It has been nearly six months since the inaugural Enduro World Series season wrapped on the shores of the Ligurian Sea last October. Those months are usually called the off-season, but maybe that's not the best word for it. If you want to have a chance to stand on the podium you can't spend that time sitting on the sofa, eating, drinking and watching your favourite TV show. Those months are for work. While the race season is demanding, it's during the winters that riders put themselves through the bile-wrenching interval sessions, the long, lonely miles on the road bike and the brutal conditioning in the gym. The question that is posed in the coming days will be - whose sacrifice paid off the most? Who worked hardest and who maybe should have stayed on the sofa?
As a sign of how they see the future of the Enduro World Series, for 2014 it leaves the comfort of the Northen Hemisphere for the opening round. Half a world away from the familiar terrain of Europe and North America, the racing will start on the long strip of mountains that borders the Pacific Ocean: Chile. It was Fabien Barel who said that the core of enduro is adventure, and that's just what this race is for most of the international riders. Few of them have ever ventured here before, so part of the challenge of the week is racing in unfamiliar surrounds, on terrain unlike anything you find north of the equator and with a race format that is just different enough to throw off an routines that may have formed. It also acknowledges the spread of enduro as a truly international sport, one that has reached far and wide, reaffirming the work of the race organisers here in Chile and offering hope to other countries with emerging enduro race scenes that they too could be part of the big show...www.enduroworldseries.com