The final round of the 2018 Superenduro Series went back where it all began, in the small town of Priero
. Situated just an hour north of Finale Ligure and one of the original testing sites for the Superenduro format, it was a very fitting closing round to the 10th anniversary of the series.
Arriving into the picturesque little town on Friday the high street was seemingly a ghost town, only awake early in the morning where the locals came out to clean the cobbled road and catch up with neighbours. There was a strong sense of community despite only having under 500 inhabitants among the narrow streets. Renowned for it’s passion for all things two wheels, Priero is steeped in motor enduro culture which was clear to see during the weekends events, with a number of motor enduro riders practising tracks ahead of the following weekend KTM event, as well as the use of motorbikes instead of MTB bikes to clear the course after each stage.Practice
The terrain was something similar to what you’d find in the Pyrenees, with deep red earth, along with fun and skid inducing dust. However, it wasn’t long before the abundance of dry trails were soon to be a little slicker as grey clouds loomed overhead and light showers began in the afternoon. Any hopes that the weather would be fleeting were destroyed when it developed into a full storm, accompanied with thunder, lightning and torrential rain downpours overnight.
Come Saturday morning riders were reluctant to head out early for practice, opting to take in the culture of the area instead of sliding around over greasy rocks and roots, and of course, sample some local coffee, it is Italy after all. But as the sun burnt through the mist and the wind began to pick up, quickly drying the trails, riders ventured out into the hills for a day of fun.Race Day ft. Local Priero Market Festival
Race day also coincided with a local market and festival, meaning the streets were brimming with a mix of locals and adding another reason to visit smaller local areas for races. From meats to cotton spinning, Prieros high street was brimming with local produce, trade and skills.
Although usually resented, an early start provided most riders with the ability to ride in manageable temperatures, but by the time the pros set off, it was clear to see they were in for a sweltering hot day in the saddle. With 1700m of climbing done over 43km and 6 stages, it was important that riders both paced themselves and had were prepared with energy food. Of the 6 stages, 2 of them were repeated meaning that stages 1 and 2 would also be stage 5 and 6 respectively. The fan favourite of the weekend was stage 2, a fun mix of fast, flowy and tight singletrack meant that it was the perfect track to pop out of corners to maintain speed.
However, it would be tracks 1 and 3 that would be the deciding factor on who took the top step. With stage 1 lending itself more towards those who loved cardio at being over 6 minutes long and featuring numerous long steep sprints. As this doubled up as stage 5 it was the ultimate test of endurance fitness, as well as providing an opportunity for riders to compare their times from their first ever run of the day to see how much their fatigue affected them. Stage 3 was the most physically and technically challenging track with fast, tight and perfect handlebar hitting width trees which then dropped down into steep and rough terrain with numerous wooden features, which only became scarier in the rain.
Being the last race of the 2018 series, not only was the race top spot to play for, but also the series overall titles.
Soul Cycles Racing rider, Laura Rossin dominated the women's field, taking the win in 5 out of the 6 stages which left her with a lead of 51:54 seconds over Mondraker rider Jessica Bormolini. It was CMC Cyclings Nicola Casadei who took the win in the men's category, winning stages 1,3 and 5, with Lupato brother Denny Lupato sitting just over a mere 8 seconds behind Casadeis overall time of 25:58.
In the overall, it was Laura Rossin and Nicola Casadei who dominated the 2018 series, with Nicola taking the win in 3 out of the 4 races, and Laura who took the win in Sanremo and has consistently maintained podium results in Calestano and Priero.
1st. CASADEI Nicola (SMR) — 25:58:57
2nd. LUPATO Denny (ITA) — 26:07:07
3rd. BERTA Matteo (ITA) — 26:22:70
1st. ROSSIN Laura (ITA) — 31:04:25
2nd. BORMOLINI Jessica (ITA) — 31:55:80
3rd. RONZON Olesia (ITA) — 32:10:81