Superenduro PRO 4: Madesimo, Friday Practice

Jun 21, 2013
by Matt Wragg  
 
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This is a big weekend for Superenduro. Not only is it the Italian national championships of enduro, but it's the first high mountain race of the year, our first time back up in the alps this year. And it feels good to be this high again. After a great first race here in Madesimo last year, it was always going to be back on the calendar again and the little mountain town, nestling at the base of Valchiavena, has opened its arms to the series again. Waiting for riders in the forests above the town is the one thing we all search for: loam. Soft, brown mud that sprays the back of your ankles as you churn it up. Unfortunately the rain came in heavily yesterday with no less than three big thunderstorms battering the valley...

When we say big mountains this is what we mean. Valchiavena. Way down at the bottom there you can see Madesimo which in itself is 1 500m above sea-level some of the peaks above reach well over 3 000m that s 9 000ft for anyone on the other side of the Atlantic .
  When we say big mountains, this is what we mean. Valchiavena. Way down at the bottom there you can see Madesimo, which in itself is 1,500m above sea-level, some of the peaks above reach well over 3,000m (that's 9,000ft for anyone on the other side of the Atlantic).

This is Madesimo. The bottom end of the town is cut off from the rest of the world and you have to enter through a tunnel. Through the rabbit hole as it were.
  This is Madesimo. The bottom end of the town is cut off from the rest of the world and you have to enter through a tunnel. Through the rabbit hole, as it were.

There were a lot of nervous glances up towards those slopes this morning. Nobody was quite sure what they held in store after the storms yesterday and the morning conversation came back to tyre choice time and time again.
  There were a lot of nervous glances up towards those slopes this morning. Nobody was quite sure what they held in store after the storms yesterday and the morning conversation came back to tyre choice time and time again.

This had to be in here. It s Toby Pantling s birthday today. Bless him his mother packed him some presents and a card so even though he s been on the road for more than a month now he had something to open today. Happy birthday pro
  This had to be in here. It's Toby Pantling's birthday today. Bless him, his mother packed him some presents and a card so, even though he's been on the road for more than a month now, he had something to open today. Happy birthday pro!

This is what we re talking about Chairlifts. It s been far too long since we last rode on one of these as the cold unending winter here in Europe has kept most of the resorts on lockdown.
  This is what we're talking about! Chairlifts. It's been far too long since we last rode on one of these as the cold, unending winter here in Europe has kept most of the resorts on lockdown.

God bless Italy we don t think you d be allowed to hijack the lift control office for the sake of a photo in many other countries.
  God bless Italy, we don't think you'd be allowed to hijack the lift control office for the sake of a photo in many other countries.

We re not sure what Fox would say about this kind of improvisation but when you get up into the alps a bigger fork is definitely welcome although there didn t seem to be much in the way of mud clearance. We ve heard rumours that some riders are asking Fox to make a legit 650B version of the 36 which is something we d love to see.
  We're not sure what Fox would say about this kind of improvisation, but when you get up into the alps a bigger fork is definitely welcome, although there didn't seem to be much in the way of mud clearance. We've heard rumours that some riders are asking Fox to make a legit 650B version of the 36, which is something we'd love to see.

The first part of stage one runs down the side of the valley above the lift station following the course of the stream.
  The first part of stage one runs down the side of the valley above the lift station, following the course of the stream.

Even if it s not the most technical terrain there s always something deeply satisfying about tearing up soft soil and fresh grass.
  Even if it's not the most technical terrain, there's always something deeply satisfying about tearing up soft soil and fresh grass.

Davide Sottocornola was out training with Chiara Pastore today. Last year he took the champions title and will be looking to defend it this weekend.
  Davide Sottocornola was out training with Chiara Pastore today. Last year he took the champions' title and will be looking to defend it this weekend.

This bridge is awkward as hell. Coming into it are a steep slippery set of step and then you have this step and 90 degree corner onto the woodwork. You then are straight into a brutal lung-destroying 30-second climb to the small village above before you start to descend again.
  This bridge is awkward as hell. Coming into it are a steep, slippery set of steps and then you have this step and 90 degree corner onto the woodwork. You are then straight into a brutal, lung-destroying 30-second climb to the small village above before you start to descend again.

After the climb riders tear down through the meadow towards the forest.
  After the climb, riders tear down through the meadow towards the forest.

High speed open meadows are perfect for playing around with blurry panning shots if nothing else 1 10 .
  High speed, open meadows are perfect for playing around with blurry panning shots, if nothing else (1/10).

Lars Sternberg is here representing the USA this weekend. It ll be interesting to see how he gets on this weekend as he was looking quick in practice.
  Lars Sternberg is here representing the USA this weekend. It'll be interesting to see how he gets on this weekend as he was looking quick in practice.

This is one thing that wasn t missed about the alps anthills. They are usually just in the place where you want to set up for your shot too...
  This is one thing that wasn't missed about the alps: anthills. They are usually just in the place where you want to set up for your shot too...

The woods section on stage one is quite bikepark-y with some nice big berms to really press into your suspension. Here s Sam Flanagan using all six inches.
  The woods section on stage one is quite bikepark-y, with some nice big berms to really press into your suspension. Here's Sam Flanagan using all six inches.

Madesimo sits right on the Swiss border so we re expecting a good Swiss turnout this weekend. Norco s Michael Schaerer pinned through the woods.
  Madesimo sits right on the Swiss border, so we're expecting a good Swiss turnout this weekend. Norco's Michael Schaerer, pinned through the woods.

This is a lot of things we like in one go. Big berms even bigger mountains epic light and ugly cornering. Sam Flanagan gets on the pipe.
  This is a lot of things we like in one go. Big berms, even bigger mountains, epic light and ugly cornering. Sam Flanagan gets on the pipe.

Although it didn t always work out quite so well for him...
  Although it didn't always work out quite so well for him...

The Superenduro crew have been hard at work with the tape this week there ll be no cutting that s for sure.
  The Superenduro crew have been hard at work with the tape this week, there'll be no cutting, that's for sure.

The chairlift means lots of laps which soon take their toll on your body. Manuel Ducci stretches out before he stops for lunch.
  The chairlift means lots of laps, which soon take their toll on your body. Manuel Ducci stretches out before he stops for lunch.

This is what will be on the mind of all the Italians tonight... The podium. Sottocornola the defending champion has had a mixed season so far Alex Lupato can t seem to find any luck in his race runs Manuel Ducci is riding high off a win at the last round in Gemona Andrea Bruno is still suffering from his shoulder injury and Vittorio Gambirasio is hunting for his first ever PRO win... Or will an outsider shock everyone
  This is what will be on the mind of all the Italians tonight... The podium. Sottocornola, the defending champion, has had a mixed season so far, Alex Lupato can't seem to find any luck in his race runs, Manuel Ducci is riding high off a win at the last round in Gemona, Andrea Bruno is still suffering from his shoulder injury and Vittorio Gambirasio is hunting for his first ever PRO win... Or will an outsider shock everyone?

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26 Comments

  • + 15
 are those marzocchi stanchions mated to fox lowers?
  • + 3
 I thought he was just running a 650b wheel on a stock talas
  • + 3
 I can't remember fox ever having black stanchions though, they could be rockshox stanchions but not likely
  • + 4
 i love how all of us have no idea what it is and we are just speculating. I just find that hilarious
  • + 2
 There are companies you can send your stanchions off to to get coated with different colours. Perhaps just an aftermarket stanchion on a 36 with a 650b wheel?
  • + 1
 Judging by the clearance, it looks like a 650b wheel on Fox 36 lowers and Marzocchi stanchions?
  • + 1
 Those are fox topcap adjusters
[Reply]
  • + 12
 goddamn, europe looks so awesome. must go to europe to ride
  • + 2
 hell yeah, this is some big ass mountains
  • - 10
 no its pretty shit, tbh
  • + 5
 @regdunlop you have whistler and utah,we have enduro Smile
  • + 2
 yeah,nice try Razz
  • + 2
 @hamncheez in Utah you have the best enduro track ever: the whole enchilada
  • + 0
 if you come to ireland to ride, bring mud tyres for the summer
  • + 1
 The whole enchilada puts more wear on your bike in one ride than the rest of the whole season
[Reply]
  • + 1
 this photos just make me want to ride my enduro bike. I've got the feeling, to be alone, on the track, mixing nice berms across the trees, and grass sections, in a very quite location where you can heard the noise of water and sheep and the freewheel...hooo goood !!!means awesome !!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Great photos. Especially the high speed meadow shot and the one of Flanagan coming out of the turn. What bike is he riding?
  • + 1
 Yeti SB-66c
[Reply]
  • + 3
 such a sick spot, really takes the breath away right from the first photo!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Awesome place & pictures!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 HAPPY BIRTHDAY,TOBY!!!!,!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 europe here i go! no wait, i´m already in europe
[Reply]
  • + 1
 This looks like such a good time!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 looks like a great place to ride/
[Reply]
  • - 1
 WOW~! nice....................................
[Reply]

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