The second stop for the Enduro Sweden series was hosted in Sölvesborg, Ryssberget. Located in southern Sweden where it is mostly flat. Finding trails for Enduro and Downhill should be quite tricky, although Ryssberget seemed to be just what we needed to host an Enduro race. Like the previous race in Gothenburg, the trails had been dusty and fast for a month, but this change quickly as 20 millimeters of rain soaked the ground of Ryssberget the night before training. The dust turned into mud and the keeping speed on the flat parts was going to be a real leg killer for the riders.
The transportation to the stages was mostly on a big gravel road, the very characteristic looks of this forest gave the riders a view to enjoy while heading up.
Stage 1 was still moist when the first riders started their race, slippery roots and sniper rocks made sure that most riders would not get through this stage without mistakes. The tactic for this weekend was to keep speed where trails said you could not.
Stage 2 started off with a flat part, as stated before this part should be a fast one in dry conditions but today you had to fight for the speed. Like most stages in this race the start was flat and ended up with a tough technical part, in this stage there was a massive rock garden for the riders to attack.
The most beautiful stage of this week was certainly stage 3, although it had a very long pedal section in the beginning, it really gave the spectators something to look at. Here is Andreas Höglund going full throttle down the first tricky part after the flat section. Andreas is riding for OK Hammaren and this seemed to be a good weekend for the riders from the club, having two podiums in the men’s elite and Andreas grabbing 2nd place in the U21-class.
Stefan Persson seems to have legs of steel, having some top 10 finishes under his belt he decided that this should be his first enter on the podium of the ESS. Ending with a solid 3rd in men’s Elite, of course riding for OK Hammaren.
Muddy turns sums up the last part of stage 3, inside lines was covered by roots but some seemed to manage it quite alright. The rain also added extra color to this area, making it easy for a photographer
Taking his 2nd podium for the season was Daniel Swanbeck, with a background from XC racing I thought that Daniel could be one to look out for this weekend. I asked Daniel what he thought about this weekend and he had this to say.
After the DNF from last competition in Gothenburg, Ebba Johansson was in for a revenge, winning 4 out of 7 stages. Although a broken chain on stage 5 had her suffering a lot and unfortunately stage 5 went a lot faster on two wheels than on foot.
Stage 5 started of tight and fast and ended up in a long straight trail covered in stone and mud. Because of the rain a section of 100 meters turned in to a mud bath that sucked a lot of energy out of the riders. Although it got better further down and the sprint to the finish was fast and had a nice jump that invited for both air and style.
Someone who stays consistent during these races is Linn Olstam, seeing her on the podium is nothing new by now and also this time she rode solid and ended up with a 2nd place among the Elite Women’s.
The most physical stage was for sure stage 6, hated by many and loved by a few. Maybe the stage that was most affected by the rain with wide long straight sections covered in deep mud. This was supposed to be a very tough stage and it really was, it ended with some uphill climbs before reaching the finish.
A newcomer on the Women’s podium was Josefine Ahlström, I guess she also got some advantage from XC racing. Even though some riders seemed to be well beaten after the training day, Josefine showed up with a big smile saying she had so much fun. That smile seemed to stay even on Sunday and she rode in to a 3rd place in the Elite Women’s, her first and hopefully not last time on the ESS podium.
The competition in the Women’s race is really starting to get tough this season, with her first podium in Gothenburg, Elin Eng showed that she is here to stay. Finding speed that no one else seemed to find and riding overall really solid gave her the first place this weekend. I asked her how she felt about this weekend.
Anton Karlsson had a slippery slide today and could not really find the speed needed to stay on top this week, ending with a 10th
The fastest rider of the day, again. Simon Carlsson really takes the Swedish Enduro scene by storm, winning another race this year and simply looking solid as a rock. Simon says that hard training, both mentally and physically is the key to his success and he is really looking forward to the next stop in Östersund where he claimed his first victory in the ESS last year.
1. Simon Carlsson 15:29.64
2. Daniel Swanbeck 15:49.01
3. Stefan Persson 15:55.93
1. Elin Eng 21:08.90
2. Linn Olstam 21:34.32
3. Josefine Ahlström 21:49.69
1. Adam Larsson 16:41.81
2. Andreas Höglund 17:11.97
3. Adam Norlin 17:50.56
1. Elina Davidsson 23:28.15
2. Miriam Holm 27:48.31
1. Johan Johannesson 17:11.15
2. Tommy Varg 17:47.80
3. Fredrik Järperud 17:57.27
1. Charlotte Von Feilitzen 22:14.29
2. Cathrine Svensson 23:54.43
3. Anne Bödker 24:29.71