Race Report: Marc Beaumont Wins Azores Enduro Fest 2019

Mar 31, 2019 at 19:38
by João Fânzeres  



Few days passed from our arrival in Azores archipelago and it's still difficult to find the right words to describe this "to be discovered" paradise in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean. Land of myths and history, São Miguel island is known for its green plain fields that come across the highest mountains until reaches the unforgiving Atlantic Ocean. Since a few years that this archipelago simply abounds in adventure and outdoor activities. It has world-class whale watching, sailing, diving, hiking and canyoning, but recently the surfing and mountain biking opportunities are giving to this piece of green heaven a new breathe by slowly making his mark into a bike and surf destination.

Besides all the activities that we may want to be part of, there is no rush - this place can deliver us the sense of quietness, something that you'd find quite normal if you plan to visit Azores in the future, something that it's truly hard to find nowadays. As you sit at the bottom of the valley looking up the mountains around, you would never think that mountain biking is a new way to develop Faial da Terra village. For that, we advise you time. Time to have the full and right experience of the place.

Speaking about time, two practice days passed away and riders have to be ready for two days of racing ahead of them. This venue is composed of 8 stages total, where racers will experience a wide variety of terrain from, slippery dirt to cobblestone, purpose-built trails to ancient trails left by the Portuguese settlers and farmers.

Azores Enduro Fest 2019 - RACE
Sete Cidades Vulcano at dawn.



The first two practice days were quite a mission for riders as it rained a lot before the event. Here, when it rains, "it rains"! With such muddy trails, grip is something you wish for each time but it's usually nowhere to be found in this place. The stages are a real challenge and surviving rather than racing became their main goal. Riders had to really trust on their tires and hopefully find some grip to, at least, clear the section with a big smile. In the end, what matters is the amount of time they spend on those singletracks with other people that share the same passion.

The first racing day we woke up with clean weather and promises that the weather will be on our side. In fact, as soon as the first riders started the day they realised that the traction conditions had improved a lot which gave a new level of confidence to them.

At the front end the race was super tight and Milan Mysik ended the day just 7 seconds ahead of Marc Beaumont. Last year's winner João Machado had a several mechanics that took him of the battle. In Duo's category, João Rodrigues teamed with Fábio Gil were comfortably in the lead.


Azores Enduro Fest 2019 - RACE
Azores Enduro Fest 2019 - RACE


Guy and Marc ready to smash hard down the mountain.

Azores Enduro Fest 2019 - RACE
After a long a physical stage there was not to much on their arms and Henrique Monteiro had a crash that took him of the race.

Azores Enduro Fest 2019 - RACE
Ricardo Moreira in control at the end of the first stage.

Azores Enduro Fest 2019 - RACE
This place is no joke, the media crew also struggled a lot.


Azores Enduro Fest 2019 - RACE
Angel Fajardo came at a good pace.


Azores Enduro Fest 2019 - RACE
Guy Bunting tried to cut the tree, but guess what.. The tree almost took him off track.




Azores Enduro Fest 2019 - RACE
Incredible scenery at the end of stage 2. R.Machado and A.Jorge carrying good flow and speed.


Azores Enduro Fest 2019 - RACE
Guy pedaling hard to recover the speed from another tight turn.


Azores Enduro Fest 2019 - RACE
Fabio Jurgen finished 4th at stage 2.




Azores Enduro Fest 2019 - RACE
João Machado was the fastest on stage three by 7 seconds. Finally a clean run for this local hero!


Azores Enduro Fest 2019 - Practice


Azores Enduro Fest 2019 - RACE


Ancient trails regaining a new life.



Azores Enduro Fest 2019 - RACE
Marc struggling in one of the key sections of stage three. Ended up this stage with the same time as his direct competitor, Milan Mysik.

Azores Enduro Fest 2019 - RACE
Milan was by far the most composed on this rock garden. It's interesting to see that Milan and Marc had practically the same pace in every stage.

Azores Enduro Fest 2019 - RACE
The fastest Duo Team having some fun during the liaisons.


Azores Enduro Fest 2019 - RACE
Epic views from the last stage of the day, and what a steep one.


Azores Enduro Fest 2019 - RACE
José Fonseca calls this place "Hell of a Paradise". I guess he is right about that.



Azores Enduro Fest 2019 - RACE
Local rider, Rui Viveiros was consistent through all day.


Azores Enduro Fest 2019 - RACE
Milan again, super composed on his last run of the day. With that said, he finished the first day of race in the lead by just 7 seconds ahead of Marc Beaumont.

Azores Enduro Fest 2019 - RACE
Now it's time to recharge batteries, recompose and redefine the pace for the day after.



With First Day over, riders and bikes had time to finally rest and recover from a few crashes. For some, this is all about pure fun, but for others when there is a clock counting then, yes it's race time! The hopes for good weather from the day before continued and the riding conditions improved as well. Riders had to commit, lean and trust on their tires.

From many scared faces over the first few days, on last race day, things changed completely and it was all about having the most fun out of it. We could all see the new level of confidence of riders due to the better gripping conditions.

It's the last day and they all knew that at the end of the last stage they would have a ton of craft beer and traditional food to enjoy, so the stoke levels were high. Those warriors truly deserve that!

Besides Milan had set the pace in the day before, on the second Day Marc Beaumont was fastest and recovered the time he needed to win. In Duo's, J.Rodrigues and F.Gil maintained their pace and took the win.


Azores Enduro Fest 2019 - RACE
There are more of this species than humans on this island.

Azores Enduro Fest 2019 - RACE
The most spectacular stage of the weekend, you can see why.


Azores Enduro Fest 2019 - RACE


Azores Enduro Fest 2019 - RACE


Day 2 is on! Let's Charge down!


Azores Enduro Fest 2019 - RACE
Gonçalo Sousa is a fast kid from the island, he made 6th overall.


Azores Enduro Fest 2019 - RACE
J.Rodrigues and F.Gil on the way to another win in Duo Team category.


Azores Enduro Fest 2019 - RACE


Azores Enduro Fest 2019 - RACE


A different landscape from the first day of race. Here on the southeast is "kinda" North Shore, CA.

Azores Enduro Fest 2019 - RACE
Marc seemed to have started the day with the right pace and won the first stage of the day.

Azores Enduro Fest 2019 - RACE
Traction conditions improved a lot since the first few days.

Azores Enduro Fest 2019 - RACE
Liaisons with friends aren't so painful.


Azores Enduro Fest 2019 - RACE
Fastest Duo Team of the event. Won every stage less this one due to a flat.

Azores Enduro Fest 2019 - RACE
Full throttle on this one


Azores Enduro Fest 2019 - RACE
Markus Kopp lose on his bike at one of the fastest sections of the weekend. Markus finished the race in 4th!


Azores Enduro Fest 2019 - RACE
Rui Viveiros ended up 11th.


Azores Enduro Fest 2019 - RACE
A.Machado and A.Jorge finished in 2nd place in Duo Team category.

Azores Enduro Fest 2019 - RACE
João Machado pitted on stage 7.


Azores Enduro Fest 2019 - RACE


Azores Enduro Fest 2019 - RACE


Just 0.5 seconds separate this two guys on stage 7.

Azores Enduro Fest 2019 - RACE
Last stage of the venue. Riders are about to drop in...

Azores Enduro Fest 2019 - RACE
Fábio Gil on one of the last corners of stage 8.

Azores Enduro Fest 2019 - RACE
Oh, these views.. a good way to finish the race.


Azores Enduro Fest 2019 - RACE
João Machado struggled a lot with a few mechanicals on both race days but managed to finish in 3rd overall.


Azores Enduro Fest 2019 - RACE
Besides of the 7 seconds lead from the first day, Milan lost around 15 seconds on day two that took him to second overall.




Azores Enduro Fest 2019 - RACE
Marc settled the right pace for this second race day and managed to reach the top spot.

Azores Enduro Fest 2019 - RACE
The legend is still on his form. WINNER, dot!

Azores Enduro Fest 2019 - RACE
Let the party begins. Deserved moment!

Azores Enduro Fest 2019 - RACE
Untill next year, fellas. It was a rad one! Cheers.


Results

Elite Men
1st. BEAUMONT Marc — 43:01:722
2nd. MYSIK Milan — 43:09.966
3rd. MACHADO João — 46:56.589
4th. KOPP Markus — 50:32.680
5th. JURGEN Fabio — 50:37.125


I caught up with some of the fastest riders around Azores to see what bikes and setups they're riding.


Azores Enduro Fest 2019
MARC
BEAUMONT
Evil The Wreckoning LB
Marc - 175cm tall and weights 76kg - is riding a Medium size frame. Ohlins RXF air Fork and TTX coil Shock both on a slightly firmer setup. Burgtec's Bar and stem are at 780mm/50mm.


Azores Enduro Fest 2019
MILAN
MYSIK
Cannondale Jekyll 29
Milan - 161cm tall and weights 71kg - is riding a Medium size frame. Rear shock with 240 PSI, Fork with 90 PSI plus 3 tokens - stiff and fast setup. Front and rear tires are set on 19.5 - 24.5 PSI accordingly with MrWolf protector. Handlebar and stem are at 750mm/50mm.


Azores Enduro Fest 2019
JOÃO
MACHADO
Mondraker Dune XR
João - 169cm tall and weights 68kg - is riding a Medium size frame. Rear shock with 350/2.75 Spring and 50 PSI, Fork with 70 PSI and two tokens. Front and rear tires are set on 18 - 20 PSI accordingly. Bar and stem are at 780mm/25mm.


Azores Enduro Fest 2019
JOÃO
RODRIGUES
Yeti SB150
João - 176cm tall and weights 72kg - is riding a Medium size frame. Rear shock with 180 PSI and a big token, Fork with 75 PSI and two tokens. Front and rear tires are set on 23 - 26 PSI accordingly. Handlebar and stem are at 780mm/50mm.


Azores Enduro Fest 2019
JOSÉ
FONSECA
Nukeproof Mega 275c Pro
José - 170cm tall and weights 71kg - is riding a Medium size frame. Rear shock with 150 PSI and a small token, Fork with 70 PSI. Front and rear tires are set on 20 - 23 PSI accordingly. Bar and stem are at 780mm/50mm.


Done and dusted! Regarding the well-deserved winners, Azores Enduro Fest was all about to be and enjoy the magical land and those trails with a bunch of riders from various locations in Europe, sharing the same love that we all have for the mountain biking and especially for Nature. This event was nuts. This is Azores!!!


Practice Photo Report: HERE.

Words and Photos: João Fânzeres, MISSION adventure collective
Special thanks to: Carlos dos Santos, Bike Safari Tour, Município da Povoação, Monbike and Junta Freguesia Faial da Terra



14 Comments

  • + 11
 Go Beaumont! Awesome to see his skills are still right up there, way to go!
  • + 4
 Legend.
  • + 3
 That was a fun race, cannot wait for next year. Nice to make it into the report ????????
  • + 2
 Amazing pics of what looks like an amazing event! great to see Marc win! Good to see the Medium frame size getting plenty of love! haha
  • + 1
 It was TOP 4 days in Paradise...it’s one of those places you chould visit before you die!!!
????????????????????????
????????????
  • + 2
 Getting it done for the dads out there. Nice one Marc!!
  • + 2
 Stunning landscape, great photography, thank you for this documentation!
  • + 2
 Very cool! Thanks for sharing!
  • + 2
 Awesome Report! Good Work!
  • + 2
 Liking the dual team category idea.
  • + 2
 That was incredible !!!
  • + 2
 Milan dobře.
  • - 2
 DH racers win XC race = standard

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