Superenduro PRO6, Finale Ligure - Friday Practice

Oct 19, 2012 at 13:15
by Matt Wragg  
So here we are... The season finale here in, errr... Finale. This is the biggest race of the season and, in very real terms, the biggest enduro race ever. More than 500 riders will take to the trail network around the small Italian town come Sunday. There are no official records for this kind of thing, but there's a very good chance that makes this the biggest enduro race ever. What's more, around 40% of those riders are foreign with people coming from the US and all across Europe to come and see out the season in style.

Planning the media coverage.
  Fridays are slow days at Superenduro and this one started with a hangover, a long breakfast and session with Riccardo Negro, the man who knows more about the riding around Finale than anyone else in the world. With these races the logistics of covering them for the photo and video guys is huge, the course on Sunday is 50km long, so getting someone who knows the ground so well to help you decide where to be and when is invaluable.

Curtis looking pensive
  There are going to be a lot of eyes on this guy over the next few days. Curtis Keene is the US enduro champion, but this is his first time racing a European enduro. How is he going to fare against riders like Nico Vouilloz? Start placing your bets now.

At the trail head.
  As today was relaxed, I headed up out of town with Steffie Teltscher and Caro Gehrig to take a look at some of the stages for the race.

  Concentration was the order of the day for the higher, rockier trails.

Small girl big bars
  Although on first appearances the rocks look intimidating, once you work out where the lines are the place opens up and you can start to carry good speed through ugly-looking terrain.

It took a few tries...
  Of course you're not going to get it right every time...

Caro taking the high line.
  That's more like it.

Steffi on the roots and rocks.
  The soil here is very sandy, so once a trail is opened it doesn't take long for the rain water to wash that soil away and expose the roots and rocks beneath.

Dropping in.
  Pedal sections are a bit of lottery on these higher trails, this one offers something of a breather, while some of them burn your legs and lungs.

Steffi railing the turns
  Further down the scrub gets thicker, the dust deeper and the gradient more severe. In other words, the trails here are incredible.

Hauling sand.
  Steffie couldn't wait to get onto the beach and unwind after an afternoon of shuttle runs.

Relaxing in the sea.
  That's not a bad way to end a ride, is it?

It s not big or clever to steal your son s pushbike...
  It's name and shame time. It's not cool to steal your son's pushbike and go tearing off around the square, Alex Boyce.

Nicolas testing the start ramp
  Especially when your son just wants to be the first of the 500+ to roll down that start ramp this weekend.

Beers at the end of a good day on the trails.
  Robin Schmitt and the guys from Enduro Magazine got into town last night, after a hard day hitting the trails a beer (or five) is well-deserved.

The Piazza
  It's hard to explain just how much of the town Superenduro will take over this weekend, or how much Finale welcomes them with open arms.

Tomorrow things get a bit more serious, it's the last chance to get some practice laps in and in the evening it's prologue time. We'll be bringing you coverage of the event all weekend here on Pinkbike.
Must Read This Week


  • + 20
 Sorry Curtis, you might be a big fish back home, but you are just a little fish in a big pond when it comes to Euro Enduro.
My bet? Prepare to get stomped.
  • + 8
 My prediction is this will be the Clementz, Vouilloz show. They'll put a big gap on everyone else.
  • + 7
 I think Dan Atherton is riding too. If so I wouldn't count him out for at least a top three, although yeah, Nico and Jerome are hard to beat.
  • + 3
 Nico Lau, the guy who won the TP this year should definitely be up there too.
  • + 2
 Didn't Jerome get penalized for cutting a corner too tight thus getting a time penalty and giving up the lead to Nico Lau?
  • + 2
 Yeah...b/c losing to Clementz & Vouilloz would be a huge embarrassment.
  • + 2
 I think Keene is going to beat Nico. Clementz will take the win though, best AM rider racing right now.
  • + 4
 Nico is Dan's nemesis, it would be nice to see Dan get some payback.
  • + 3
 Ha..I'm sure Atherton may consider Nico his nemesis, but I doubt the 10 time world champ looks at Dan the same way.
  • + 1
 Another name that should be in the mix is manuel ducci.
  • + 1
 Vouilloz is far too nice a guy to be anyone's nemesis! Good luck to Curtis, top ten for sure.
  • + 3
 I completely agree with: nouseforaname - Curtis is going to get the european treatment now. But.... I think is cool that finally some american professional riders aretaking part in the biggest enduros! That can only be good news for Enduro not only in the USA but North America. So I hope he gets at least a top 20!

You guys are talking about the french, yep both 3 and the guys from Commencal are too strong. But you should never disccount the italian armada from having 3 or 4 riders in the top ten! Particularly the guys from Transition and their new Carbon Coverts ;-)
  • + 2
 It "might" take them some time to adjust, but it is cool to have more guys from north america involved.
Will make races more exciting, cause, even though I like it when a french guy win, it gets boring when you are just wondering if it will be Vouilloz or Lau or Clementz or Absalon or (now) Quéré...

So, yeah, good luck to Curtis and the other one joining the big enduro races.
  • + 2
 I actually think Curtis has got pretty big potential in Enduro. He's fit and fast as fu*k on the little bike. Sure, he might not be right up there with Nico, Lau, Clements and Absalon but I think he's quicker than any other US rider including Weir.
  • + 1
 That's pretty cool
  • + 1
 endros + hot chicks = boner
  • + 6
 Looks like Curtis Keene adjusted pretty quickly.
  • + 3
 Pwnd boys, time to eat crow
  • + 0
 " Go eat a Dick" quote TREK17
  • + 10
 idk... Keene is very fast... he may need a few rounds to get acquainted to the euro style, but look at mark weir and the other downieville badasses... they do pretty well. As for Vouilloz, he is one of the greatest riders of all time, and he is still going strong... no one will ever deny that.
  • + 1
 Sometimes when I'm home alone I like to super glue my thumbs to my nipples and play T-Rex...
  • + 4
 Pumped to see how some North American riders like Curtis Keene fair over there, this will be a great weekend.
  • + 4
 haha... all u Keene haters... y'all can go choke on your words!!!! He podiumed! Never underestimate the Yanks!
  • + 4
 Curtis Keene the "American Dream"..
  • + 2
 That gal is gunna blow up her shoulders if she keeps running those 40" flat bars.
  • + 3
 They do look pretty silly...she definitely does not have the height/reach to get the full benefit of the bars.
  • - 19
flag Enduro27 (Oct 19, 2012 at 17:32) (Below Threshold)
 she looks like a typical modern mtb idiot who probs read on some forum that low wide bars make you faster so she jumped on the bandwagon and now thinks that she is cool.
  • + 12
 Or she might have just decided to give it a go and found she liked it.

Who knows?
  • + 5
 And guess what??? we have a new protour!!!!!!
  • + 3
 Doesn't look like a lot of riders came out for Friday practice...
  • + 0
 I did my one Enduro race in a full face helmet. The uphill sections sucked - it felt like I couldn't get any fresh air and was breathing recycled CO2. I took off the lid for the transition climbs of course.
  • - 10
flag Enduro27 (Oct 19, 2012 at 17:35) (Below Threshold)
 I still dont get why people wear fullfaces in enduro races, doesnt make any sense
  • + 3
 I think in the Super Enduro Series they require the riders to wear full face helmets on timed sections and at least a half shell/xc helmet on the transfer stages. Not positive though.
  • + 1
 yeah, I think it's like in France, you have to wear kneepad, gloves, and full face helmet on downhill section.... and then when its Enduro Series you have to wear elbowpad and back protection too. Really that stupid coz you wear your bag.... its already a protection ! I miss Canadien race... Smile
  • + 4
 Euro Enduro are usually raced on very rough terrain, it doesn't make sense NOT to wear full face helmets ....
  • - 9
flag Enduro27 (Oct 20, 2012 at 8:26) (Below Threshold)
 thats pretty weak of whoever is running the enduro series. I wear a skid lid on everything from xc to double black bike park runs.
  • + 2
 If you'd seen Anneke Beerten's crash today, you wouldn't be asking why the riders wear full-face lids here. And for the back protection, backpacks count as back protection here in Italy (in France only some do).
  • + 5
 Enduro27 > "I wear a skid lid on everything from xc to double black bike park runs"

So, what is that fullface helmet on your profile picture?

And, for the people wearing fullface in enduro, I can see some good reasons,
- they wear them for their own safety, because they can go very fast on the downhill parts.
- because that's whithin the rules when you enter one of those races, at least in France,...
  • + 2
 Let's put it this way, if you're comfortable riding Enduro with only an open lid you're either a) not riding enduro b) not riding fast/hard enough.
  • + 1
 Yeah it was my poor line of thinking that I used a full face in my race. I had total familiarity with the trails which weren't even that tech. I just thought the FF would impart more 'courage'. Live and learn. Or rather, race and learn. On this freaking course? Full face no doubt.
  • + 3
 Love the kid on the green bike!
  • + 2
 Finale is a paradise, go there...
  • + 1
 All Liguria is a biker paradise Smile
  • + 1
 What kind of forks does the girl in the green have, i know they are sr suntour but what model
  • + 1
 ima guess theyre durolux's
  • + 1
 i was this close to jumping on a plane and entering this maybe next year.
  • + 1
 not related but how come there hasnt been any new news lately on pb haha
  • + 1
 someone help those girls....super interesting article...
  • + 0
 The real battle here is 26" vs 29". Doesnt matter who wins as long as it on a 26". Leave the niners in spandex land.
  • + 1
 The fact that Keene is riding a 29'r might help
  • + 1
 Looks busy
  • + 0
 Curtis Keene is going to be schooled by nico and Clementz
  • + 0
 haha yup, even an american admits keene is screwed for this event with riders like nico, clementz and dan in the mix
  • + 1
 How'd that prediction work out for ya'?
  • + 1
 pretty good actually, dan beat him no?
  • + 1
 You're right...a podium finish in your first Europoean Enduro race is a total embarassment. You sir...are a moron.
  • + 1
 I stated that the three riders above would beat him so I am partially right no?
  • + 1
 The implication of your comment was that Keene was going to get his ass handed to him.

You in fact did not state that 3 specific riders would beat him, you implied that he was screwed b/c of riders, "LIKE nico, clementz and dan." The implication being that he was going to get his ass handed to him, which he obviously did not.

Go back to school kiddo, maybe study a little more and ride a little less, and you'll be fine.
  • - 2
 hmmm first to comment looks fun riding? aha
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