SThe 2018 Superenduro season opener wraps up in Sanremo, after some very good and technical racing. The best way to kick off the tenth edition of the National Series of mountain-bike enduro events
Sanremo Superenduro has been an epic race. Long and technical Special Stages have given the riders the chance to show their best skills, but also requiring them to get through all their energy.
Heat and sunshine have played a key role, making the race more difficult to manage and quite tricky from a strategical point of view.
Fortunately, Villaggio dei Fiori in Sanremo had some shade to offer: the Event Village and the paddocks were set up right next to the sea, in the trees, to host all event partners – Vittoria, Giant, Liv, Endura, Felicia, Evoc, FiveTen and OTC – the teams and the crews of the mechanical assistance.
Meanwhile, the mountains in the background played host to four intense, complete Special Stages over a total race course of 12 km in length and 1700 m of vertical drop, all groomed and ready thanks to the work of the Sanremo Bike Resort staff.
The 2018 season kicked off in the best way, thanks to over 400 riders and 14 countries lining up at the start, in an event made even more exciting by the great balance amongst teams and the growing participation of young riders. This announces a continuation of the season especially lively and spectacular. Seven different teams have been able to place one of their riders in the top ten, plus a few quick racers who have joined the race from abroad attracted by the international level of the event, valid as an EWS Qualifier.
Florian Nicolai from France (Canyon Factory Team) claimed the top step of the Open Men podium with a time of 25 minutes and 26 seconds, winning all Special Stages and literally taking the race by storm. Second is Alex Lupato (Cingolani Team), consistent throughout the race too, 59 seconds off the top step, while at 1:01 minute Matteo Raimondi (Gb Rifar Mondraker Asd) is third, paying the price for the imperfect performance in the first Special Stage of the day, finishing ‘only’ in sixth.
Standing Superenduro champion Laura Rossin (Soul Cycles Racing Team) wins the Women Open race, while Gehrig Carolin (Norco Twins Racing Team) from Switzerland is second, off the top spot for the one-minute penalty she incurred for being late at Time Control. Third is Gallean Chloé (Lapierre Team), who held the second position during the initial Stages but ended up loosing time in the second part of the race.
Great racing in the Youth/Juvenile categories too, with no less than 40 riders participating and the victory of Francesco Mazzoni (Ancillotti Factory Team), and Sofia Priori (Ponente Gravity Team). Davide Carissimi (Break Bike Sestri) is the fastest rider in Men Amateurs, while in the Women Jessica Bormolini (GB Rifar Mondraker Asd) wins in spite of a late return to training after the winter break.
In Teams, the numerous Ancillotti Factory Team is the one that stands on the top step, also thanks to the excellent performance of Simone Pellissero, a fast and promising rider in his first year in the Juniors.
Debut round for the E-MTB race, totally dominated by French riders. Leading by more than 30 seconds, Camille Servant (Tribesportgroup / Rockymountain) makes it into first. Jérôme Gilloux (La Roue Libre Team) is second, and Kenny Muller third. Alessandro Bonarotti is the fastest amongst the Italian riders.
Manuel Ducci“em>On balance, the event has been really positive for us, the organizers. On the one hand all the work done on the trails has been rewarded by the positive feedback of the participants, on the other the effort required to put together an event of this magnitude has required the collaboration of the whole MTB community of Sanremo. It is perhaps the first time in the history of this venue that we have been able to come together in one single team and achieve the goal we had set”.
Florian Nicolai “I found the perfect balance in the saddle and I had a lot of fun. Today the race has been tough, but the trails were amazing. I hope I will be able to keep calm in the same way for the coming EWS events”.
Laura Rossin “Clearly, I am very happy with the result. Being up to the job here in Sanremo, at the start of the season, feels to me already like a huge goal I reached. My race rose to a crescendo. I suffered during the first Stages but then I found the right pace and some confidence, and I could make it to the end quite smoothly”.
The one-minute penalty assigned to Carolin Gehrig for not having checked-in at the judges’ control within the allotted time at the end of the last transfer costs her the top step of the podium. After a long day in the saddle, giving her best, the initial disappointment is totally understandable, as it is the embarrassment of Laura Rossin stepping onto the top of the podium during the award ceremony. Switzerland’s rider, sportingly, has admitted the mistake she made, maybe due to distraction or maybe due to her non-perfect knowledge of the location: she rode back along the cycle-path instead of going back to the paddocks. As a result, the challenge has only been postponed to the next round, where the two talented riders will be able to compete again.