As announced in a previous press release, after 10 editions marked by a very permissive Open Practice, the coming season will bring a major change in Superenduro’s format.
Last season’s hard work led to the introduction of racing categories as per the Italian Cycling Federation (FCI), so as to align the Series to the national and international vision for this discipline. This year‘s equally significant change will come into effect at the first event of the 2019 edition of Superenduro, in Pietra Ligure.
Here are all the new entries in the regulation regarding Open Practice:
– Practice on race tracks can only be carried out on the Saturday prior to race day (on Sunday), with no limit in the number of runs admitted
– Mechanized uplifts (self-organized or made available by the event organizers) can only be used in accordance with the official pick-up and drop-off locations, that will be specified in the race book online, besides being on display in the paper map available in the Race Office and on the ground, with specific signage
– The race course will be announced on the Friday of the weekend preceding the weekend of the race (8 days prior to race day): bike access to the race tracks will be forbidden, as per specific online communication and appropriate signage on the ground
– Between the announcement of the race course and the Saturday of Open Practice, race tracks will only be accessible on foot
– All participants surprised (by local organizers, other participants or anyone else of the staff) while breaching the Open Practice rules (riding on closed trails or using shuttles incorrectly) will be sanctioned with disqualification (photographic evidence will be required)
Open Practice has always been a hotly debated topic, mainly because it arouses strong feelings, at several levels: in riders and teams, in those who represent the venue, in the organizers. Quite often they don’t share the same opinion on the subject either.
The reasons that led Superenduro to change the Open Practice rules are numerous.
The first aim is to try to minimize the impact on local trails. Nowadays many venues have to deal with plenty of issues related to the overuse of their network of trails, especially come racing season. Some trails, due to their nature and the type of terrain they are on, respond well to thousands of ‘race-mode’ runs, but other trails blow-out and get damaged in an almost irreparable way. Reducing the number of Open Practice runs is going to have a positive effect on the trails also in term of their maintenance, making them likely to last throughout the entire season.
In the second place, limiting the duration of each Round of the Series to one weekend only will make Superenduro more economically sustainable for teams and individual riders alike. In order to be competitive – as for every other participant – you will only need to be there on the Saturday of the Open Practice after, if possible, having done the track walk at any time during the previous days.
Clearly it is almost impossible to find the perfect solution to such a complicated issue; this is why it is so important that we all play our part. Superenduro and local organizers will do their best to enforce the rules but, on the other hand, all riders are asked to practice fair play, towards the other participants and towards the sport all.
Not a chance that a few, individual, crafty participants will de-legitimize the results of a whole round; the stakes are high and the potential embarrassment in front of those who instead respect the rules would be equally difficult to swallow.
Rules are clear: practice on the Saturday only.
Every change is likely to generate some initial confusion and the need to re-adapt, but if the shared goal aims at the growth of the discipline, at the success of events and competitions, then everything will be fine and the first ones to enjoy the change will be the riders themselves. In fact, they will need to adopt a completely different strategy while preparing for the race, more in line with other important international competitions, still maintaining the ‘open’ nature of the practice, where every rider is free to decide in which order and how many times he/she will ride every track.
The debate is now on and the start of the season is almost upon us! We cannot wait to meet you all in Pietra Ligure at the kick-off round of the 11th edition of Superenduro, and an EWS Qualifier event!