The Superenduro - Italian Enduro Series returns to Canazei for the 3rd year in a row, but this time with a twist as it hosts the first round of the new European Continental Enduro Series; a branch off from the EWS. We caught up with local guide and trail builder Willy Basilico from Fassa Sport and got the low down on the new tracks and found out what Canazei has to offer.
When did the idea to grow mountain biking in Canazei and what was your initial plan?
Like most great ideas, a friend, a pub and a beer was involved. Add in a love for mountain biking and a whole load of untapped potential across the varying terrain of the Trentino Province and there an idea was born.
“My friend and I were both lovers of the sport and over a beer the idea was developed to build a bike park in the area, 11 years later and here we are!”
With the sport being relatively unknown to the area, Willy faced a battle to integrate the sport into the community and gain respect within the town. However, with persistence and help from the mayor he slowly gained trust from the tourism boards and local community. It wasn’t long until the tourist boards realised the potential and were coming to him asking for trails to be made here and there.
How has your aim and ideas for the local mountain bike community changed over the past decade?
“Initially we started out wanting to create a bike park, since then our idea has grown and changed. We have 7 main trails in the bike park including another 3 over the other side of the mountain which is connected by the lifts around Passo Pordoi. Now we are planning to create one flow trail on the Belvedere and then a number of more natural trails. We are also discussing with the lifts for the 2019 season to stay open through October so people can experience more riding and get to see the gorgeous autumn colours we have here.”
With the main source of tourism being hiking, there are a number of walkers trails with the potential to be ridden, however with the high volume of hikers on the trails in the summer it can be hard to keep the trails safe for both parties. Not wanting to completely remove the option to ride natural walkers style tracks, the trail builders in Canazei plan to create a number of MTB tracks which will replicate the natural hiking trails, yet keep them solely for cyclists so that both activities can enjoy their own activities without any worry of a biker hurtling down a steep hikers path towards unsuspecting tourists.
Along with the bike park, what sort of riding do you offer?
“We also offer a wide variety of MTB tours and courses for a range of skill levels. One of the tours we are thrilled to offer is the Sellaronda tour, a popular and well-known winter ski tour taking you to the four passes; Gardena, Campolongo, Pordoi and Sella, which is now able to be toured by bike in the summer!”
How does holding the Superenduro here benefit the local community?
With the Superenduro returning for the 3rd time, and the Canazei team preparing for the EWS to stop here on next years series, it’s interesting to see how these races benefit the local area and riding community.
“With every event that has come to Canazei we have grown with them. Our first major event was the Italian Enduro Championships in 2015 and then the Superenduro have used Canazei for the past 2 years and have now returned this year as part of the European Continental Series which gives us a taste of what to expect and prepare for for next years EWS stop. It’s really important to us as it means that Enrico and the Superenduro trust in us and the quality of our trails, which in turns gains us more respect and recognition from the local tourism companies etc. With such events stopping at Canazei we are also given permission to fix and build old and new trails. For example, for this round of the Superenduro, we have built 2 new trails and fixed one to make it a full track, in total about 70% of this weekends racing is new or freshly rebuilt.”
One of the main positives to come out of the Superenduro for local riding communities are the tracks the area gains after the race. With on average over half of the tracks in each race being new, the local community gains a multitude of fresh tracks all built to a high standard which then not only draws the racers back, but also brings in all kinds of riders who want to get a taste of the trails they’ve heard so many positive things about.
With plans to extend further throughout the valley by 2021 there is plenty of expansion and no sign of slowing it down anytime soon!
If you’re interested in finding out more information about the trails, tours and other sports Canazei has to offer then head over to https://www.fassasport.com/en/
. And visit https://www.fassa.com/EN/Sport-and-activities-in-Val-di-Fassa--Mountain-biking/
for more information on the local infrastructure for mountain biking.