Specialized-SRAM Enduro 2 - Lago di Garda

May 4, 2013
by Matt Wragg  
 
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Around 11pm last night the heavens opened. The dirty thunderstorm that had been circling menacingly around the hills finally made its mind up and headed for Riva del Garda, where the festival is based. It was the kind of biblical, run for shelter type of rain that hammered down onto the roofs and piazzas of the small town. After all the talk this week of what would or wouldn't happen, it seemed like many people's worst fears for the race were coming true...

...The curtains were opened nervously this morning. This was a wonderful sight to behold.
  ...The curtains were opened nervously this morning. This was a wonderful sight to behold.

Organiser Georgy explained that Loris centre knows these mountains and the people that live on them better than anybody else in the world. Today he was head marshall and at 8.00 they were deep into their briefing for the day.
  Organiser Georgy explained that Loris (centre) knows these mountains and the people that live on them better than anybody else in the world. Today he was head marshall and at 8.00 they were deep into their briefing for the day.

The morning light lit up the forests beautifully.
  The morning light lit up the forests beautifully.

Dirt s Greg Callaghan and his vanmate James have a pretty dialled setup. Proper beds plenty of storage and cooking facilites. Although they do still owe me a cup of tea...
  Dirt's Greg Callaghan and his vanmate, James, have a pretty dialled setup. Proper beds, plenty of storage and cooking facilites. Although they do still owe me a cup of tea...

Here in Garda there are a lot of mountain sports so they re pretty well set up to look after you when things go wrong.
  Here in Garda, there are a lot of mountain sports, so they're pretty well set up to look after you when things go wrong.

It was a perfect clear sky over the pits when we arrived and stayed that way all day.
  It was a perfect clear sky over the pits when we arrived, and stayed that way all day.

Every rider takes their own approach to the race. Off all of them Dan Atherton looks like one of the most serious on the outside. He s won a UK Gravity Enduro already this year but today was his first test against an international field.
  Every rider takes their own approach to the race. Off all of them, Dan Atherton looks like one of the most serious on the outside. He's won a UK Gravity Enduro already this year, but today was his first test against an international field since his emphatic win at the Finale Ligure Superenduro last year.

What does Ben Cruz listen to when he s racing enduro Today it was Guns n Roses.
  What does Ben Cruz listen to when he's racing enduro? Today it was Guns N' Roses.

Pic a microphone any microphone. Series announcer Uwe Bucholtz grills Jerome Clementz before he sets off.
  Pick a microphone, any microphone. Series announcer, Uwe Bucholtz grills Jerome Clementz before he sets off.

Riders climbed up from the start through the olive groves and vineyards.
  Riders climbed up from the start through the olive groves and vineyards.

Turns out the thunderstorm didn t make much difference at all to the trails. They were a touch greasier first thing but dried back out again quickly.
  Turns out the thunderstorm didn't make much difference at all to the trails. They were a touch greasier first thing, but dried back out again quickly.

Ben Cruz pushed hard today but just got edged out of the top five.
  Ben Cruz pushed hard today, but just got edged out of the top five.

There s no denying that Dan Atherton has great style on a bike he manages to make even simple sections look good.
  There's no denying that Dan Atherton has great style on a bike, he manages to make even simple sections look good.

Max Schumann put in a solid ride today but wasn t quite on the pace of the top international guys.
  Max Schumann put in a solid ride today, but wasn't quite on the pace of the top international guys.

We re not sure what happened in stage one but we came down about ten minutes after his run and Dan Atherton was sitting looking pensive. We didn t want to disturb him as he looked deep in thought so we wouldn t want to guess whether he s thinking about his run or just taking some time to chill in between stages.
  We're not sure what happened in stage one, but we came down about ten minutes after his run and Dan Atherton was sitting looking pensive. We didn't want to disturb him as he looked deep in thought, so we wouldn't want to guess whether he's thinking about his run, or just taking some time to chill in between stages.

While full-face helmets were compulsory in the race today the long road climbs meant many riders chose to carry the full-face on their back and climb in an open helmet.
  While full-face helmets were compulsory in the race today, the long road climbs meant many riders chose to carry the full-face on their back and climb in an open helmet.

Fabien the Canyon team manager was showing off their team van. Well we guess you call it a van. With a winch snorkel and insane ground clearance this could probably take you shuttling anywhere. It also definitely wins the team vans competition hands down. We want one.
  Fabien, the Canyon team manager was showing off their team van. Well, we guess you call it a van. With a winch, snorkel and insane ground clearance, this could probably take you shuttling anywhere. It also definitely wins the team vans competition, hands down. We want one.

Riding up with friends has been one of the things enduro has always been sold on one of the things people like about the genre. It doesn t change no matter how far up the field you go.
  Riding up with friends has been one of the things enduro has always been sold on, one of the things people like about the genre. It doesn't change, no matter how far up the field you go.

Second today for Jerome Clementz. He s clearly in good form at the moment.
  Second today for Jerome Clementz. He's clearly in good form at the moment.

Nico Lau couldn t repeat his win at the last round and had to settle for third today just a handful of seconds off the winning time. Nico is one of the riders in the new generation of fast French kids who might have gone into DH in the past but are today racing enduro instead. Expect to see him towards the top of the timing sheets in the Enduro World Series races.
  Nico Lau couldn't repeat his win at the last round and had to settle for third today, just a handful of seconds off the winning time. Nico is one of the riders in the new generation of fast, French kids who might have gone into DH in the past, but are today racing enduro instead. Expect to see him towards the top of the timing sheets in the Enduro World Series races.

A few years ago Rene Wildhaber was the king of the Megavalanche yet somehow he s not quite translated that form into success on the enduro circuit.
  A few years ago, Rene Wildhaber was the king of the Megavalanche, yet somehow he's not quite translated that form into success on the enduro circuit.

Out with his knee injury Joost Wichman is keeping himself busy interviewing riders for the event video.
  Out with his knee injury, Joost Wichman is keeping himself busy interviewing riders for the event video.

Halfway up the climb riders had stop and say hello to this young lady for the fair play check.
  Halfway up the climb, riders had stop and say hello to this young lady for the "fair play check." This was to make sure nobody was getting in sneaky shuttles, rather than pedalling.

First time I saw Ben Cruz was at Enduro of Nations 2011. Back then he looked like a young American kid a long way from home Today he looks fitter stronger and at home here on the European enduro circuit. Two flat tyres were all that stopped him being in serious contention for the win.
  First time I saw Ben Cruz was at Enduro of Nations 2011. Back then he looked like a young, American kid a long way from home, Today he looks fitter, stronger and at home here on the European enduro circuit. Two flat tyres were all that stopped him being in serious contention for the win.

Nico Lau moments after crossing the finish line. Still unsure about how tough this race was
  Nico Lau, moments after crossing the finish line. Still unsure about how tough this race was?

The final descent was a medieval cobble path down towards the pits.
  The final descent was a medieval cobble path down towards the pits.

For anyone else finishing fourth behind some of the fastest guys out there would be an ok result. Somehow we suspect Dan Atherton won t quite see it this way though.
  For anyone else, finishing fourth behind some of the fastest guys out there would be an ok result. Somehow we suspect Dan Atherton won't quite see it this way though.

With the field spread out there was plenty of time to play with some panning shots today. This one is at 1 10.
  With the field spread out, there was plenty of time to play with some panning shots today. This one is at 1/10.

Two weekends two wins. Anneke Beerten seems to be getting the hang of this whole enduro thing rather well. To win against a strong women s field that included some of the fastest girls from Germany and Italy should give her confidence in her form ahead of the Enduro World Series.
  Two weekends, two wins. Anneke Beerten seems to be getting the hang of this whole enduro thing rather well. To win against a strong women's field, that included some of the fastest girls from Germany and Italy, should give her confidence in her form ahead of the Enduro World Series.

This is the backdrop for stage six although by the time they got here many riders weren t in a condition to enjoy it.
  This is the backdrop for stage six, although by the time they got here, many riders weren't in a condition to enjoy it.

Fabien took a different more relaxed approach to the race. As he didn t have to be at a certain place for a certain time he made the most of it finishing nearly an hour after many of the top riders.
  Fabien took a different, more relaxed approach to the race. As he didn't have to be at a certain place for a certain time, he made the most of it, finishing nearly an hour after many of the top riders.

After they crossed the finish line riders were left waiting for a few minutes while their times were checked. As Fabien was stretching himself out on the grass the news came through over the loudspeaker. That smile says it all. Winning against the field on such a tough course is no small thing and any questions as to whether Fabien would be one of the riders to watch in the Enduro World Series this year can be put to rest now.
  After they crossed the finish line, riders were left waiting for a few minutes while their times were checked. As Fabien was stretching himself out on the grass, the news came through over the loudspeaker. That smile says it all. Winning against the field, on such a tough course is no small thing and any questions as to whether Fabien would be one of the riders to watch in the Enduro World Series this year can be put to rest now.

www.enduroseries.net

75 Comments

  • + 66
 Unbelievable!!! Fabien won on a 26 inch aluminum bike that costs less than 5 grands!!!
  • + 18
 yeah, right?! It's really unbelievable you don't NEED a 10000$+ full carbon frame & components setup to win a race, isn't it?
  • - 7
 Y u no win 29er?
  • + 5
 and even better than that, i own one haha.
  • + 4
 Yeah, but it is Fabien.
  • + 2
 and single pivot bike Wink
  • + 3
 come on everybody knows, you could put a top champion on any bike and they would still kick some serious ass!!!
  • + 1
 its that cheap because it doesnt go through a shop, but it would be damn nice to get them in the US
  • + 1
 the strive is a seriously good bike, its a better climber than the blur LTc i replaced with it and its very stable and predictable down hill too.
[Reply]
  • + 50
 Fabien Barel is one of those people that I've got so much respect for. A well deserved win.
  • + 12
 Along with Jerome Clementz. They're both really quick and chilled out.
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  • + 28
 I think 'Athy' needs to chill a bit. The whole idea of enduro is to enjoy, socialise and ride your bike. He does only seem to be ticking one of those boxes. Dunno maybe the whole complexion of the scene changes when you are elite but, It looks like the other elites seem to be embracing the 'community' spirit
  • + 19
 they're Athertons dude, I like them but you almost never see them crack a smile
  • + 4
 dunno Gee gets his game face on when he needs to but you do see a smile from him and rach during a race weekend
  • + 3
 These enduro events started out being all about fun but it's clearly gone past that, this shit is getting serious and these guys are in insane shape and pushing sooo hard! the sport has reached the point where its not gonna be fun unless you are winning, This being said for the pro class. You want to have a good time cruisin, you race sport class. this shit is real now.
  • + 3
 Dan has been super motivated ever since his injury. Gee is always having a laugh but when it comes to race day he's got his head in the game.
  • + 1
 Seems to have a lot of pressure on his shoulders, maybe due to the name written on his back... Everybody is waiting for him to score since the huge mediatic campaign around his reconversion to enduro. But even if he win Finale Ligure Superenduro last year, he's still a newbie in comparison to enduro-bred guys like Jay Clementz, or living legend like Fab Barrel...
  • + 3
 I honestly don't think he's in the same league as Clementz and Lau etc. Joe Barnes on the other hand has massive potential.
  • + 1
 he'll get there give it time, quere has massive potential to
  • + 1
 Dan looking so serious is down to pressure, he still has to prove himself at this level, in Enduro racing. Fabien has nothing to prove, despite his Enduro career also being young - he's Fabien Barrel.
[Reply]
  • + 25
 Awesome pics! To see Fab win is fantastic, it's awesome to see him still killing it! Bummed for Dan, but 4th is still an amazing result.
  • + 7
 Like Dan, Fabien also has amazing style and flow to his riding. Prop if you love to watch Fabien ride! The guy embodies what is cool about enduro.
[Reply]
  • + 14
 The winner on 26 inch and not on 27.5???? how is that happening? 26ers are not dead why try to burry them??
[Reply]
  • + 12
 "Oui... It was quite challengiiing" - Fabian Barel, in the last picture.
[Reply]
  • + 8
 Cheer up DAN! your only getting to do what all of us working joe's would kill to do for a living! almost every pic of him has a super serious even negative vibe. Frown
[Reply]
  • + 7
 Help me out here - it says, Fabien finished nearly an hour behind most of the top guys (2nd to last pic), but then took the win (last pic) What am I missing?
  • + 5
 the pedal up was untimed but at the top your time begins as you start the race. he took it easy on the climb to save a little extra energy for his run. Congrats Fabian!
  • + 4
 Smart strategy, I bet others start copying it. The only risk is catching slower racers in front of you and not being able to easily pass them.
  • + 2
 Ok, thanks - true, total waste of energy to try to climb hard when there's no need.
  • - 1
 fabien is a seasoned racer, looks like the young, dumb and full of cum youngsters out macho'd themselves.
  • + 1
 Yeah, Fabian did take all the time he needed. Same was for Affy, he relaxed for a good 15 minutes before starting on the next stage I think. Pre-race, Barel actually said "he might wait a few hours until the dirt would be dry" since it had rained the night before. It's all in the details people..
[Reply]
  • + 7
 Yes Fabian!! Always great to see him win, as he seems like such a good guy.
[Reply]
  • + 7
 one pic of a woman racer - coverage fail!
[Reply]
  • + 6
 Round two and 26" still dominates!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 10 000 riders on an enduro course - that would be known as the endless race - as you wait your turn to take the descent with a decent gap... I hope it never gets that popular. I rode my first Enduro on 1 May - there were 70 odd riders and it took 4 hours for 20 mins of racing...
  • + 1
 Was it the Dirtopia Enduro?
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Every article by Matt makes me smile because of the stunning photography. You transport so much atmosphere. I like.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Dan who pissed in your Cheerios this morning? Lighten up it's just mtn biking. It's suppose to be fun
[Reply]
  • + 3
 We're betting for Dan Atherton
Great job by Fabien Barel already winning on the Canyon ... and with a 26". Thanks Fabien
[Reply]
  • + 1
 ...the shame is that some riders where training there for a week with shuttles all day...others not or only on the Friday where it was offical alloweded...so its not the spirit of enduro anymore.....
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Can't wait Anne Caro Chausson to rule this...
  • + 1
 Why wasn't she racing here?
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Love following the Enduro Races and their articles!!! Amazing pictures and great racers!
  • + 0
 oops was replying to the post above...
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Quick question regarding helmets, rider can choose full face or not? and why do some bother to carry two helmets?
  • + 8
 you need full face for the ride down, wish there wasn't helmets needed for the long road climbs tho cuz carrying two helmets is a pain in the ass and it's not like pro riders will crash going 15-20km/h up a hill
  • + 1
 Riding up hill with a full face on! Try it!!
  • + 1
 trust me bud I've tried it, it's doable in the winter but even half shells get too hot in the spring/summer/fall
  • + 2
 they also ride on roads, roads have cars and behind the wheel in cars there are a lot of very bad drivers which is not so good for cyclists without helmets on.
  • + 1
 The riders that carried 2 helmets, did they had to bring down the open helmet? Looking at the picture captioned "Second today for Jerome Clementz. He's clearly in good form at the moment."… I don't see his open helmet in the interview picture.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Yeah GUNS N ROSES just great bikeing tunes
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Why is everyone making the wheelsize so competitive?? Just ride what suits you and shut up
  • + 1
 cos people are interested to see how different wheel sizes play out in elite competition.

It's exciting times for mountain bike design with three wheel sizes competing in a single gravity format.

We are going to see commentary on wheel sizes at every event where there's a mix of sizes involved this season; and by the so far early and inconclusive results this season; it could well stretch to another year before there's a really clear understanding of how things play out.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Fabien has figured this out before it ever happened.He will definitely dominate on the upcoming EWS.
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  • + 2
 Two minutes to check the times!!! I had to wait two hours at my race!
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  • + 1
 I didn't know you could listen to tunes while racing. His phone's obviously been through a lot of rides, too.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Ben Cruz's phone seems already had a lot of adventure Big Grin
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Well done Greg callaghan... Savage result
[Reply]
  • + 1
 somebody get ben a new cell phone!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Would love to get one of those Canyon jerseys Smile
[Reply]
  • + 0
 So much about 29 hype, specialized, young guns , etc...blabla LOL
  • + 2
 Nobody fast was riding the 29" Enduro and one of the most talented riders of all time won. Not really a surprise was it?
  • + 2
 Well of course not, that Fabien won...but Iam pretty sure there were a gazillion of clown bikes out there and the riders realized its not a choice for real enduro Smile
CC races like that infamous Sea Otter.don´t count.
  • + 1
 With the right guy on one....http://www.mbaction.com/Main/News/Mitch-Ropelato-Wins-Easter-Sunday-PRO-GRT-Downhill-6521.aspx
  • + 2
 ohh boy...mbaction..enough said lol
  • + 1
 Eh? It's a link to a race result.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Full results?
  • + 1
 look at enduroseries.net
[Reply]
  • + 0
 16 minutes racing is an Enduro?
[Reply]
  • - 2
 Where are all the spectators in all of these enduros? I thought it was the holy grail of the new race movement?
  • + 5
 The thing about enduro is they don't need to watch -- they can participate. If enduro hits it big it will be for exactly this reason.
  • - 1
 Ah yes. Be rad to get Sea Otter numbers on an enduro course, 10,000 riders! The future is now!
[Reply]
  • + 0
 I want that van...
[Reply]

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