With a 6th place pro finish at EWS Whistler plus a generous handful of BC Enduro wins and podiums, it's fair to say that Christina Chappetta knows a thing or two when it comes to Enduro racing. Luckily for the rest of us, Christina is willing to share some tips and tricks to help you line up in your first ever enduro race start gate.
0:00 - Intro
1:49 - Transition Stages
2:49 - Downhill Stages
4:04 - Nutrition & Tech Zones
5:55 - Riding Kit
7:36 - Timing
9:01 - Practice
Riders meeting might be some race organizer droning on through a bullhorn to a few hundred people, some of whom are still way back in the reg line and many of whom are chitchatting
Enduro is still getting the hard sell as the race discipline you do with your bros, but a lot of riders are going to show up alone. It's easy to get disoriented
1) Yell out "PASSING WHEN SAFE" as loud as you can when you see someone and want to pass them. Most people will get out of the way ASAP, when safe, and you're expected to do the same. Since you're probably going to be in the amateur category, overall time really shouldn't be your focus.
2) You need approx. 1/4 as much coffee as usual and you can't avoid the pre-race watts/kg adjustment. Get there early, maybe bring a couple baby wipes as portapotty TP is as close to mass-produced aerogel as we're going to get.
3) Amateur/beginner. You'll know when you're good enough to move up. If you sandbag and crush your first race, the organizers will politely steer you in the right direction.
4) Rider's meeting - get there early. Show up to registration early. Drink early and often. Eat something small, about 150-200 kcal after every stage.
5) I only race alone. I make friends on the sufferfest at the top and in the parking lot/pits after. After a few events you'll recognize people from your division and now you've got friends.
It's definitely a fun time. I haven't done as many as I'd like to have this summer due to moving and mechanicals, but I'm looking forward to more in the fall.
- Many races allow fullface helmets with detachable chin guards. This works great for me on the transfers when warm.
- When wearing goggles, remove them right after the finish line, and keep them somewhere they don't collect mud or sweat on the inside. Mine fit on the helmet below the visor.
- Use the transfers to do a quick once-over on the bike. I had a derailleur cog fall off on the last stage once. Proper havoc. Had I bothered to do a pre-flight I'd probably seen & fixed it.
- If you ride with a backpack, test it properly first. Had my pack constantly knock the back of my fullface on the steeps during my first race. Never rode that pack with the fullface before.
- At the races over here, I was surprised how open everybody were on their skills while lining up for the starts. If somebody felt they were much faster than the guy in front, they'd politely ask if they could swap places, and vice versa. After a couple of stages I normally end up in a nicely matched groups so overtaking won't happen.
Racing enduro is actually much less scary than XC. It's almost impossible to become the victim of somebody elses accident.
Also depends on the length and type of the stages, if you have longer alpine style stages you won't remember all of the sections anyways, so you just try to ride it smooth in the race run.
This is very different from a DH style format where you basically try to have the track 100% dialled.