Specialized-SRAM Enduro Race 2 - Lago di Garda

May 3, 2013
by Matt Wragg  
 
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While the first round of the German Specialized-SRAM enduro season was only last weekend, they didn't want to wait around for the second race, tying into the Lake Garda festival this week. It's more or less the start point of the European season and usually an excuse for the mountain bike industry to get together and ride bikes, drink beer and enjoy the stunning surroundings. This year the enduro race has been cranked up a few levels now it is part of the German series. A stacked field of racers has descended on the already rammed town and the start list for Saturday's race includes Jerome Clementz, Fabien Barel, Anneke Beerten and Dan Atherton. We spent the build up to the race with Anneke Beerten and the guys at Specialized as they prepared for what looks like it will be the biggest race of the German season and the last real chance to go racing before the first round of the Enduro World Series...

Specialized have a fleet of the new Enduro 29s on test here. They weren t taking any chances on their security so took them up to their rooms with them at night.
  Specialized have a fleet of the new Enduro 29s on test here. They weren't taking any chances on their security, so they took them up to their rooms with them at night.

To get enough runs in for training it was an early start for Anneke Beerten heading out before the town had a chance to wake up.
  To get enough runs in for training, it was an early start for Anneke Beerten, heading out before the town had a chance to wake up.

Rocky Mountain setting up.
Cube setting up.
  Thursday was setup day for the festival, so as we arrived to head out and ride, many of the exhibitors were just getting here and building there stands.

The world s best pizza delivery boys Both Brett Tippie and Wade Simmons are out with bust right arms but they re still here to enjoy the festival.
  We also ran into the world's best pizza delivery boys in the setup area... Both Brett Tippie and Wade Simmons are out with busted right arms, but they're still here to enjoy the festival.

With a 1 600m race course shuttles were the best option for practice. Fortunately the trails being used for the race are all easily accessible by road so a normal van was all that was needed.
  With a 1,600m race course, shuttles were the best option for practice. Fortunately the trails being used for the race are all easily accessible by road, so a normal van was all that was needed.

Lake Garda. No caption necessary...
  Lake Garda. No caption necessary...

This wins the week s award for best improvisation. This is such a simple yet effective way of making your own chainguide. It was being run with a triple rings setup and an old-school mech yet it seemed to do the job on the rough terrain here.
  This wins the week's award for best improvisation. This is such a simple, yet effective way of making your own chainguide. It was being run with a triple rings setup and an old-school mech, yet it seemed to do the job on the rough terrain here.

Zee Germans are coming Actually the Germans have been here in Lake Garda for a long time. There seems to be informal competition going on between some of the XC riders to see who can fit the most crap on their handlebars. The unholy combination of a riser bar and bar ends just finishes the look off perfectly.
  Zee Germans are coming! Actually the Germans have been here in Lake Garda for a long time. There seems to be an informal competition going on between some of the XC riders to see who can fit the most crap on their handlebars. The unholy combination of a riser bar and bar ends just finishes the look off perfectly.

Anneke won the first round of the series last weekend and she looks a good bet to repeat that again this weekend. Unlike some of the male 4X riders she isn t powerfully built and her background of racing downhill means she has all the bikes skills to really do well in these kind of races.
  Anneke won the first round of the series last weekend and she looks a good bet to repeat that again this weekend. Unlike some of the male 4X riders, she isn't powerfully built and her background of racing downhill means she has all the bikes skills to really do well in these kind of races.

This more or less sums up the surface here in Garda. It is covered with these kind of loose rocks making for unique conditions. It takes a while to get work out how far you can let the bike go and how far you need to keep things in check to ride fast here.
  This more or less sums up the surface here in Garda. It is covered with these kind of loose rocks, making for unique conditions. It takes a while to get work out how far you can let the bike go and how far you need to keep things in check to ride fast here.

We have to thank Specialized s Paddy for not only driving the shuttle on Thursday but helping an idiot journalist out when he mangled his disc on a flying rock.
  We have to thank Specialized's Paddy for not only driving the shuttle on Thursday, but helping a journalist out when he mangled his disc on a flying rock.

The narrow roads meant some close calls shuttling if you were lucky it was a chance to say ciao to the people heading the other way.
  The narrow roads meant some close calls shuttling, if you were lucky it was a chance to say ciao to the people heading the other way.

Blue tiger print lycra Strong look buddy.
  Blue tiger print lycra? Strong look buddy.

In training Anneke was running trains with the Gehrig twins Anita and Caro. All three of these girls will be wanting to be standing on the podium come Saturday evening though.
  Later in the day, Anneke was running trains with the Gehrig twins, Anita and Caro. All three of these girls will be wanting to be standing on the podium come Saturday evening though.

We ran into one of Germany s fastest pinners Max Schumann on course. He s always a joy to shoot making a section this deceptively rough section look fun to play with.
  We ran into one of Germany's fastest pinners, Max Schumann on course. He's always a joy to shoot, making a section this deceptively rough section look fun to play with.

Toby Woggon is one of the few fast riders who opted for big wheels for this race the general consensus being that when the going is this technical 26 or 27.5 is a better call.
  Toby Woggon is one of the few fast riders who opted for big wheels for this race, the general consensus being that when the going is this technical, 26 (or 27.5) is a better call.

This is what Garda has been known for for a long time - the rock climbing.
  This is what Garda has been known for, for a long time - the rock climbing.

Some of the passages on stages three and four were just flatout on the loose rocks.
  Some of the passages on stages three and four were just flatout on the loose rocks.

Daniel is another one of the fast German riders to keep an eye on this weekend.
  Daniel Schaefer is another one of the fast German riders to keep an eye on this weekend.

Georgy the race organiser is also the man behind the Ischgl enduro. After a hard day running around on Thursday making the last minute preparations we ran into him sitting back with a well-deserved beer.
  Georgy, the race organiser, is also the man behind the Ischgl enduro. After a hard day running around on Thursday, making the last minute preparations, we ran into him sitting back with a well-deserved beer.

After practice some of the female riders stopped by to discuss the course with the race organisers.
  After practice, some of the female riders stopped by to discuss the course with the race organisers.

Racing this weekend is German women s downhill legend Antje Kramer. Coming down from the stages in practice she was making it clear that this is a tough race both on the way up and down. She finished third at round one of the series last weekend and with such a technical course her downhill skills put her in a strong position for another good result this week.
  Racing this weekend is German women's downhill legend, Antje Kramer. Coming down from the stages in practice, she was making it clear that this is a tough race, both on the way up and down. She finished third at round one of the series last weekend and with such a technical course, her downhill skills put her in a strong position for another good result this week.

Joost Wichman is another rider who has decided to start riding more enduro this year. While he ll happily joke that he doesn t need to worry about being fast as he s a team manager now he wasn t hanging around in practice looking relaxed in the technical sections. Unfortunately late on Thursday he went down hard and had to head for the hospital to get his knee looked at.
  Joost Wichman is another rider who has decided to start riding more enduro this year. While he'll happily joke that he doesn't need to worry about being fast as he's a team manager now, he wasn't hanging around in practice, looking relaxed in the technical sections. Unfortunately late on Thursday, he went down hard and had to head for the hospital to get his knee looked at.

After a day training on the courses Anneke and her mechanic Paddy made their plan for the next day.
  After a day training on the courses, Anneke and her mechanic, Paddy, made their plan for the next day.

On Thursday evening an ugly thunderstorn rolled around the hills but in the end amounted to very little more than a few light showers.
  On Thursday evening an ugly thunderstorm rolled around the hills, but in the end amounted to very little more than a few light showers.

While checking out the course for the prolouge the Canyon Team posed for the obligatory team portrait. We re not sure but we reckon Joe Barnes was just waiting for a chance to get his six-pack out for the camera...
  While checking out the course for the prologue on Friday, the Canyon Team posed for the obligatory team portrait. We're not sure, but we reckon Joe Barnes was just waiting for a chance to get his six-pack out for the camera...

Canyon bikes have come a long long way in the last few years...
  Canyon bikes have come a long, long way in the last few years...

The prologue was held on the dirt area just outside the main arena.
  The prologue was held on the dirt area just outside the main arena. A giant, dirty thunderstorm rolled around those hills, spat a few drops on the prologue, but then seemed to think better of it. What it does tonight is another matter and there seems to be little point looking at the weather forecasts as they are useless right now. One person hoping for the sky to open because after everyone else has been saying they were hoping for a dry race, he reckons the greasy conditions would be an advantage to him.

Even on completely the wrong bike for the job big BMX-style berms like this still look like a hell of a lot of fun.
  Even on completely the wrong bike for the job, big BMX-style berms like this still look like a hell of a lot of fun.

Fans lined the edges of the dirt area to watch the prologue and the dirt jumping going on at the same time.
  Fans lined the edges of the dirt area to watch the prologue and the dirt jumping going on at the same time.

Dan Atherton was looking strong on the pump track this evening and has been enjoying the technical course here in Lake Garda. He s been on a new training plan this winter so it s going to be interesting to see how he goes tomorrow.
  Dan Atherton was looking strong on the pump track this evening and has been enjoying the technical course here in Lake Garda. He's been on a new training plan this winter, so it's going to be interesting to see how he goes tomorrow.

Fabien Barel is looking ready for the weekend.
  Fabien Barel is looking ready for the weekend.

Jerome Clementz can handle a bike anywhere making the pump track look easy.
  Jerome Clementz can handle a bike anywhere, making the pump track look easy.

Back from the hospital Joost Wichman was trackside to cheer his team on and heckle.
  Back from the hospital, Joost Wichman was trackside to cheer his team on and heckle.

There were a few tricky flat corners on the course that gave riders problems. Here Max Schumann threads it through.
  There were a few tricky flat corners on the course that gave riders problems. Here Max Schumann threads it through.

After Anneke s win in the prologue Paddy puts in the final prep for tomorrow.
  After Anneke's win in the prologue, Paddy puts in the final prep for tomorrow.

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42 Comments

  • + 51
 The S-WORKS Enduro, best looking bike out there.
  • - 3
 nah the santa cruz frames look better
  • + 1
 I love the look of those Enduro's - they're like the epitome of AM/Enduro riding yet it seems that the Trek Remedy has been getting slightly better reviews. Still love the Enduro big time though! Awesome bikes!! Big Grin
  • + 5
 Looks like the Command post is going away in exchange for a Stealth Reverb. Good call. Now where do I drill the holes on my 2013 for one?
  • + 2
 Speesh has proved itself to be the best in the buisness for almost all disciplines of cycling.
  • + 0
 Enduro is a way better sled over a remedy. I've had both.
  • + 4
 Either way..I would probably keep them in my bedroom too
  • + 2
 'Specialized have a fleet of the new Enduro 29s on test here. They weren't taking any chances on their security, so they took them up to their rooms with them at night." watch out for those Germans. Smile
  • + 0
 Yeah what fssphotography said!!! SC all the way
[Reply]
  • + 8
 Oh yeah, shuttles for practice here, one month practice there... I wonder where will all that end! Formula 1 pits?
I remember a top french rider once said it won't be enduro anymore when the guys will show up with rollers at the start. I wonder how long we'll have to wait to see that, but pretty sure it's coming.
  • + 4
 I agree with you but have you considered that the downhill is where the primary practice is needed ? to know the trail by instinct and to know where to pin it, climbing ( though technical in its own right ) is more of a conditioning thing to me. Salute
  • + 2
 We had this discussion in an article recently about race prep.
  • + 2
 Shuttles are not the preference of the series organisation. But we had to deal with it here. Trails in the Lago area are ridden by bikers for more the 20 years. And the public road to Mt. Altissimo has been full of private, public or team/companies shuttles during the week of the festival anyway. We have seen that in the last years. When there was no multi stage enduro there.
With the permission to race on such legendary public trails like the 601 or SKULL we took the option to legalize the shuttles during the training. The series wants to feature the host areas style of enduro. Tomorrow during the race all riders have to pedal up.
  • + 1
 Hop Juweb, where do I find the official track of the race? half 601 back up to the skull and...? link somewhere?
  • + 4
 Well there were riders from big teams at Round 1 / Treuchtlingen who knew every rock in practice, because they knew the tracks weeks before the race and had already done shuttle runs... I don't know what that has to do with fairness....
[Reply]
  • + 5
 it seems the photographer is Anneka B fan. It seemed everyother photo was of her. awesome venue
  • + 1
 International cycling babes! Anneka is in there too.

atletas.info/las-ciclistas-mas-bellas-del-mundo-al-desnudo
  • + 2
 The photgrapher has good taste!
[Reply]
  • + 3
 ...and here I thought 29ers were supposed to be better for rolling over rocks. Guess we'll have to see how the finishers stack up.
  • + 4
 Exactly. That comment was a load of crap. What is should have said was "when it's this tech the general consensus is a 29" will mash through faster, unfortunately only Specialized make good ones".
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Stop making the argument that the sea otter race was won by wheel size. For that course and the skill of the riders, the wheel size was irrevelivant in my opinion. Every rider has good days and bad, on a good day give Aaron Gwin on a unicycle and he'd still win sea otter. Those who say that he won by a 29", so what? That's Spez wanting to promote their new enduro and him choosing to as well. Come on, it's well known by now that sea otter is when the companies push all their new model year products and want their team racers on the latest and greatest.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 these pictures are awesome! crisp and clear. feels like i was there already. mega props!
[Reply]
  • + 4
 that chain guide is brilliant. Salute to the inventor for their vision.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 That Canyon bike looks like something from the 90's.
  • + 3
 Uhhh, that's because it was...
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Retro trends are making a comeback... Last year it was flat bars, now its bar ends! I shoulda held onto all my spare parts from the mid 90's.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 hate that sketchy moment when you can't get clipped back in, first pic of Anneke demonstrates this pretty good how her foot is almost off
[Reply]
  • + 1
 So 29ers are not much faster at sea otter and are not an option for technical tracks either?
  • + 1
 more importantly: there is a community-developed bike in there
  • + 3
 What are you talking about? Sea Otter was won on a 29er...
  • + 0
 Yes but by a tiny fraction in front of 26 or a bigbike.
  • + 2
 it does not matter if you win by a bike length or by over 5 seconds, faster is faster...on that specific technical track where hugging the trail is not the best option, the smaller lighter 26''er just seems to be a better choice, that's all...stop trying to make a big deal about which size is 'better'...it's all about the track, not the frickin' Wheel size !!!...
[Reply]
  • + 1
 That tiger print kit fucking rules!!!
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Newsflash: People riding bikes with different sized wheels. Only keyboard warriors bothered.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I want that new enduro bad....have 2010 and its still the shit
[Reply]
  • + 1
 The Lake Garda is a Bike heaven...no question about that!!!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Anyone know were i can find video's
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Specialized had all this 29ers for demos ,what if a 26" wins the race?
  • + 1
 The fastest guy will still probably win but the fastest guy might win by more on a Enduro 29".
  • + 4
 News just in:
Fabien barrel wins!
On a 26"
[Reply]

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