2016 Superenduro Round 4: Santa Caterina, Race Day

Jul 31, 2016
by Ben Winder  




Race day arrived here in Santa Caterina for the final round of the Superenduro (Italian Enduro Series). Along with the race atmosphere so did the rain, torrential. This really put a spanner in the works, the initial worry was for the rider’s safety, the organisers weren’t sure it was fair to ask riders to head up to 3000m in freezing, rainy and snowy conditions. This was confirmed when the gondola wasn’t able to run either. This forced changes in the schedule for the race, and unfortunately ended up with two of the stages totally cut, and half of another.

The race was now stage one as planned, then riders would take on a two-hour climb high into the mountains, and reach the half-way point of stage three, race the remainder of stage three and then to the final stage. The weather is always going to be a potential issue for riding in the mountains, they’re unpredictable and sometimes dangerous, but perhaps that’s an element that attracts us to them as mountain bikers, their untouched and pristine beauty.

As it’s the final round it wasn’t just about the racing on the day, the overall still needed to be decided, the trails still needed to provide a challenge to allow the best rider to win. This was a worry considering half of the race had to be cut, but what we lost in distance was made up for in the technical difficulty that the rain brought on.

With a glimpse of the tall mountains poking through the cloud at the top of stage 3.
With a glimpse of the tall mountains poking through the cloud at the top of stage three.

Torrential.
Torrential.

2016 Superenduro Round 4 Santa Caterina Race Day

We heard reports of a few riders waking up and partly wishing the race was cancelled it s easy to see why from peering through a window into the heavy rain. By the end of the day there were big smiles and riders were talking about the amazing riding is here.
We heard reports of a few riders waking up and partly wishing the race was cancelled, it's easy to see why from peering through a window into the heavy rain. By the end of the day, there were big smiles and riders were talking about the amazing riding is here.

The mountains creating such unpredictable weather.
The mountains creating such unpredictable weather.

But as they say the show must go on. It is the final race of the series after all.
But as they say, the show must go on. It is the final race of the series after all.

The morning resulted in big questions about tyres being asked full wet wet front and then pressures too. We saw a mix some riders opted to just run lower pressures with dry tyres.
The morning resulted in big questions about tyres being asked. Full wet, wet front and then pressures too. We saw a mix, some riders opted to just run lower pressures with dry tyres.

The weather didn t stop the fans and supporters.
The weather didn't stop the fans and supporters.

A weekend filled with tough decisions for Enrico Guala and the entire team a tough decision to cut half of your race.
A weekend filled with tough decisions for Enrico Guala (and the entire team), a tough decision to cut half of your race.

2016 Superenduro Round 4 Santa Caterina Race Day

A man that could potentially take the overall this weekend Vittorio Gambirasio
A man that could potentially take the overall this weekend, Vittorio Gambirasio

Jessica Bormolini Left Louise Paulin centre Anna Oberparleiter right .
Jessica Bormolini (Left), Louise Paulin (centre), Anna Oberparleiter (right).

Goggle protection for the long climbs.
Goggle protection for the long climbs.

And the race begins riders set of from the town and begin their climb to the first stage.
And the race begins, riders set off from the town and begin the climb to the first stage.

The first stage was all in the woods littered with roots which had been polished up by the rain.
The first stage was all in the woods, littered with roots which had been polished up by the rain.

The brown snake that was the trail was still running well in the morning.
The brown snake that was the trail, was still running well in the morning.

2016 Superenduro Round 4 Santa Caterina Race Day

Hold on and hope. This was one tough off-camber section.
Hold on and hope. This was one tough off-camber section.

The corners still remained intact which did keep the pace of the race fast.
The corners still remained intact which did keep the pace pretty fast.

The roots caught a fair few victims though.
The roots caught a fair few victims.

High hopes to take the overall this weekend for Vittorio Gambirasio were stunned on the first stage where he took a big crash in one of the more technical sections.
High hopes to take the overall this weekend for Vittorio Gambirasio, were stunned on the first stage where he took a big crash in one of the more technical sections.

Left in the dirt.
Left in the dirt.

Riders had a time check after the first stage.
Riders had a time check after the first stage.

With Gambirasio out of contention for the overall now these two men had their eyes on the prize. Marco Milivinti left was in the lead in the overall but was sitting in second place on the day. Fastest on stage 1 Alex Lupato right . With all to play for between these two the race was still on.
With Gambirasio out of contention for the overall now, these two men had their eyes on the prize. Marco Milivinti (left) was in the lead in the overall but was sitting in second place on the day. Fastest on stage 1, Alex Lupato (right). With all to play for between these two, the race was still on.

Chasing the coveted number one spot.
Chasing the coveted number one spot.

A big two hour climb to the mid-point of stage three in the pouring rain really tested the riders will. The ground was frozen at the start it didn t take riders long to get cold at the top.
A big two-hour climb to the mid-point of stage three in the pouring rain, really tested the riders will. The ground was frozen at the start, it didn't take riders long to get cold at the top.

2016 Superenduro Round 4 Santa Caterina Race Day

Racing ensued though.
Racing ensued though.

The racers had to navigate through a rock field it was necessary to maintain your speed through here
The racers had to navigate through a rock field, it was necessary to maintain your speed through here...

 but hit a slippery rock too quickly and you hit the floor pretty fast.
...but hit a slippery rock too quickly and you hit the floor pretty fast.

The trail does go somewhere through this big rock field.
The trail does go somewhere through this big rock field.

Sara De Leo had her eye on the prize but a crash on stage one which ripped her front brake off she was out of contention of the win early on in the day.
Sara De Leo had her eye on the prize but a crash on stage one which ripped her front brake off saw her out of contention for a win early on in the day.

A solid result for Martino Fruet 3rd position today.
A solid result for Martino Fruet, 3rd position today.

2016 Superenduro Round 4 Santa Caterina Race Day

Anna Oberparleiter powering her way to a 2nd place.
Anna Oberparleiter powering her way to a 2nd place.

2016 Superenduro Round 4 Santa Caterina Race Day

Second placed Marcello Pesenti.
Second placed Marcello Pesenti.

Alex Lupato s race was shattered with a puncture on stage 3.
Alex Lupato's race was shattered with a puncture on stage three.

Finish of stage 3.
Finish of stage three.

2016 Superenduro Round 4 Santa Caterina Race Day

To the final stage it was a blast down the road here Alex Lupato manualing down after fixing his puncture.
The final stage was a blast down the road, here Alex Lupato manuals down after fixing his puncture.

Stage 5 became super slippery and almost a different track to the morning. The race used the same trail for stage 1 and 5 .
Stage five became super slippery and almost a different track to the morning. (The race used the same trail for stage one and five).

Louise Paulin took the win in the women s and also the overall today.
Louise Paulin took the win in the women's and also the overall today.

After Alex Lupato s puncture Marco Milivinti just had to get down safely to take the overall. He got down safely.
After Alex Lupato's puncture, Marco Milivinti just had to get down safely to take the overall. He got down safely.

He came down safely and fast. He took the overall win and the win on the day too.
He came down safely and fast. He took the overall win and the win on the day too.

Louise Paulin said she didn t feel like she was riding fast or well. But consistency in these conditions really does pay.
Louise Paulin said she didn't feel like she was riding fast or well. But consistency in these conditions really does pay.

The winners. Louise and Marco.
The winners. Louise and Marco.

2016 Superenduro Round 4 Santa Caterina Race Day

Disappointed by the day Alex Lupato.
Disappointed by the day, Alex Lupato.

A pretty happy Martino Fruet 3rd place for him today.
A pretty happy Martino Fruet, 3rd place for him today.

2016 Superenduro Round 4 Santa Caterina Race Day

Results

Men's:

1st: Marco Milivinti
2nd: Marcello Pesenti
3rd: Martino Fruet

Women's:

1st: Louise Paulin
2nd: Anna Oberparleiter
3rd: Jessica Bormolini

Milivinti.
Milivinti.

A natural was of washing off your wheels.
A natural way of washing off your wheels.

Thanks Superenduro See you again next year
Thanks, Superenduro! See you again next year!



4 Comments

  • + 2
 Epic trails and views. Never even thought of it as a riding destination before!
  • + 1
 So many people running the new formula and ohlins forks, a sign of the future?
  • + 1
 We're starting to see more and more of Ohlins... good to see
  • + 1
 Congratulations Louise!! A bad-ass mtn biker and mother. Well done.

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