Just a short wait for the second round of Superenduro’s season. On 18/19 May PuntAla Camp & Resort will play host to one of the most highly anticipated mtb enduro races in Italy, also valid as EWS Qualifier event.
After the announcement of the race course – 5 Special Stages, a total of 41 km and 1,460m of elevation gain – and the closing of the registration as the maximum number of entrants was met, it is now time to go in the mix of an event that promises to be truly unique, starting with the arrangements for Open Practice, on Saturday.
The Tuscany-based weekend is going to be intense and entirely relying on riders’ legs and shoulders; an epic challenge they will need to tackle with their sole means. For the first time in the history of Superenduro, Open Practice will be entirely carried out in the saddle, pedalling, without the help of any mechanized uplift. Then, Sunday’s race will be completely self-supported, with no chance of receiving outside assistance (from mechanics) at mid-race, during the Time Control. On difficult and rocky terrain like the one that riders will find in Punta Ala Trail Center, this is going to mean taking care of their machines, riding clean, and carefully choosing their bikes’ setup, in particular tyres: they are the component that will need to deal with hard hits from the ground and with a riding style that will gradually become less and less sympathetic, as the race carries on during the day.
The race – despite Special Stages that are never too long or unreasonable in terms of elevation changes – is going to be very physical, with a level of technicality that will increase towards the final Stages. The environment which provides the back-drop to the event will be a very special one, spanning from holm oak woods and Mediterranean scrub to the oak forests of Mount Alma, at 540m of elevation.
The guys of Punta Ala Trail Center are busy, every day, taping the race course and creating alternative lines.
The race begins with Special Stage 1, Le Api: without a lot of vertical drop, it will demand great physical effort and some serious, frequent, revving up to sprint. Rule number one here is going to be: push hard on the pedals and let the bike go – in order to be able, at least, to catch the breath again.
PS2 – The Guardian – stays again very close to the coast but the trails are narrower and require more handling skills than Le Api track. In several sections there will be a host of lines to choose from. The final section of The Guardian is also going to provide the spectators with one of the easiest access to the track, so we expect to see there some good cheering going on!
In PS3 – Cinghiale (Prova Speciale LIV Special Stage), before reaching the Time Control at the Castle of Scarlino, the race will start to get more technical. Flowy sections will now be scattered, leaving room for rougher bits, with a few passages over rocky ruts and drops.
At the Time Control, in Scarlino, there will be plenty of time to rest and refuel, getting ready to climb up to the highest point of the race: Monte Alma, 540m of elevation.
This is where PS4 starts – Kriminale (Giant Special Stage), a track that will immediately show its nature, with techy passages amongst big boulders, followed by super-fast sections. Kriminale is also the steepest Stage, with a few tights switchbacks to tackle: some of them will need negotiating while some other will not give the riders any line choice.
The PS5, the infamous Rock’Oh! (Dainese Special Stage), will take the riders into the epics of this amazing location and will definitely be the best spot in terms of cheering. This renowned Stage of the Punta Ala Trail Center has been hit in the past by the best riders in the discipline and the simple fact of riding the same Special Stage that has witnessed one of the most epic overtaking in the history of enduro (Fabien Barel over Greg Minaar) will make a dream come true for many. Rock’Oh! is the longest and most technical Stage of the day, a track that should not be underestimated and that indeed must be faced with the greatest possible focus, despite perhaps being tired. It is going to be a 3.3 km-long rut and rock-strewn trail, with faster sections that are always far too short to make riders catch their breath again. Or to make their arm pump go away. Riding down, the trail becomes gnarlier and gnarlier; and looking back at the end of it, riders will soon realize why nobody should ever trust Rock’Oh!
PuntAla Camp & Resort is getting ready to welcome riders and crews with an offer of mobile homes, camper vans and tents…before getting the race under way.
Find here all info about race course and side-activities on schedule.