The Opening Round of the Enduro World Series, Round 2 of the SuperEnduro Pro Series at Punta Ala.
This week Dan Atherton, Martin Maes and mechanic Matteo Nati are in beautiful Punta Ala preparing for “The biggest Enduro Race the world has ever seen.”
The Enduro World Series works by linking existing races into a cumulative points Series. This will be the first of seven rounds and has attracted a host of international riders from across all MTB disciplines and has generated a groundswell of excitement and expectation.
Riders: Dan Atherton, Martin Maes.
Mechanics: Matteo Nati.
Martin will ride the GT Force LE
Dan will ride his early stage prototype bike with 650B wheels.
Local organiser Thomas Daddi says “We will have the hardest race on the world circuit. The race will take place over six hours with 65 kilometers of trail and 1,800 meters of climbing, with five timed special stages plus the prologue on Saturday.”
The race has been constructed so that the five timed stages will be long and very different in character and the transfers will be tight enough to punish any mechanicals or lack of commitment on the long uphills
Saturday’s prologue will take the form of a 1 minute downhill sprint through the town of Castiglione della Pescaia.
Last night (Wednesday) saw heavy rains, there are thunderstorms forecast for today and Friday but Saturday and Sunday are predicted warm (23C and 21 C respectively) with light showers.
Dan raced here in 2012 when he was still fairly new to Enduro and wrote in his blog that it was “one of the most pedally races I’ve done so far. It was a 60k course with long connections between the stages – a lot of saddle time!”
He came in 4th to Andrea Bruno in an astonishingly close result over such a long race – Dan was only 3.1 seconds off the win.
It will be Martins first time on the course.
Dan said “I’m resting up today while Martin’s out getting to know the trails a little bit. Matteo and I rode yesterday, nice and simple , no dramas.” The race is even longer than last year but I’m pleased with how the stages are – there’s plenty of downhill for me and I’m loving the new bike, that week’s set up has paid dividends. – Matteo’s got it dialled and I’m starting to feel fast.”
Martin said “I’m excited, the season has been going very well for me and I like the part of the tracks that I have seen so far so it’s good.”
Thanks to SuperEnduro for the photos from 2012!