance at a PRO race to take a well-deserved second.
Sestri Levante has been a riders’ favourite on the Superenduro circuit for many years. The picturesque resort on the Ligurian Sea is better known as family destination with its stunning beaches. However, in the mountains above the town there is an extensive network of mountain bike trails which are rideable for almost twelve months of the year.
Superenduro’s next PRO race is in a month’s time (18-19 May). The Tuscan resort of Punt Ala will host the second race of the season, which will also be the first ever round of the Enduro World Series.
Pictures: MATTEO CAPPE’ / SUPERENDUROMTB.COM
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