The Sandokan Enduro, Madeira

Nov 16, 2015 at 19:07
by António Abreu  

Photo report from Sandokan Enduro 2015 organized by Bikulture in Madeira Island Portugal.

It's hard to imagine that the enduro scene in Madeira would get so big. But with 4 events in 2015 held in 4 different locations utilising 25 trails and covering 59km of timing stages, maybe not? The magnitude of biking, adventure, action and friendship that are all held in a little rectangular piece of land in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean is pretty crazy although the Portuguese 'Pearl of the Atlantic' is getting less mysterious for the international mountain bike scene.

Last weekend, Calheta hosted the last race of the first official enduro season in Madeira, Sandokan Enduro, organized by Bikulture. With some of the biggest names on the enduro scene such as Vouilloz, Vasquez, Ducci, Quéré, Schumann, having all raced here in the past, the quality of the terrain and the subsequent enduro competition has grown into a standard all of its own on Madeira. This year things changed, focusing on the Regional Enduro Championship and the Portuguese national race Triple Crown. Three competitions under one event can take you back to math classes in high-school...

Before starting Sandokan, Emanuel Pombo was leading the overall standings in the Regional Enduro Championship, winning three out of three races. Paulo Batista came in second place three times, constantly lowering time differences to Emanuel. Rui Sousa took third in the series, jumping from third to fourth places in the first three races of the season. In the Triple Crown ranking, José 'Meira' Oliveira was leading the series followed by João Rodrigues. Sandokan, being the last race of the season, is pretty much the decision-breaker for the overall podium, as everyone has the eyes on the prize and wants to wrap an entire year of racing. With 45km of racing deciding who would take Nicolas Vouilloz's crown and sword from last year, this was the perfect race to end the season.

PRACTICE DAY

Photo report from Sandokan Enduro 2015 organized by Bikulture in Madeira Island Portugal.
Rui Sousa getting his practice lap on Stage 4.

Photo report from Sandokan Enduro 2015 organized by Bikulture in Madeira Island Portugal.
Sweet and beautiful Madeira! Even the bikes were excited!

Photo report from Sandokan Enduro 2015 organized by Bikulture in Madeira Island Portugal.
Some transitions were long, but everyone had enough time to eat, re-hydrate and chat.

Photo report from Sandokan Enduro 2015 organized by Bikulture in Madeira Island Portugal.
If you're racing Sandokan enduro, you have to do the Sandokan move.

Photo report from Sandokan Enduro 2015 organized by Bikulture in Madeira Island Portugal.
Espetada is traditionally made of large chunks of beef rubbed in garlic, salt and bay leaves and yes, it tastes super good!

Photo report from Sandokan Enduro 2015 organized by Bikulture in Madeira Island Portugal.
The problem is that after lunch everyone got a bit sleepy, including Rui Sousa (4th overall).

Photo report from Sandokan Enduro 2015 organized by Bikulture in Madeira Island Portugal.
João Rodrigues (6th overall) styling things up on the last run of the day.

RACE DAY

Photo report from Sandokan Enduro 2015 organized by Bikulture in Madeira Island Portugal.
One hundred riders during the morning briefing in Calheta. The same one hundred got to the end with a big smile too.

Photo report from Sandokan Enduro 2015 organized by Bikulture in Madeira Island Portugal.
During the week, Ricardo Pinto works as a teacher. During the weekend he pretty much transforms into a race organizer, designer, trail builder, speaker and racer. But at least it seems everyone was paying attention...

Photo report from Sandokan Enduro 2015 organized by Bikulture in Madeira Island Portugal.
Official #sandokanmoustache.

Photo report from Sandokan Enduro 2015 organized by Bikulture in Madeira Island Portugal.
Los hermanos from Spain showing us the real reason why they came to Madeira.

Photo report from Sandokan Enduro 2015 organized by Bikulture in Madeira Island Portugal.
Bones and skulls mark the way down to Stage 1: Sandokan. 1.8km of pure fun starting at 1200-meters high.

Photo report from Sandokan Enduro 2015 organized by Bikulture in Madeira Island Portugal.
The first stage of the day has everything you want on a trail. Vitor Freitas, come to the dark side of the toboggan.

Photo report from Sandokan Enduro 2015 organized by Bikulture in Madeira Island Portugal.
There were a couple of surprises. Dinarte Nunes keeping it low.

Photo report from Sandokan Enduro 2015 organized by Bikulture in Madeira Island Portugal.
Nuno Jardim (also racing in full moustache mode), managed to get a solid third place in the Master 40 category.

Photo report from Sandokan Enduro 2015 organized by Bikulture in Madeira Island Portugal.
Out of the dark love-tunnels, riders faced a very bright and sunny day. Christoph Bayer, from Germany, finding his way to 11th position in the Elite category.

Photo report from Sandokan Enduro 2015 organized by Bikulture in Madeira Island Portugal.
Zacarias and Chaves couldn't just stay on the couch on a race weekend. Get well soon boys!

Photo report from Sandokan Enduro 2015 organized by Bikulture in Madeira Island Portugal.
Rui Sousa was on the hunt for the first podium of the season. He came 18 seconds too short, ending up in 4th place overall.

Photo report from Sandokan Enduro 2015 organized by Bikulture in Madeira Island Portugal.
Bikulture hired a couple of these for trail maintenance. The problem is what they leave behind...

Photo report from Sandokan Enduro 2015 organized by Bikulture in Madeira Island Portugal.
Never off-pace, Dobromir Dobrev, from Bulgaria, secured a 5th place in the Elite category.

Photo report from Sandokan Enduro 2015 organized by Bikulture in Madeira Island Portugal.
José 'Meira' Oliveira came from the mainland to secure the Triple Crown trophy, ending up in 7th in the Elite category.

Photo report from Sandokan Enduro 2015 organized by Bikulture in Madeira Island Portugal.
White sock boy strikes again! Sergio Abreu getting a 7th place in the Individual category.

Photo report from Sandokan Enduro 2015 organized by Bikulture in Madeira Island Portugal.
Singletrack all the way from the top.

Photo report from Sandokan Enduro 2015 organized by Bikulture in Madeira Island Portugal.
Local superstar, Emanuel Pombo, was definitely the king of the mountain.

Photo report from Sandokan Enduro 2015 organized by Bikulture in Madeira Island Portugal.
Some circus monkeys were having fun during transitions. We'll make it harder next year!

Photo report from Sandokan Enduro 2015 organized by Bikulture in Madeira Island Portugal.
International legend, Morgane Charre, killed the competition for over four minutes and got a solid first place in the Women's category.

Photo report from Sandokan Enduro 2015 organized by Bikulture in Madeira Island Portugal.
Carlos Fonseca surviving the 'Black Line' trail.

Photo report from Sandokan Enduro 2015 organized by Bikulture in Madeira Island Portugal.
Top 20 EWS racer, Thomas Lapeyrie, was out of the race due to a hand injury. He still wanted to run down every stage. Trail running is just a trend.

Photo report from Sandokan Enduro 2015 organized by Bikulture in Madeira Island Portugal.
Some found it a bit strange to see Lapeyrie as a trail running athlete...

Photo report from Sandokan Enduro 2015 organized by Bikulture in Madeira Island Portugal.
Rui Sousa finishing the 'Black Line' in third place overall, 13-seconds from Emanuel Pombo.

Photo report from Sandokan Enduro 2015 organized by Bikulture in Madeira Island Portugal.
João Rodrigues (6th overall) had the Triple Crown in his sights, but it simply wasn't to be...

Photo report from Sandokan Enduro 2015 organized by Bikulture in Madeira Island Portugal.
Paulo 'Cabrito' Batista had a couple of mechanical problems during the 'Black Line' stage, but he can't say 'no' to a jump.

Photo report from Sandokan Enduro 2015 organized by Bikulture in Madeira Island Portugal.
2800-meters distance and a 487-meters descent. That's all you need to know.

Photo report from Sandokan Enduro 2015 organized by Bikulture in Madeira Island Portugal.
Sascha Bamberg, from Germany, got a 6th place in the Master 30 category.

Photo report from Sandokan Enduro 2015 organized by Bikulture in Madeira Island Portugal.
Marco Gouveia pushing hard to 10th place in the same category as Sascha.

Photo report from Sandokan Enduro 2015 organized by Bikulture in Madeira Island Portugal.
Hugo Ferreira clearing the rock garden.

Photo report from Sandokan Enduro 2015 organized by Bikulture in Madeira Island Portugal.
Sergio Abreu loving to get grip on these all-year long dusty trails.

Photo report from Sandokan Enduro 2015 organized by Bikulture in Madeira Island Portugal.
Imagine riding here. Don't dream about it...

Photo report from Sandokan Enduro 2015 organized by Bikulture in Madeira Island Portugal.
...do it. Tomorrow may be too late. By the way, the grasshopper survived to tell the story.

Photo report from Sandokan Enduro 2015 organized by Bikulture in Madeira Island Portugal.
Jéremy Frotey plays a very important role on Sandokan Enduro, coming in 9th place in the Master 30 category.

Photo report from Sandokan Enduro 2015 organized by Bikulture in Madeira Island Portugal.
João Diogo Santos won the Junior category showing consistency and skills during the whole day.

Photo report from Sandokan Enduro 2015 organized by Bikulture in Madeira Island Portugal.
The master mind behind Sandokan Enduro, Ricardo 'Prof' Pinto, who took 4th in the Master 30 category.

Photo report from Sandokan Enduro 2015 organized by Bikulture in Madeira Island Portugal.
Lapeyrie chose not to run (literally) Stage 6 and join the crowd.

Photo report from Sandokan Enduro 2015 organized by Bikulture in Madeira Island Portugal.
Starting at 1207-meters high, 'Cabeças' is a must-do when you visit Madeira.

Photo report from Sandokan Enduro 2015 organized by Bikulture in Madeira Island Portugal.
Line choice played an important role, especially in stage 6. Emanuel Pombo won all stages of Sandokan Enduro.

Photo report from Sandokan Enduro 2015 organized by Bikulture in Madeira Island Portugal.
Bron Killian, from France, fighting hard during the entire race, finishing in 2nd place overall, 21-seconds behind local boy, Emanuel Pombo.

Photo report from Sandokan Enduro 2015 organized by Bikulture in Madeira Island Portugal.
Stefanie Klostermeier, from Germany, finishing in 4th place in the Women's category.

Photo report from Sandokan Enduro 2015 organized by Bikulture in Madeira Island Portugal.
Team #gordinhos, Fábio Ferreira, getting back to top form! 2nd place in the Individual category.

Photo report from Sandokan Enduro 2015 organized by Bikulture in Madeira Island Portugal.
Incredible power of will from Carolina Costa, stepping into 2nd place in the Women's category.

Photo report from Sandokan Enduro 2015 organized by Bikulture in Madeira Island Portugal.
Paulo 'Cabrito' Batista getting a bit of air on stage 6.

Photo report from Sandokan Enduro 2015 organized by Bikulture in Madeira Island Portugal.
Gnochi, finishing 1st place overall.

Photo report from Sandokan Enduro 2015 organized by Bikulture in Madeira Island Portugal.
Bikes and sand is not really a good mix, except if you are in Madeira racing Sandokan.

Photo report from Sandokan Enduro 2015 organized by Bikulture in Madeira Island Portugal.
'Are these the cookies you are looking for?'

Photo report from Sandokan Enduro 2015 organized by Bikulture in Madeira Island Portugal.
Opponents for an entire season, but big friends in the end. Congratulations to José 'Meira' Oliveira for winning the Triple Crown series!

Photo report from Sandokan Enduro 2015 organized by Bikulture in Madeira Island Portugal.
Killian couldn't resist going for a swim after the race!

Photo report from Sandokan Enduro 2015 organized by Bikulture in Madeira Island Portugal.
Biking is the answer.

Photo report from Sandokan Enduro 2015 organized by Bikulture in Madeira Island Portugal.
Nuno Jardim re-hydrating for the next challenge!

Photo report from Sandokan Enduro 2015 organized by Bikulture in Madeira Island Portugal.
One, two or maybe three... more beers to wrap things up!

Photo report from Sandokan Enduro 2015 organized by Bikulture in Madeira Island Portugal.
Paulo 'Cabrito' Batista (2013), Nicolas Vouilloz (2014) and the 2015 Sandokan winner, Emanuel Pombo.

If you feel you got what it takes to be crown the 2016 Sandokan Enduro winner, make sure you check www.sandokan-enduro.org for 2016 dates and informations. Remember that the winner takes the title and the sword for a year. This will give you a high-status in the biking community, especially if you ride with the sword in your backpack! Are you wild enough?

RESULTS

Elite
1) Emanuel Pombo, 21:05m
2) Bron Killian, 21:26m
3) Paulo Batista, 22:01m

Women
1) Morgane Charre, 25:50m
2) Ana Carolina Costa, 30:34m
3) Ana Leite, 32:45m

Junior
1) João Diogo Santos, 25:24m
2) Carlos Martins, 26:09m
3) Cláudio Trindade, 26:25m

Master 30
1) Nuno Quintal, 23:42m
2) Lino Miguel, 24:13m
3) Diego Rosales, 24:14m

Master 40
1) Esteban Vila, 25:18m
2) Paulo Sousa, 29:03m
3) Nuno Jardim, 29:07m

Master 50
1) Stephen Collins, 27:40m
2) Philip Fallows, 29:31m
3) Ricardo Gomes, 30:34m

Individual
1) João Pedro Nunes, 24:26m
2) Fábio Ferreira, 25:05m
3) Bruno Marinho, 25:13m

Race Organizer: Bikulture and Associacao Ciclismo Madeira
Photos and Words: Antonio Abreu, MADproductions
Information: sandokan-enduro.org
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15 Comments

  • + 2
 Keep rocking MAD and António! Great review that makes you regret for missing it...
  • + 2
 Thank you João ! Hope to see you joining Sandokan Enduro next year !
  • + 1
 Profissionalmente nao me foi possivel poder ir, mas no proximo ano lá estarei se deus quiser! Grande report!!! Vai haver video?
  • + 1
 Contamos contigo para uma próxima edição ! Um abraço Carlos !
  • + 2
 Stunning pictures, its making me want to visit Madeira now!
  • + 1
 Book your trip any time you want ! You can ride all year long in Madeira. Thanks for your comment.
  • + 1
 It looks amazing, just missing a video report... to spice things up!!!
  • + 1
 Madeira on Top of the WORLD!! Parabéns MAD People!
  • + 1
 Obrigado caro amigo ! Um abraço
  • + 1
 Awesome!
  • + 1
 Thank you so much !
  • + 1
 Amazing Madeira!!
  • + 1
 Luis, amazing all year long !
  • + 1
 yep inland the weather is great... but in madeira is even better!
  • + 2
 Hope to see you in the trails soon my friend !

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