Dan Atherton was on unbeatable form this weekend as he took 5 out of 5 stage wins at Superenduro Pro 6 at Finale Ligure – the climax of the Enduro season.
The Superenduro race at Finale was billed as the biggest of the Enduro season. It certainly proved to be the most popular with 520 riders entered before registration had to close, turning away many more potential riders. This weekend’s event probably qualifies as the biggest Enduro race ever and drew a serious international field including Davide Sottocornola, Andrea Bruno, Nico Vouilloz, Curtis Keene and Alex Lupato.
The climax to the Superenduro season kicked off on Saturday night with a Prologue Event consisting of a 1 minute sprint around the cobbled streets of Finale Ligure to bring the race to the town. Dan came joint 2nd in this Prologue stage to the Canadian rider Tyler Morland, sharing his 2nd spot with Miha Halzar of Slovakia.
Sunday saw the real work begin with a six hour test consisting of five special stages over 50km, some of the best trails in Europe separated by some of the most gruelling transfers. The weather was fine and dry and Dan was keen to establish his dominance from the outset with a victory in the first stage – The Dolmen Trail. This stage is short but intense with fast runs interspersed with technical sections. Dan flew home 4.3 seconds ahead of Theo Galy and 4.9 seconds ahead of Nico Vouilloz. He explained “Last year I lost a lot of time on that first stage, I think with Enduro racing it’s important to get up at the first stage then everyone is chasing you. I tried to put together a solid run – hopefully the others will come together.”
It was a strategy which proved flawless for the GT Factory racing rider as he went on to smash stage after stage for a clean sweep and take a 45 second margin from second placed Davide Sottocornola.
Dan said “I’m very happy. I feel like a year of hard work has paid off today in my first victory on this circuit and I’m really excited about how Superenduro are going to develop the discipline next year – Enduro is going to go from strength to strength.”