This week-end was bit of history for MTB, as the 1st Enduro World Series was taking place in Punta Ala – Italy.
Photos credits : Sven Martin / Pure Agency
The start list was as long as it was impressive: a mix of MTB legends (Anne Caroline Chausson, Nicolas Vouilloz, Steve Peat, Brian Lopes, Fabien Barel, Jared Graves ...), downhill top riders (Minaar, Faiclough, Blenkinsop, Bruni Gracia ...) and Enduro specialists (Clementz, R. Absalon, Lau, Atherton, Maes, Bailly Maitre). Nico Vouilloz was using for this special occasion his new prototype Spicy Team E:I Shock.
To make it short, the Italian organizers of this Superenduro could not expect better.
On Saturday, the prologue was ridden under the rain. The young French rider Alex Cure surprised everybody by taking the 1st place, in front of Fabien Barel, Cedric Gracia, Martin Maes and Nico Vouilloz, 5th. Loic Bruni’s 11th, Sam Blenkinsop 21st. However, riders are all very close. The top15 are holding in only… 2 seconds!
Sunday was as physical as it was technical. According to Nico Vouilloz “You had to speed up between stages!” The timing was tight for 50km and more than 1000m+.
In the special stage N°3, Nico unfortunately had a technical problem that put him out of the top20… In the stages 4 and 5, he pushed as hard as possible but lost too much time in Stage 2. Even though, he came back to the 19th place.
Nico explains: "It was a great launch! There was a bunch of top riders, a great atmosphere, and good tracks. I was unlucky on this special N°3 , whereas I felt good on it. In special 4 and 5 I gave everything but it was hard after spending quite a lot of energy in Stage N°2. "
The victory goes to his 'neighbour' Fabien Barel. "Fabien was above all today! Without my problems, I think I could aim for the top 5. I was recently injured his knee and I feel that I still lack a bit of pace."
Nico is already looking forward to the second round of Val d'Allos!
For LP riders from the Team Gravity Republic, that was a great weekend of preparation ... and results!
Blenky meddled among the top Enduro riders. He finished 7th, just ahead of Rémy Absalon. An excellent result given the few time he spent on the track the days before the race, in comparison to other riders. Blenky seems to be very strong physically, we’re looking forward to seeing the start of the DH season!
Loic Bruni was also in great shape, he finished at 22nd place overall, in front of many top DH riders (Gracia Minaar, Peat).
Emmeline Ragot, feeling already home on her 916 Spicy e:i Shock, took the second place behind Tracey Moseley.
Promising results before the important DH events!
Emmeline on the podium of the 1st round of the Enduro World Series - Photos credits : Sven Martin / Pure Agency