As Innerleithen gears up for the final EWS race this weekend, what better time to look back on where the sport has come from? I have been telling people recently that I believe enduro is the biggest change to mountain biking in my riding life, so what better way to get a handle on how big a thing it has been than by looking at how the sport looked before it reached the mainstream? Sauze D'Oulx marked a big step for the burgeoning discipline, it was the first time the Trophy of Nations was ever held outside of France.
The Enduro of Nations is significant for me personally too, it was my first paid job for Pinkbike. 10 years ago I was a bike guide who had waved a camera around a couple of times, but let's not put too fine a point on it - I had no idea what I was doing. Today, I'm not entirely sure how I came to convince Pinkbike to pay me for the weekend, but I probably owe Julian Coffey a beer for doing it.
Armed with a Canon Rebel, the lens it came with, and very little grasp of how to make them do what I wanted, this is the result (although I have had a little re-edit). Looking through it, I find it useful reminder - sure, the photos aren't great, but I worked my ass off that weekend, running around town late each evening to make sure there was content to go out. I'm almost certain the reason I'm here today to write this was my work ethic (I produced ten articles over the space of a week
), and that is something I try not to forget.
So buckle up and let's have a look at how the best enduro racers in the world looked in 2011. Although this weekend was when a certain Martin Maes came to the world's attention, at just 15 years destroying most of the men's field to grab top 5 scratch, I can't find a single image of him or the actual results sheets.