Superenduro Round 4, Madesimo - Race Day

Jul 15, 2012
by Matt Wragg  
"Pinch me." Those were the first words on my lips this morning as I was sure I could see blue sky outside the window. It was no trick of the eye either, there really were blue skies over Madesimo. Once the sun climbed over the sides of the mountains it started warming up too. The conditions were perfect riding weather - blue skies, not too hot and a touch of wind to dry the trails faster. Throw in some amazing trails, a strong field and a gondola and how could it not be good?

Blue skies over Madesimo.
Three faces three very different days.
  Three faces this morning and three very different days. Anita Gehrig came back to Italy for her second Superenduro race and more or less walked away with it, winning every stage today. Andrea Bruno's troubled season continues as a mechanical in the first stage ruled him out of the running and he retired after stage two. Balz Weber is likely to be a name more familiar to those who follow races like the Cape Epic, but this weekend he came to try a Superenduro race. A solid fifteenth place today is testament to how good the bike handling skills are among good cross country racers.

Race information.
  Every rider gets one of these stickers for their toptube, so they know where they have to be and when.

Mark in the lift up.
  Don't be fooled by the gondola up to the first and third stages - riders still had to tackle around a 1,000m of climbing today.

Davide ripping through the meadows.
Details of the meadows.
Manuel sprinting at the top of the first stage.
  The first and third stages started on the high, alpine meadows above the lift station. Davide Sottocornola (top) and Manuel Ducci (bottom) doing their best to rip them up.

Another angle of the vegetable patch.

Tearing through the vegetable patch.
  Below the meadows the course went round a small hamlet and went through what looked a lot like somebody's vegetable patch. The locals were cool with it though, and all three inhabitants of the hamlet came out to watch the race.

Davide smashing through the puddles on the second stage.
  Enduro racing after a night's rain is very much like primary school: the first one out gets to make the biggest splashes in the puddles.

Vittorio heading into the woods on the stages.
  Vittorio Gambirassio's enthusiastic style suited the pump-track-style section at the top of the second and fourth stage.

Mark Scott on the second stage.
  It's hard to understand how Mark Scott was counter-steering on that same pump-track section as it was pretty hard-packed. He was on the gas all day today.

You wouldn t guess from Toby s race face that he s a nice guy.
  You wouldn't guess from Toby Pantling's game face that he's a nice guy.

Ben leaning into the corner.
  Ben Whitehead narrowly missed the top ten today, a solid ride at his first Superenduro race.

Trying to stay out of the slippery mud on the main line.
  Once the pump-track section was over it was all soft loam and roots. After the rain, the trick was to try and stay off the slippery mud on the main line.

Vittorio dicking around on the transfer.
  Vittorio can't even just roll along the transfers without popping off anything he can find.

Toby taking a high line into a corner on the third stage.
  Toby Pantling, carving corners in the wooded section of the third stage. He managed a solid ninth today, which is pretty impressive since he stacked at full gas on the third stage and utterly trashed his helmet.

Alex Lupato on the slimy ladder drop roll to exposed roots.
  Not many people tried this sketch rock-roll into exposed roots on the second and fourth stage today. Alex Lupato wasn't scared though on his way to second overall.

Mark Scott keeping it upright in the mud.
  Mark Scott keeping it upright in the steep, slippery mud on the fourth stage. A fourth overall is a cracking result in his first Superenduro and he's got his eyes on coming back to the round in Finale Ligure at the end of the season. This is one of the great things about enduro right now, you do get riders coming in out of more or less nowhere and smashing home big results (admittedly Mark is a solid world cup downhiller, but it was his first Superenduro race).

Francesco Formichi on the fourth stage.
  Francesco Formichi on one of his rare occasions out of the saddle on the fourth.

It's starting to look very much like Davide Sottocornola's year. A strong ride at Enduro of Nations at Sauze d'Oulx in two weeks and he may even be able to sew up the overall title with a race to go... You can't deny he's looking like he deserves it though, taking home a win on the most technical round so far and in difficult conditions is a pretty good way to stake your claim for the title.


  • + 8
 makes the weather in the UK look even worse Frown
  • + 6
 Such a sweet race. We need some in the US.
  • + 1
 you have too much already!
  • + 18
 There are a lot of us and we are really fat. We need all we can get!
  • + 3
 O how I wish Americans were interested in other things than football and nascar....
  • + 4
 NASMTB?....left...left...left...left...left...left...left...left...left...left...left...left...left...left...left...left...left...left...left...left...left...left...left...left...left...left...left...left...left...left...left...left...left...left...left...left...left...left...left...left...left...left...left...left...left...left...left...left...left...left...left...left...left...left...left...left...left...left...left...left...left...left...left...left...left...left...left...left...left...left...left...left...left...left...left...left...left...left...left...left...left...left...left...left...You could use a Cannondale..?
  • + 1
 Awesome photos of what looks like an awesome event. Matt all these stories you have been doing have helped me decide the alps are the place ill live if my residency for canada does come through. awesome looking trails.
  • + 1
 This format is awesome, ride a great bike, session the best trails in the world, hang with great riders
  • + 1
 What a good event! Great combination of technical and physically challenging stages.
  • + 1
 i'd love to race that!! it looks fast, but very technical
  • + 1
 Now this is mountain biking! Keep it up Oregon Enduro!
  • + 1
 great shots!
  • + 1
 Looks verry nice!!

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