>> While it was common courtesy to ride cross country as well as downhill at the beginning of mountain biking, a wide gap has formed between those two disciplines in the last couple of years; Caused by a gradual technical specialization, coming along with the development of fashion trends in each discipline. Nowadays, a single glimpse at the bikes is enough to spot the differences: except for two wheels, Cross-country and Downhill bikes have almost nothing in common anymore.

Two very different extremes. Practically! Enduro is returning to where the other disciplines once went their separate ways. In a very unique way, Enduro reunites the essential elements of the origins of mountain biking and adds some new ones, too: stamina, fitness, technical skills, style, competition and fun.
You could argue that Enduro represents the diversity of mountain biking, by combining the nicest aspects of all disciplines. For Enduro you don’t need extreme stamina like in Cross-country. It isn’t as technically challenging as Downhill tracks either but rather displays a compromise combining those disciplines and requires the rider to make this compromise as well.

More precisely: all-round skills and all-round bikes for all-round tracks. At the Superenduro race in Finale Ligure, the spark of hope was rekindled to reunite the riders of these disciplines.
Worldcup riders of all disciplines were present: Downhill, Fourcross, Cross-country. Their common purpose? Having fun at mountain biking!

They couldn’t have asked for better circumstances: sun, beach and Italian flair.

The night before the actual race, they organized a nice prologue. A night-race within the historic downtown of Finale Ligure, which most riders finished off with a cool beer and some delicious antipasti.

The next morning, everyone packed their backpacks and pilgrimed to the Piazza Principale, where the beginning of the race track was placed. Everywhere you turned: relaxed faces – hardly a racing atmosphere. Why would there be?

Superenduro is a racing format, which consists of several stages. In a nutshell: time is only taken on downhills. The transfer rides to the next stage simply have to be completed in a certain time range. In the end, the total time of all stages is going to determine the winner. In 2012 it is Dan Atherton.

The good thing about it: you can hang with your friends, ride to the different stages together, talk and have fun. You should definitely take some energy bars but of course it’s more delicious to stop at one of the refreshment stations and grab a slice of pizza, focaccia, cake or fruit.

Once you get to the start, the tension grows. The friendly chitter chatter ends, full-face helmet on, get on the bike! GO!

Rough, flowing, short climb, then flat – damn it – pedal! Finally, the finish line! The tracks are not only a technical treat; panorama and flow are not far behind and are definitely the icing on the cake. Compulsory full-face helmet rules make absolute sense on tracks with these kind of Downhill characteristics!

After every stage, you wait for your buddies and ride on to the next one together. Towards the end of the race, the time limits are smaller and therefore tougher. But as they say: misery loves company.

Marco Fidalgo from Berg Cycles

After half a day, 50 kilometers and 2000 meters in altitude (6500 ft), you have reached the finish line and gained 30 minutes of racing time in your calves. Battle-scarred but still with a smile on your face. Enduro races demand everything from a rider – no matter which discipline he originates from. In the end, they are all reunited in ONE discipline.

In ISSUE #002 there will be a further article about the race in Finale Ligure and the historic actions for the future of enduro, which took place in the background. Stay tuned!

More info: www.superenduromtb.com Text: Robin Schmitt

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About the author

Robin Schmitt

Robin is one of the two founders of 41 Publishing, a visionary and go-getter. While he now enjoys every second on the bike – whenever his busy schedule allows – he used to race against the clock at enduro events and a few Downhill World Cups. Besides that, Robin practises kung fu and Zen meditation, plays the cello or with his dog (which actually belongs to his girlfriend), travels abroad and still reviews numerous bikes himself. Progressive ideas, new projects and major challenges – Robin loves exploring undiscovered potential and getting to the bottom of new trends.