Ponte de Lima Enduro Challenge: Race Recap

Oct 17, 2017 at 14:15
by Yaroslav Alpizar  
Before the recap, to all my Portuguese friends, I'm deeply sad for the insane number of forest fires that started precisely Sunday afternoon and night after the race in Braga and Guimaraes areas. Is outrageous how this can happen. Hope all you, relatives and friends are safe. All my best to the firefighters and volunteers out in the field.



In the middle of an unusual autumn, hot and dry, I departed to Ponte de Lima, north Portugal, invited by the Pe Do Negro Mountain Bike Center to participate in the Enduro Challenge Ponte de Lima, 2nd race of the Atlantic Enduro Series. After 1,000km and a twelve-hour drive, I arrived in the historical town of Ponte de Lima, namely the oldest "vila" in Portugal. Took the full day, Friday, to walk around with some riders from Madeira and Azores that were already in town, getting to know the old cobbled streets, tasting local delicatessen and enjoying some good laughs. At night we had the race briefing with the presentation of other events in Portugal and afterward, riders welcome dinner with a good local meal that everyone enjoyed.

Ponte de Lima Enduro Challenge 2017
Local pumptrack, I couldn't resist doing some laps...man I'm so bad at it

Ponte de Lima Enduro Challenge 2017
Ponte de Lima Enduro Challenge 2017

Ponte de Lima Enduro Challenge 2017
Ponte de Lima Enduro Challenge 2017

Ponte de Lima Enduro Challenge 2017
It's always a good time to celebrate a birthday

Ponte de Lima Enduro Challenge 2017
Who will get the price by end of the day?

Both training and racing days were expected to be unusually hot and dry. The race course was not really long or with big grueling climbs, but it was demanding. With five stages in 32km and 1646m of climbing and same descending, some hours on the saddle were expected. Feed points with plenty of liquids awaited for the riders in a couple of places. The first stage of the day would be the longest, with 2.4km and the shortest would be the 3rd one, a typical downhill race course on its middle section and a more technical lower part. The star of the race would be the fresh and recently cleaned new trail called "Absolute Black". With almost all the trails deep into the forest, a lot of technical and rocky sections, it was a nightmare for some riders.


Ponte de Lima Enduro Challenge 2017
Riders ready for a long day in the saddle

Ponte de Lima Enduro Challenge 2017
Start of the day, some climbing on technical trails

Ponte de Lima Enduro Challenge 2017
Ponte de Lima Enduro Challenge 2017
Ze Manel Borges and Gabriela Vasconcelos, ready to shred

Ponte de Lima Enduro Challenge 2017
Syndicato club, the most numerous by far

Ponte de Lima Enduro Challenge 2017
Jose Oliveira, from Enduro BTT Braga team, a usual top5 contender on all races in Portugal, second place on the race

Ponte de Lima Enduro Challenge 2017
Boulders, boulders everywhere

Ponte de Lima Enduro Challenge 2017
Ponte de Lima Enduro Challenge 2017

Ponte de Lima Enduro Challenge 2017
The top section of Stage 1 was fully covered with all size boulders

Ponte de Lima Enduro Challenge 2017
Tiago Freitas hard on the pedals

Ponte de Lima Enduro Challenge 2017
Telmo Estrela focused on those dusty turns

Ponte de Lima Enduro Challenge 2017
Ponte de Lima Enduro Challenge 2017
Feed station, oranges, sweet and more delicatessen for the riders

Ponte de Lima Enduro Challenge 2017
Jose Pedro Gomes, another usual contender for Top10, he was 5th scratch and 1rst M30

Ponte de Lima Enduro Challenge 2017
Dealing with the deep dust on each corner caused many crashes

Ponte de Lima Enduro Challenge 2017
Ponte de Lima Enduro Challenge 2017

Ponte de Lima Enduro Challenge 2017
time for some rocky sections, Stage 2 Fun Zone

Ponte de Lima Enduro Challenge 2017
I'm looking at you, yes you, human, go away

Ponte de Lima Enduro Challenge 2017
Ponte de Lima Enduro Challenge 2017

Ponte de Lima Enduro Challenge 2017
Hydration was essential both days

Ponte de Lima Enduro Challenge 2017
Dusty conditions on Fun Zone, stage 2

Ponte de Lima Enduro Challenge 2017
Stage 2 was for everyone the flowiest and most fun of the day

Ponte de Lima Enduro Challenge 2017
Ponte de Lima Enduro Challenge 2017
Dust was a common denominator for all riders

Ponte de Lima Enduro Challenge 2017
Ponte de Lima Enduro Challenge 2017

Ponte de Lima Enduro Challenge 2017
Stage 3 was a DH typical track, loose and fast, with huge berms and jumps

Ponte de Lima Enduro Challenge 2017
views from Stage 3 were awesome, but riders were more focused on dealing with the speed and jumps

Ponte de Lima Enduro Challenge 2017
Ze Manel Borges, pinned on Stage 4

Ponte de Lima Enduro Challenge 2017
this old house in the middle of the trail was the highlight of the fourth stage

Ponte de Lima Enduro Challenge 2017

Ponte de Lima Enduro Challenge 2017
Ponte de Lima Enduro Challenge 2017
It wasn't a difficult section, but already at the bottom of fourth stage riders were already tired, it caused some crashes

Ponte de Lima Enduro Challenge 2017
Don't know how, but he managed not to crash

Ponte de Lima Enduro Challenge 2017
Slippery when wet, careful with those equipment

Ponte de Lima Enduro Challenge 2017
Ponte de Lima Enduro Challenge 2017

Ponte de Lima Enduro Challenge 2017
Ponte de Lima Enduro Challenge 2017

Ponte de Lima Enduro Challenge 2017
Ana Leite managed not to crash on this slippery section of Stage 4, she grabbed first place on the women podium

Ponte de Lima Enduro Challenge 2017
Pushing up to last stage of the day

Ponte de Lima Enduro Challenge 2017
this humid section was the only one with some mud, narrow and tricky

Ponte de Lima Enduro Challenge 2017
as commented, slippery when wet

Ponte de Lima Enduro Challenge 2017
Sandro Silva, the man behind the event

Ponte de Lima Enduro Challenge 2017
Ponte de Lima Enduro Challenge 2017

Ponte de Lima Enduro Challenge 2017
Ponte de Lima Enduro Challenge 2017

Ponte de Lima Enduro Challenge 2017
Fully loaded, full speed ahead

Ponte de Lima Enduro Challenge 2017
Rest of the warrior, any place is good for a short nap

Ponte de Lima Enduro Challenge 2017
The fastest riders of the day, Ana Caterina Leite and Ze Manel Borges

Ponte de Lima Enduro Challenge 2017
This is the end, time to head back home



6 Comments

  • 3 0
 Really nice wekend !!!
  • 1 0
 Indeed Carlos! \m/
  • 2 0
 Nice repor and brutal wekend... congrats !!!
  • 1 0
 Indeed! It was rad! \m/ Thanks!
  • 2 0
 Nice work !
  • 1 0
 Thanks!

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