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Race Preview: 2020 Spanish Enduro Championships

Sep 12, 2020
by Yaroslav Alpizar  


Its racing time! Under strict sanitary and security protocols of course due to the COVID19. The small, but known, village of Castejon de Sos in Aragon, Spain, is the epicenter of enduro for a weekend. Possibly one of the few (if not the only one) race to take place in the hard-hitting country by the virus. Till last week riders and teams from all over Spain were carefully following all the news from the organizers. Finally, the local health authorities gave green light to the event. But with heavy rules for all participants, avoiding as much public as possible, riders must follow strict social distancing as much as possible, temperatures will be taken daily before rider departure, masks are mandatory when not racing or training and anyone violating the rules will be automatically disqualified.

Castejon de Sos, located in the heart of the Pyrenees, not far from the known Ainsa village, where the EWS has taken place twice, has some outstanding trails. Some prefer this area over other close by riding regions as the trails are long, more natural, technical and rough. Names like Integra del Gallinero, Planadona, Magic Line or Rabaltueras make every rider drool non stop. The race route is not an easy one, as expected for a national championship. With 39km and almost 2000m of climbing the weekend will be a long one for many riders.


Thankfully organizers decided to allow the riders to do 3 days of training and Saturday is only mandatory to get to one control point at the start of stages 2 and 3, to try to make things equal to every rider. On Sunday a grueling 17km +1100m climb awaits to get to the start of stage 1, Integral del Gallinero, a known trail from previous races and events. The terrain is dry and loose, as usual in summer. For southern riders, from Andalucia, Valencia and other Mediterranean regions are the perfect conditions. But riders from more rainy areas will be happy if there is some rain. But they seem out of luck, weather expectations are sunny and hot, reaching near 28 Celcius and not too windy.

The battle for the championship will be a hard one, with some big names in the field. In the womens category, Marketa Michalkova will be the one to beat so and there will be some names to watch in the field, Elisabeth Guillem, Elena Perez, Sandra Jorda and others. The current M40 women champ, Nila Veneroso, will need to push hard to avoid the local Maria Monzon and Alejanda Pastor to get away with the title.

In the mens categories, Gabriel Torralba (Aragon) is the defending elite champ and certainly other riders will not make things easy for him. The Canarian Edgar Carballo, although EWS team partner, will defend his Canary Islands flag and push for the overall. In U23 category Carlos Von Hayden is the current champ but Mateu Tur Costa and Nacho Valverde will for sure make things harder for him. Alvaro Garcia (Andalucia) is the current M30 champ and there will be a fierce but friendly battle from his close friend Alejandro Spa (Andalucia) and Ivan Runza.

Who is ready

Some words before starting a long day of training
Temperature social distancing and other protocols are a must under this COVID19 times
Temperature, social distancing and other protocols are a must under this COVID19 times

Marketa is ready for fun
Girls wanna have fun
Girls wanna have fun

Before a long day on the saddle you need a good breakfast
Before a long day on the saddle you need a good breakfast

Everyone want to take a close look to the crazy riders
Castejon de Sos has lot to do not just mtb but also paragliding and canyoning

Alex Spa known BMX riders and Spanish champ has also good results in enduro and DH
All the way from Granada Alvaro Garcia is a fierce contender for the M30 podium
All the way from Granada, Alvaro Garcia and Alex Spa are big contenders for the M30 podium

Pyrenees have some big mountains and awesome trails find the riders
The Pyrenees have some big mountains and awesome trails, find the riders

almost 3h to get to the first stage you can ride or walk choose your flavour
almost 3h to get to the first stage, you can ride or walk, choose your flavour

Its a long way to the top
Its a long way to the top

The top section of Integral del Gallinero is open to choose any line you want
The top section of Integral del Gallinero is open to choose any line you want

Nico Carrera from Galicia one of the big names for the overall and the U23 category
It was a long hot day time to refresh



Nila Veneroso quietly but steadily she has the M40 women category under her belt any race she participates.
You can find Marcos Palacio usually training with his close friend and neighbor Gabriel Torralba long hard gnarly routes are his thing.

The battle on the Juniors category will be fierce and Diego Menendez is the rider to defeat
The battle on the Juniors category will be fierce and Diego Menendez is the rider to defeat

Another U23 contender for the top positions Victor Sahagun has the skills to be up there
Another U23 contender for the top positions, Victor Sahagun has the skills to be up there

Another top rider from Catalunya Guillem Casal will try to grab some top spots
Stage 2 has some rock rolls and slabs for the riders to enjoy

Marcos Lopez from Madrid on the U23 category is a big contender for the top places

Marketa Michalkova usually found on elite women podiums
Marketa Michalkova, usually found on elite women podiums

Media squids can send it too
Media squids can send it too

Guillem Sanz always pushes to the limit certainly will be battling for the top positions

Edgar Carballo from the Orbea Fox Enduro Team is a big contender for the podium
Edgar Carballo from the Orbea Fox Enduro Team is a big contender for the podium

Although is summer and dry stage 5 seems like a trail from Madeira or any other humid place
Although is summer and dry, stage 5 seems like a trail from Madeira or any other humid place

Trainings done lets recover spanish style
Training is done, let's recover, Spanish style



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