Martin Maes and Mechanic Matteo are in Matteo’s home town of Finale Ligure for the climax of the first ever Enduro World Series. The Enduro team are still missing Dan Atherton whose shoulder isn’t 100% race-ready after surgery but they are relaxed and confident as they settle in to the place that Matteo describes as “the best riding spot and life in the world!”
Martin goes into this final round leading the junior event by 3500 points to Brice Liebrecht’s 1540.
Riders: Martin Maes
Mechanics: Matteo Nati
Bikes: The GT Force. And if the weather holds they’ll probably choose Continental Mud Kings to optimise performance on the dusty terrain.
Race guide: There’s a detailed course map and guide on Superenduromtb.com but top line is that the course has everything, 60 km of riding, 2300m height difference, fast flowing woodland trails, steep descents, some major climbs, switchbacks, and rocky, technical coastal paths. There’s old favourites like the Dolmen trail, San Michele and the DH Donne and two new trails including the 4.1km Cacciatore vs. Guardia. Racing will take place over 2 days.
Yesterday was cloudy and not too hot, about 18 degrees – perfect for riding. The forecast is for this to continue with temperatures of 19-20 degrees and cloud until Sunday when rain is shown.
History. Finale has very positive associations for the GT Factory Racing team. The 2012 Superenduro here was the first time that Matteo worked with Dan when he smashed 5 out of 5 stages to take his first international Enduro win by a massive 45 seconds.
Martin hasn’t raced here before but he’ll be able to tap in to a wealth of local knowledge.
Current situation – team perspectives
Matteo: “We would have loved to have Dan back here with us this year, it’s a real blow for him but we are ready to do the team proud. I can’t wait for the weekend, I’m so excited and confident that Martin can do well here. Lots of teams have been here for a week already, the atmosphere is mainly chilled out, but I feel like it’s the calm before the storm..!
Martin: It’s great to be in Matteo’s town, he’s got all the local knowledge, all the best places to eat – he looks after me as well as the bike! I am excited about the great course that’s been announced, so the weekend can’t be soon enough.
Photos: Sven Martin