Superenduro PRO6, Finale Ligure - Race Day!
Oct 21, 2012 at 11:47
It was hard to know whether to be excited or sad this morning. It promised to be a great day of racing and the weather was going to be kind... but once it was over, that would be the season done. No more racing here in Italy for a good six months. Sure, everyone needs the rest right now, riders, organisers and takers of blurry photos alike, but it's going to be strange not having one of these weekends to look forwards to... There was no point sitting on the breakfast terrace ruminating on such things though, the race wasn't going to wait for journalists getting sentimental, so it was out into the late Autumn sunshine of the Ligurian coast and up into the hills for the biggest enduro race ever held.
| Davide Sottocornola, Andrea Bruno, Nico Vouilloz, Anne-Caroline Chausson, Curtis Keene, Manuel Ducci, Vittorio Gambirasio, Dan Atherton, Alex Lupato and Mark Scott. That's one hell of a lineup for a race. The most obvious names missing are Remy and Julian Absalon, because Remy broke his scaphoid shooting a video this week and Jerome Clementz has had a long year, so is taking a well-deserved holiday. It's the kind of lineup you'd hope to see at an international enduro race...|
| From the stage the riders ran back through the cobbled streets of last night's prologue and off up into the mountains and the sunshine.|
| There are no two ways around it, there was a lot of this today - the loop is 50km, which meant for some long, punishing transfers to get to those stages. Riders were rewarded with around half an hour of descending on some of the best trails in Europe.|
| Dan Atherton was nothing short of dominant today. He won all five stages and took a margin of 45 seconds over Davide Sottocornola to win his first enduro race. It's taken him just four tries to win a Superenduro race, he's clearly spent the weeks since the Enduro of Nations training like hell to do this.|
| Davide Sottocoronola probably felt quite bittersweet this evening, he surely wanted to seal his series victory with a win, but had to settle for second today. 2012 overall series champion is the big crown and he definitely deserves it after his consistent pace all season.|
| Vittorio Gambirasio put in one of his strongest performances yet to seal fourth today, he just seems to have got faster as the season goes on. With another winter training under his belt, he may well be one of the riders to watch for next year.|
| Can you spot what is missing from this photo? Another bad day in the office for Andrea Bruno, he just doesn't seem to have had any luck racing this year, a crash on stage one destroyed his saddle, so he had to tackle the punishing transfers to stages two and three standing up on the pedals. Still, he was enjoying being out on his bike today and will surely be looking to reclain his crown next year.|
| Mark Scott was another rider without luck today, he was in the top ten after stage one, but went over the bars and lost his chain on two. Leaving the pits after the mid-way stop his brake jammed solid and he had to retire. His plan for next year? The full Superenduro series.|
| Considering he missed the Supermountain race at Scopello a few weeks ago with a knee injury, seventh was a great result for Alex Lupato.|
| Manuel may have beaten Sottocornola in the Supermountain series, but he dropped 20 seconds to him today, dropping him back to fifth. Earlier in the season I'd have called this as a solid result for him, but after the season he's had it's clearly a disappointment for him.|
| This is a sight that will be familiar to more than a few people after today. the rocky trails here are perfect for ripping that expensive piece of metal from the back of your bike.|
| With Remy Absalon out injured, it was down to Theo Galy to fly the French flag today, sixth was a solid result and it's probably enough to make sure he's welcome back in France again.|
| I don't know what happened to Nico today. He clearly had some kind of a problem and was MIA from the first page of the results sheet (the only one I have right now).|
| The end of stage for was more or less a jungle, it looks like someone came through a hacked the trail from a solid mass of undergrowth.|
| It's not all descending - the stages tend to have 10-15% of climbing or flat sections as they are natural trails, so don't just hurtle down the fall-line like a full-blown downhill track.|
| The least surprising result today? Anne-Caroline Chausson absolutely destroyed the women's field, in fact she placed 42nd in the men's competition.|
| How serious is the women's race here? Well that's no fashion accessory on Chiara Pastore's leg, but that wasn't stopping her making sure she got her overall spot for the season.|
| Sondra Williamson represented the US ladies in the race today.|
One result that I don't have a photo of is Curtis Keene, who smashed his way to third overall with a series of consistent performances throughout the day. One individual stages he didn't break into the top spots, but by posting a good result every single time he put in an incredible showing at his first Superenduro race.
So there we are, a season gone and done. Thanks to everyone at Superenduro, the riders, the fans, anyone and everyone who has made this season so special. Thanks!www.superenduromtb.com