A Taste of Italy - Superenduro 2016 Recap

Feb 6, 2017
by Ben Winder  

Lets take a look back over last seaons Italian Enduro Series, Superenduro. This year we visited four locations, the rolling hills of Massa Marittima in Tuscany, the seaside resort of Varazze in Liguria, dramatic cliffs of Canazei in Trentino and monstrous mountains Santa Caterina Valfurva in Sondrio.

The Superenduro took a year-long break for 2015 and came back for the 2016 season, in the past it’s been known for being a pioneer in high-level Enduro racing but for 2016 they came back with a slightly new direction. It is still a competitive series, it also aims to showcase Italy, not just the delicious food and great coffee. The organisers wanted to make each event memorable and interesting, put on four races very different races and focused on making those as good as the could be. Four different locations, all bringing their own trails, experiences and something unique, each area welcomed the Superenduro with open arms. Round one begins below...

Superenduro


MASSA MARITTIMA

ROUND 1



Fastest man of the day, Marco Milivinti

Stunning greenery and rolling hills surrounding Massa Marittima.
This place is absolutely stunning.

Caio
So many incredible side streets with amazing looking restaurants.

First up we head in-between Rome and Pisa to a magical little town located in Tuscany a few miles inland from the sea, Massa Marittima which has an incredible trail network. The trail network has been created and maintained by Trail Brothers and Massa Vecchia. It’s a stunning old town on the side of a hill even with its own Cathedral. Beautiful rolling hills surround the town, the trails are long and flowy and the climbs are steady and easy.

The atmosphere of race day was incredible, the town really came alive when 400 riders came racing down the final stage through the streets of Massa Marittima, locals and fans lined the streets. During the evenings there was live music, food, and wine.

The race itself was over six stages on two different hills, with over 20 minutes of racing and a full day out in the saddle. Marco Milivinti took the win on the first stage and held the lead for the rest of the race from Denny Lupato, who was close on his heels and finished just seven seconds back. In the women’s race it was equally as close, Marco Milivinti’s fiancé, Alia Marcellini also took the win. Anna Oberparleiter was just 11 seconds back, in over 25 minutes of racing.

Alia Marcellini.
Alia Marcellini.

Team trains we re a constant today here team Rocky Mountain ploughing through some dust.

Warp speed banked over in the gully.

Everyone loves a bit of tarmac racing.
Race through the town for the final stage.

Men:
1st - Marco Milivinti
2nd - Denny Lupato
3rd - Vittorio Gambirasio
Women:
1st - Alia Marcellini
2nd - Anna Oberparleiter
3rd - Louise Paulin

Galleries:
Day 1 - Practice
Day 2 - Practice
Day 3 - Race Day


Varazze is pretty stunning clear blue waters and hills that grow rapidly as the eye moves away from the sea.

Varazze seafront.

For the second round we headed further north to Liguria and the stunning seaside resort of Varazze. It’s located just half an hour away from the very popular mountain bike destination Finale Ligure, it shares similar terrain and trails to Finale. The beach is coated with sun loungers and ice cream stands, the streets are filled with tourists and amazing restaurants. There’s no shortage of hotels here either.

This is a location that holds a special place in the Superenduro’s heart, head honcho Enrico has seen this resort develop and been riding here for the last 25 years. Facing south you’ll see the stunning blue Mediterranean Sea and facing north you’ll see mountains towering behind the town. The trails are super varied, from technical and rocky, to fast and flowy and then to flat out bone shaker trails. They’re maintained by a full-time trail crew too.

On race day the riders set off from sea level and embarked on a 50km loop with 2000m of climbing. The sun was basking down on rider’s backs through the long day on the bike. With all the elements of this race, it was a well-rounded rider that would take the win. Vittorio Gambirasio and Laura Rossin took the win once again it came right down to the wire, the men’s race was won by just seven seconds and the women’s by just three, in over 20 minutes of racing.

This is a moment when the trail comes out the woodland for a breath of fresh air but it s far from that for the riders descending into a super technical steep rock slab.

Flowery shirts through the flowy singletrack in the hills of the Italian Liguria.

The Rocky Mountain Team flowing down some switchbacks.

And your female champion Laura Rossin.
Laura Rossin.

Superenduro
Vittorio Gambirasio.

Down to the beach to relax...

Men:
1st: Vittorio Gambirasio
2nd: Nicola Casadei
3rd: Marcello Pesenti
Women:
1st: Laura Rossin
2nd: Anita Gehrig
3rd: Carolin Gehrig

Galleries:
Day 1 - Practice
Day 2 - Practice
Day 3 - Race day



Bellissimo.
2016 Superenduro Canazei Round Three - Saturday Practice

Round three and we’re in the heart of the Dolomites, in Canazei. This is a popular winter skiing destination, and in the summer it is a developing Mountain Bike area. The jagged peaks and big cliffs tower over you here, you can’t help but feel small. Chairlifts are used for four out of the five stages here, which allowed the organisers to fit in much longer stages to the day.

The trails here were fast, starting out on a spectacular ridgeline, dropping into woodland and darting between the trees, then some super wide tape through fields and finally a stage through the town. This round was also an EWS qualifier which lifted the standard of racing.

The weather all weekend was pretty changeable but it stayed pretty dry until race day. On Sunday morning it was thunder and lightning one minute, and beautiful sunshine the next, which made the trails super slippery. The storms forced one of the stages to be cancelled. The top-seeded riders got the worst of the conditions on the first stage of the day which really opened the race up. Alex Lupato took the win by just seven seconds, and Tracy Moseley smashed the women’s field by over a minute.

Grazie Canazei. Vittorio Gambirasio was the current leader going into this race but finished back in 16th place.

By Sunday this will look more like a brown snake down the ski piste.

With a mixture of everything here from natural trails all the way through to bike park sections.

Now this WAS ridden out.

2016 Superenduro Canazei Round Three - Saturday Practice

The unstoppable force that is Tracy Moseley. She s been here on a women s camp to encourage girls to start racing.
Winner, Tracy Moseley.

Alex Lupato.
Fastest man of the day, Alex Lupato.
The champ Alex Lupato.

Men:
1st: Alex Lupato
2nd: Matteo Raimondi
3rd: Marco Milivinti
Women:
1st: Tracy Moseley
2nd: Louise Paulin
3rd: Sara De Leo

Day 1 - Practice
Day 2 - Practice
Day 3 - Race Day





Which way back to town then
An absolutely stunning Chalet.

The weather didn t stop the fans and supporters.

For the final round of the Superenduro, we headed to the Northern Italian town of Santa Caterina Valfurva, which is surrounded by gargantuan mountains, with peaks over 3000m towering overhead. It’s the gateway to the famous road racing climb the Gavia Pass and hosted the Ski World Champs in 2005.

The huge mountains had a truly epic event in store for us, it was essentially a big loop with a single chairlift to the start of stage two. Stage two started just shy of 3000m, the trails are natural, old walking routes and access paths. Nothing can be built up here due to it being a National Park, the trails have all been linked up and mapped out to create an incredible trail network. The trails are epic and very technical, the organisers incorporated the Gavia pass to make up part of the liaison.

The series all hung on this final race, and a few people were able to take overall. Awful weather came in on race day, the gondola couldn’t run which forced the organisers to cancel two full stages and half of another. Riders faced a two-hour climb to the middle of stage three in rain and sleet, a super tough race for everyone. To take the win here riders had to be conservative but also tough, and lucky. Marco Milivinti took the win in the men’s, and Louise Paulin took the win in the women’s. Louise told us she didn’t feel like she was riding fast or very well, but in conditions like these, consistency pays off.

Images for 2016 Superenduro Round 4 Santa Caterina Day 1

To get between stage 3 and 4 initially you follow up a road climb which eventually drops the riders into one of the most amazing liaison stages we ve seen. Just snaking its way through some incredible scenery.

Just wow.

Perfectly carved switchbacks.

The brown snake that was the trail was still running well in the morning.

2016 Superenduro Round 4 Santa Caterina Race Day

After Alex Lupato s puncture Marco Milivinti just had to get down safely to take the overall. He got down safely.
Marco Milivinti.
Superenduro

Louise Paulin took the win in the women s and also the overall today.
Louise Paulin.
Louise Paulin said she didn t feel like she was riding fast or well. But consistency in these conditions really does pay.

Men:
1st: Marco Milivinti
2nd: Marcello Pesenti
3rd: Martino Fruet
Women:
1st: Louise Paulin
2nd: Anna Oberparleiter
3rd: Jessica Bormolini

Day 1 - Practice
Day 2 - Practice
Day 3 - Race Day

We've dipped our bread in the famous olive oil of Mass Marittima, eaten Troffie (regional pasta) from Varazze, devoured Speck (dried smoked meat) from Canazei, and drunk Nebbiolo (red wine) from Santa Caterina. It was an incredible season this year and we can't wait to see where 2017 takes us.

The winners. Louise and Marco.
Overall winners Louise Paulin and Marco Milivinti


MENTIONS: @BWinder




10 Comments

  • 22 0
 Dang. I'd spend a lot of money to go there. These photos make it look the pinnacle of living.
  • 12 0
 Wow what a beautiful place to bike, would love to ride there some day!
  • 8 0
 bella italia!!
  • 6 0
 Oh man, how good does that look.
  • 4 0
 Going back to Italy again this year, some amazing trails out there, without the dreaded breaking bumps!
  • 5 0
 Che bello vedere un po' dei nostri trail su PB, grazie per l'articolo!
  • 3 0
 I barley noticed the bikes/riders as the landscape was so mesmerizing...
  • 2 0
 Can't wait to hit the trails at Massa Marittima later in the year.
  • 1 0
 I'm traveling to Massa this June! Any suggestions on a shop for demo bikes since we aren't traveling with ours?
  • 2 0
 The only one I have been able to find is www.suminluciano.com - it says they do mtb rentals, it may be a good idea to get in touch to see what their fleet consists of (the site doesn't say). They're in an industrial estate about 10 minutes' drive outside Massa. Also, they keep Italian-style opening hours you may not be familiar with: Mon-Sat 8.30AM - 12.30PM and 3PM - 7PM, closed Sundays. Good luck and enjoy your trip.

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