The bikes are laid, the roads are empty and the mountain resonates with the energy of the ending of the Northern Enduro Series in México, it's final stage is held in the vicinity of Saltillo, on a beautiful haven known as The Diamond located at the eastern side of the state. Altough being surrounded by desert regions El Diamante (spanish name) has a very forest like vegetation, it's altitude makes it up for a very humid and cold weather in the mornings and nights thus making the presence of pine trees and loam rich soil very easy.
El Diamante is the culmination of the effort of many actors, one of them the local crew known as Las Mulas (Mules) a MTB group with a few members who over the years have invested in the development of the area in aspects such as tourism and basic care for the rural community held there. As the years have gone by through a very bilateral healthy relationship with the locals, the Mules have created quite the trail sistem.
With the help of the organizers of the northern serial the decision of hold a stage there was made. The event gathered riders from all over the place leaving a very healthy economic bleed towards the local service suppliers such as food places, hostals, bike shops among some others.
As with most of the races in Mexico (that I know of) events are held in areas that have antennas, these are located at the highest points of mountain ranges and must have a fireroad for maintenance and repairs that ends up working as the trailhead. That is the case of El Diamante which contains 5 trails that start at the same point near the antennas, the trails are made of a loam rich soil at the first 3 and the last two transition from said terrain to a more dry loose dirt over technical sections making it a very varied place.
I walk up and reach the top of the race, riders gather up and soon the start alarm begins. Sharp rocks on steep angles soon take their first victims as punctures become evident, next we see loamy switchbacks with loose debris making many to loose grip and slip away, either you fully commit on the turns or you just fall away.
Second stage is the steepest and shortes, it is similar to the first one as it contains even more technical sections hidden under the leaves and dirt making it for a very fun trail if taken properly. In hindsight I think the entire race is very natural as in the obstacles are mostly natural made and the only manmade features are at the fifth stage that we will talk more in a minute.
Third stage sways around at the northern most part of the area closely moving at the ridgeline of the mountain containing many stepdowns and drops that make up for very good photos.
As the riders gather up for the last two stages the athmosphere grows in joy, I see faces of hapiness and excitement mixed with tired arms, sored legs and dust all over the place. The 4th stage is a flow trail, off cambers, loose sections and ditches make a very fast trail in which you must be precise on your movements or you will have a nasty fall. The fun thing about the final part of the race is that the last stages start and end in order, if you mantain your strenght through the course you may tackle it swiftly, that if if you dont have any mechanical failure or any setback.
And thus, the even ended, the paces were high, the work of many months done and the joy was in the air, after minor injuries the whole race was done and the ceremony started, dust covered faces, hunngry stomach growls and the sound of beer bottles clashing surrounded the crowd, the job was done and now it was time to celebrate! Thanks in advance to those who always share Trailmex's photos and support us, even tough we enjoy doing this is tough to reach the venues and stay healthy (money wise). Much gratitude to the people behind Enduro & Trail, my friends Gil and Fried for their support and the Mules MTB club for their hospitality and probably one of the most hardcore partys I've had so far!!!
Here are some more photos!
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About the Author Stats: Age: 26 • Height: 6' • Weight: Too Much • Industry affiliations / sponsors: Always Looking
Andy Ruiz has been at the forefront of the Enduro Series in México by documenting the races, taking snaps of a variety of events and supporting his own local trails by doing maintenance, building and being part of a great group of riders altough not even having a bike! When he's not doing Session Musician Work or in care of Audio Production he's the wizardly crazy mind behind Trailmex's stuff.
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