Words & Photography: Matt Wragg
Today marks a decade since the Enduro World Series held its first ever race in Punta Ala, Italy. Ten years ago, enduro was a very different to the global sport we see today - it is easy to take for granted all the things that needed to be figured out. We forget that as riders began arriving in the quiet Tuscan seaside resort, nobody knew if it would even work.
I had spent the previous year chasing Italy's Superenduro series, plus a few smaller races, so I had probably shot more enduro races than anybody I was shooting alongside that day. I had also been living in Punta Ala that winter, so I wanted to use my knowledge of the sport and the area to capture the story of the day, so I paid a friend's wife to drive me around on her scooter all day. That meant I could shoot every single stage that day and follow the front of the mens' race. The downside of that is that I missed everything else - the women, the privateers, the less serious side of the racing.
When we talk about Jerome knowing how to win, it was in the detail where he really set himself apart. His dad was with him to work on his bike while he took his lunch, and a give it a quick jetwash to make sure everything was clean and ready for the afternoon of racing
And here one from Remi Absalon
Would I trust a community designed bike? If it turns out anything like the Alutech Internet Community Bike 2.0, then probably yes. I'm an admin of MTB-News.de's geometry database and I recently stumbled upon the Alutech ICB 2.0 and honestly, I think they did a decent job back then. Long-ish front end, tall stack, slack headangle, not overly long top tube - the fundamentals of "modern geometry" are all in place. Sure, some things would be done differently today and things have certainly progressed, but for the time it was probably a pretty decent bike.
I really wonder what a community designed bike would look like today. Could be interesting to run some polls on that.
PS I wonder where all those dudes in the comments saying they'll never ride a 29er or even a 27.5 bike are today...
Is it just me? or the enduro racing had a lot more camaraderie than actually? The only ones who smiles normally are the podium racers.