Enduro Sweden series 2019 just had its first race for the season and this time we started off in Gothenburg. New for this year was the new area for the race. Previous years the races have been held in Änggårdsbergen in the central of Gothenburg but this time it was located in the east parts of the city, Lackarebäck. This is the home of the downhill scene, which has bloomed in Gothenburg during the early 2000’s, and the riders could expect some steep technical riding. The past two months has been mostly warm and sunny in Gothenburg but this weekend it appeared to be a wet one, something that seems to be a tradition for these races. This meant that the dusty and dry conditions on Saturday's training would turn into a very slippery and sketchy path during Sunday's race.
The video summary for the weekend's race by Niklas Wallner.
The rain started pouring during the afternoon of Saturday's training and did not stop until the Elite riders started on the last two stages. This meant that the 450 riders who participate would change the tracks a lot for the last riders coming down. Neptron is responsible for the timing system this year as well. Unfortunately, the rain seemed to mess with the signals and the last stage had some timing issues which resulted in stage 7 being removed from the overall results.
It was nice to see that a bunch of companies showed up to support the event, offering the riders food, spare parts, rain gear, bike service and possibly a bike for the ones in need. Thanks to Void, Stampen cykel, Bikeyard, Norröna, Sundtorps cykel and BBQ brothers for showing up.
The first riders on the first stage, lines were getting long at the start of stage 1, a lot of crashes postponed the start for riders behind, but as soon as everyone figured out that there was no grip in the tracks the race got going in a normal pace. There were a lot of questions about what was waiting below and I must say you could feel the tension in the air.
Staying in the high lines was probably the most challenging part of this race, it seemed more like you ended up wherever the tracks took you, sometimes straight on your face.
Did I mention it was a bit slippery?
The stages had something of everything, steep sections, flowy sections, technical sections, uphill sections and a slippery bridge or two with a solid root covered landing.
The climbs to the stages were mostly on gravel roads, although they were steep and took a lot of strength to conquer.
Alexander Esbjörnsson appeared to handle the roots on stage 5 quite alright, finishing at 16th place this weekend.
Gothenburg is a city stacked with small forests, it is somehow unique that you can ride first class trails next to trams, highways, buildings and industrial companies - I guess this is why the bike scene is growing fast in Gothenburg.
Saturday's conditions vs Sunday's conditions - 40mm of rain is more than you can imagine.
Ebba Johansson ended last season with a solid 2nd placement at the Swedish Nationals and with a 3rd overall in the series. This certainly seemed to have helped her since she is now one of the riders in the "Team Mtbstore X Void". Ebba is currently studying in another city but has certainly done some training in these forests and I guess you could call this home soil for her. Personally, I think Ebba stands out in her field and especially since she has not been riding for that long, I hope we will see a lot of her in the future.
Ebba riding extremely solid during the dry time of practice, the media-crew escaped the rainstorm on the afternoon and therefore we did not get to see the slippery riding. Although we decided to have a post-race chat with Ebba to find out what happened on Sunday.
Winner in the Women’s category was Josefin Björkman, sort of a local, coming from Strömstad originally, a city a few miles north of Gothenburg. Winning with a margin of 50 seconds - seems like she is trying to take the overall win this year since she lost it by only 20 points last year.
Linn Olstam was as solid as always, grabbing the 2nd place this weekend, the battle between her and Josefine Björkman seems to be a thing, also this year.
Elin Eng is not new to this area although new to the Enduro scene and this weekend she claimed her first podium, grabbing the 3rd place. Hopefully we will see her on the other stops this year since she makes the women's race very interesting by being one to look out for.
I am not sure what to say about this but a lot of guys riding the U21 class made some really good results and the top 4 in U21 would end up in the top 10 of the Elite Men's Class. Here is the Winner of the U21, Adam Larsson, his time would have put him on 3rd in the Elite, just hundreds of a second behind second place. We guess you could blame the tracks being worse for the Elite riders, but I think the reality is as simple as the future looks bright for Scandinavian cycling.
Anton Karlsson ended up 5th, having a solid day without any crashes. Although not quite enough to get onto the box, although looking like a million bucks on his Ninner Bike supported by Racing Bike Sweden. Hopefully he will be able to step it up later this season.
There is one guy in this competition that stands out, a rider who probably spent the most thoughts around this one race, his name is Daniel Bagge and he rides for Bikeyard, Vartex and Lapierre Sweden. Daniel has spent a lot of time in Lackarebäck the last couple of months and is a very dedicated rider, with a history competing in Downhill for quite a while also having a lot of top 10 placements last season. I believe we will see a lot more from Daniel the next upcoming years. I talked to Daniel a lot before, during and after the race, read bellow.
Daniel Bagge sure lives the true racer life, takes his training very serious but also makes sure that he has a lot of fun at the same time. If you meet him in a Bikepark somewhere, he probably already went for a pedal session before opening hours, making sure he will get all the types of training necessary for racing.
With the support from Bikeyard Daniel could not fail this weekend, this was his best results in an Enduro race so far and hopefully this journey will continue in the same way as it started.
Sebastian Öhlund (left picture) finished 4th and Daniel Swanbeck (right picture) finished 3rd, both flying down the steep roller down stage 6. This was a true 50/50 for every rider. From the looks of it the roller was the tricky part since it was a bit steep, but it turned out the part after the roller got a bunch of hidden roots and on top of that a bunch of solid trees standing in the way for riders losing control. Best tactic was probably to close your eyes and just hope for the best.
Claes Öberg going foot out, flat out on stage 4. Going for another win at an ESS in Gothenburg in the Master category.
Winner of the day was Simon Carlsson, winner of the overall last year. This year he is on the HiQ team, a team supported by a pretty big IT-company. Well have a talk with Simon later on this season since this is not the last we see of him. Next up for Simon is the EWS in Madeira.
1. Simon Carlsson 10:51.29
2. Daniel Bagge 11:01.26
3. Daniel Swanbeck 11:13.74
1. Josefine Björkman 15:05.62
2. Linn Olstam 15:59.70
3. Elin Eng 17:12.27
1. Adam Eriksson 11:01.63
2. Gard Brovold 11:12.63
3. Magnus Slinger Söerli 11:21.70
1. Miriam Holm 25:04.19
2. Elina Davidsson DNS
1. Klas Släggan Oberg 11:33.90
2. Johan Johannesson 12:00.91
3. Damian Phillips 12:09.32
1. Charlotte Von Feilitzen 17:00.57
2. Cathrine Svensson 19:20.72
3. Linda Jönér 19:24.00
Post-race chats - the sun came back on the afternoon of the race day, unfortunately a lot of riders left before the prize ceremony, but people sure had a lot to talk about after this race, next up we will go even more south, to Sölvesborg, Ryssberget. FULL RESULTS:http://neptrontiming-development.azurewebsites.net/#/goteborgenduro2019/results?pageSize=500&raceId=99