16 year old Martin Maes triumphed again this weekend in his homeland of Belgium where he smashed the 3rd edition of the Enduro d’Ambleve. Martin ended the day 1 minute 24 seconds ahead of runner up Nicolas Casteels who has won both previous editions. Local shredder David Galle completed the podium in third.
In its third year of business the Enduro D’Ambleve is already well-known for it’s beautiful setting and pulse-raising stages in the foothills of the valley Ninglinspo. 200 riders from Belgium, France and the Netherlands gathered to take on the weekend’s fiercest challenge.
The Enduro d’Ambleve is set over 7 stages that combine technical sections, ultra steep climbs, fast flowing track sections, scattered stones and tight corners. There is a huge variety of challenges across the course – with an impressive plunge from a large slab of shale on stage 3, a fast descent into and through a small creek and a quarry section particular favourites with this year’s participants.
Martin has already established a trademark riding style that is super-fluid and a joy to watch – especially as he seems to skip across terrain to gain ground on the older, more experienced riders. On several occasions Martin wheeled in both Casteels and the Basque Kristoff Lenssens – coming from behind in a show of strength and pure determination. Lenssens suffered bad luck this weekend with 2 punctures, ending up in 5th but it would be wrong to take away any of the glory from Martin – who is still after all a cadet class rider putting severe pressure on some of the toughest and most experienced Enduro riders in the country.
Summing up the weekend’s racing Martin said “It was a great weekend for me – I didn’t make any mistakes and so managed to take 7 out of 7 stages against some fast riders. Thanks to the good advice of the team I have a new, large bike which suits me better for the Enduro than my old medium size so this really helps. Thanks team!”
1st Martin Maes 22.47.57
2nd Nocolas Casteels 24.06.83 +1.24.26
3rd David Galle 24.24.85 +1.42.28
4th Daniel Prikjel 24.58.93 +2.16.36
5th Kristoff Lenssens 25.03.22 +2.20.65