The winter fried in the Paraíba Valley at the third edition of the Montanhas Race Enduro 2016, one of the most important races in the Brazilian enduro mountain biking scene. The race based in Jambike Park, located in the municipality of Jambeiro, 120 km from São Paulo capital, offered what the mountains have best to offer: gravity. The Jambike farm reinforced the socializing environment, the spirit of this enduro circuit. This is an important vector for promoting integration and exchange of technical and information among pilots.
The championship has proven being innovative and collaborative improving existing trails. All starting gates often enhanced the sense of vertigo. The Montanhas Race leaves its legacy on trails and perceptions about the sport contributing permanently the evolution of endurance mountain biking in Brazil. Game changing! The operational strategy was based on three stages on Saturday and three on Sunday. Before the timed trial, riders could recognize the path line, which was fundamental to the competitiveness among the pilots to remain a high level until the last rider. A few seconds separated the riders in almost all categories.
On the first day there were two stages in an all mountain style with downhill features where two large gaps offered the opportunity to earn a few seconds.
"Enduro is awesome... the guys just keep at full speed at the arrival drop, I still want to participate in a race of this" - Commented Luis Antonio, a visitor who attended the championship accompanied by his two children. The first day ended with excellent results especially in highly disputed category Master 3 which Luciano "KDra" Lancelotti won the second place behind the carioca Rogério Blanc.
Stephanie Camargo, a representative of the women's category, survived the first day and relieved said: "I was very nervous because I was the first to drop the stages". During shifts, athletes watched by far the red and yellow tapes of two of the three stages prepared for the next day. Desolate trails hit by intermittent winds that raised dust in an almost vertical and seemingly inaccessible stretch provoked comments about the name of one of them: Sinistra!
Nightmares aside, Sunday began with a beautiful day, a little dew on the grass and a short shift to a breathtaking stage.
Off-camber for breakfast and pedal to aid in digestion. That was the menu that raised the temperature of racers to face the verticality of the stage. The drop of the gate was a descent by an unusual land where the instincts of self-preservation were put into practice. Technique and speed were the perfect ingredients to warm up a fight for the few seconds that separated the athletes. Falls and mechanical problems peppered the meal!
The timed stages were well planned. Finally, the third stage ended with the victory of Diego Knob from Rio de Janeiro, Pro category. In the Master 1, another from Rio, André Sanches got the best. In Master 2, Luis Altenfelder showed once again how to conquer a win and Master 3, Caio Salerno climbed the top on the podium. Live sound with a rock band on the closing lunch highlights the true spirit of enduro lifestyle!
[Words by Andre Bortoletto / Photos by Adilson Martins - adilsonmartins.com] @ www.xrides.com.br