The race season is well under way now, and it’s time for the first round of the Superenduro. We’ve ventured down to Perugia to a beautiful town named Gualdo Tadino, home for Rocchetta water. A famous spring here pumps out the water, fills the taps of all the houses and is also bottle at the bottom of the hill. The town itself has had a troubled history and had to be rebuilt three times over due to wars. The last time it was rebuilt was in 1239, and has remained since then, still a stunning ancient town.
Looking all around there are rolling hills, nothing jagged but not small either. The mountain behind the town, on which the first stage starts towers over the town by about 900m, starting at 1,400m. Over the course of the race, the riders will climb 1,700m and pedal 39km in five stages.
A Word with Manuel Ducci As Race Director, he’s involved in the taping of the tracks, and providing technical feedback on things like line choice and safety. He works together with Enrico and the local organisers on their track choice and helps in making the final decision. Manuel is still racing outside of the Superenduro, so he’s in tune to what riders want to see in trails and what will make exciting racing. This is a new role for Manuel this year.
A super picturesque town in the heart of Italy.
You came here two weeks ago to make the final decisions on the tracks that would be raced, how do you decide? What influences your decision?
Yes, I came here two weeks ago to decide. I’m still a rider and a racer so I try to think about what I would like to find in a race, not just for me, but what I would find exciting for all the racers. So trying to follow these guidelines I will find the best trails for the event.
Are there any limits on the tracks you tape? How many you stages you race?
There are some standards we must abide by, the altitude/elevation effects the amount of stages we can race. The levitation is the main thing. You can have many stages with low elevation or sometimes the opposite. We have to stay between 1,600 and 2,000 meters of elevation. In this range, we can make a race between 35 and 50 kilometers. We always try to get the most and best stages as possible, but we must stick to these guidelines.
What can we expect from the stages here?
The stages here are pretty, they look easy… but they are not. To ride at the right pace, you have to push really hard riding on the limit, it’s easy to make mistakes, come off the track and lose time. In general, the riding is good, the trails are really flowy, every stage is different, you can find different kind of dirt, ground and the difficulty level changes stage by stage, I think it’s going to be a very interesting race. It’s also a great place to start the Superenduro series this year.