This weekend sees the fourth Vibram Enduro MTB Trophy of Nations roll into Sauze D’Oulx in the Italian alps. Riders from all over the world will descend on the small resort town to battle it out to find out who is the fastest Enduro rider in the world right now… and to ride amazing trails, hang out with friends, eat good food and maybe even down the odd beer. If this sounds like a bit of an odd race weekend to you, check out our introduction to the Vibram Enduro of Nations
to find out what you’re missing out on.
The mountains above Sauze d'Oulx aren't too hard on the eye...
Enrico, Franco and their Superenduro team will take over the small town for the first time the event has been held outside France. For Fred Glo and his team at Tribe Sports who founded the event, it’s an important step to recognise how much the format has grown across Europe and make it truly international. It’s a sign of real confidence in Enduro that they’re running this on the same weekend as the La Bresse world cup round - there's a generation of fast, dedicated enduro riders coming through and they it's not just a sport that waits for the guys from the XC and downhill circuits to have some free time.
The mass start pro stage - this is the one bit that only the national teams are allowed to do
If you’re not familiar with the name Sauze D’Oulx, it’s one you should get used to (it’s pronounced “sow-zeh du-loo-ks”). The ski resort just West of Turin at the heart of the Alpi Bike Resort has made a big push to bring mountain bikers to the town and quietly built one of the best trail networks in Europe. It’s those beautiful, alpine trails the Atherton family were hitting in the latest edition of the Atherton Project
. Also, check out the video from last year’s Superenduro race there to really get a feel for what’s coming this weekend:
For the top riders the team competition is the big show, it’s the one chance they get every year to be patriotic and try and take a win for their country. This year the entries are looking more stacked than ever with Italy and France both fielding three teams (how strong is the French entry if Nico Voullioz is on their third team?) and riders are entered from as far afield as Finland. We’ve had word that Rene Wildhaber is racing, but none on whether there will be a Swiss team with him and the USA team is looking like they aren’t going to make it.
Last year's team podium
Here’s the list of teams entered so far :France 1
Jerome Clementz / Greg Doucende / Theo GalyFrance 2
Maurin Trocello / Thomas Decugis / Olivier GiordanengoFrance 3
Nicolas Vouilloz / Karim Amour / Nicolas LauItaly 1
Andrea Bruno / Davide Sottocornola / Marco RodolicoItaly 2
Vittorio Gambirasio / Alex Lupato / Manuel DucciItaly 3
Simone Lanteri / Ronni Rossi / David NiccolaiPoland
Jakub Ruszkowski / Piotr Jarosławski / Sebastian OlejnikFinland
Sauli Hjerppe / Ari Kurvinen / Erik EklundGreat Britain
Rowan Sorrell / Alex Stock / James McKnightBelgium
Nicolas Casteels / Bruno Evrard / Bobaf Compere Slovenia
Primož Štrancar / Kristjan Medvešček / Sebastjan Stres
So who’s your money on? The French look as strong as ever, but here in Italy you can practically feel how determined they are to take that trophy. Could there be an upset from the Brits or Poles? Will the USA or the Swiss get a team in? Place your bets below!
That's one hell of a trophy to be fighting for!
Head on over to www.superenduromtb.com
for more details, entries are still open
too and can you think of a better way to spend 30 Euros? And keep your eyes glued here to Pinkbike as we bring you coverage over the weekend.
If you like the look of these trails, you should head on over to www.alpibikeresort.com
. The resort is made up of three valleys and eight towns - the ten or eleven stages riders will compete over this weekend will only scratch the surface of the the 50+ freeride routes of all levels and the hundreds of kilometers of XC trails. Not to mention the bike and skill park, dirt and 4x areas and north shore tracks.