Last weekend ended not only holidays, but also this year's season of Enduro MTB Series. The final round was hosted by Srebrna Góra in Stoszowice Commune.
Over 140 riders revisited the arena of last year's Polish National Championships, featuring one of the most demanding, but also satisfying trails in the Polish race calendar (not only enduro!). They are famous for their steep downhills - some of them literally run over the walls of the Srebrna Góra fortress, others utilise a remarkable natural landscape, including huge rock slabs in the middle of the last, fourth stage, and the iconic "Polish Whistler" section of a truly Canadian-Alpine character. But enduro is not only about steep descents - the most difficult elements were combined with sections requiring good fitness. It was also necessary to reach all 4 stages in the August heat - the well stocked OSHEE feeding area after the second stage helped. In total, there were about 30 km and 1200 meters of elevation to cover.
Přemek Tejchman (Qayron Factory Team) from the Czech Republic was the best at combining downhill skills with physical performance. He was the only one to break the barrier of 23 minutes, winning every special stage and winning by more than 28 seconds ahead of the second Marek Konwa. The third in Elite category was Marcin Motyka, who achieved a great result despite 14 stitches on his leg from the day before - that is what we call the spirit!
As always, the tough race was held in the Women's category. Despite a slightly weaker first stage, the winner was Katarzyna Burek (Ibis Beastie Bikes Racing), ahead of Iwona Czyszczoń and Joanna Światłoń - the order on the podium was decided by less than 17 seconds.
Jakub Gąsienica started the day well in the Junior category, but Dominik Dańkowski (#Dracer by SPORTSTORE.pl) overtook him after swapping victories on the following stages. The third place was taken by Maciek Żołądź.
The other end of the age scale, the Masters category, saw another excellent performance by Roman Kwaśny (Trek Bielsko Racing), who in his category was the fastest on each stage and ranked fifth in the Open classification. Next to him, Bartosz Szwed and Piotr Reczek stood on the podium.
Aside from age categories, riders on hardtails and electric bikes fought for the podium. The sign of the times is probably that for the first time there were more e-bikes than rigid frames (11 versus 7). In the hardtail category, Paweł Sadzik (Woo Crew) was the fastest, and the e-bike category was taken again by Dariusz Grudniewski (IN Mogilany Cycling Team), whose sensational pace placed him third in the Open classification.
We mention the Open classification because in Srebrna Góra the rider with the best time, regardless of the category, won a special prize from the title sponsor. The high-end CAT Phones S61 smartphone went to Přemek Tejchman.
The decoration was completed by the team classification, in which Eskimoo Racing Team won ahead of Woo Crew and Knurświny.
The afterparty by the fire was nominated the fifth special stage, so on Sunday the trails became busy only around noon. Most of the racers took the second day of the weekend - and the last day of the holiday - to revisit stages without pressure and ride the official trails of the venue. It was also possible to take part in a skills training with Łukasz Szymczuk from Whyte Racing and test the bikes of this British brand on Whyte Demo Day.
The event in Srebrna Góra closed another chapter in the history of the Enduro MTB Series. An interesting and important chapter, full of experiments - this year each edition was completely different from the others. From the first two-day race in Rabka-Zdrój, through the new time-hunt formula in Przesieka, to the final in Srebrna Góra, for which the competitors could prepare a few weeks in advance. Not to mention four years of experience with the on-sight formula. How will this experience translate into the future of this organizer's events? It's too early to answer this question, but we hope that next year Enduro MTB Series will return with new races pushing the Polish racing scene even further.