During the first Round of the season, that will take place in Pietra Ligure during the coming weekend, we’ll finally get the chance to see live the changes made to the rules of Open Practice
With the awaited weekend almost upon us and moody weather that is – thankfully – improving quickly, the questions on the eve of the kick-off of the eleventh edition of Superenduro are really a lot.
Many teams are gearing up with lights, knowing that they will need to keep working on their bikes until night. And this is really electrifying. Paddocks are going to be super busy: while most of the riders will be engaged in reviewing the on-board videos and discussing riding lines, mechanics and technical services will be working on their machines. And they will need to stay focused on their task, as fatigue and haste don’t go hand in hand with fine tuning.
Many questions have been asked by the riders during the last days, via email or throughout Superenduro’s social network, especially since when they have been made aware of the important changes in the rules of Open Practice. Before answering to the questions, we would like to expand on the strategy to adopt for Open Practice, that – with only one day available – becomes now as crucial as the racing strategy itself.
Here below we recommend a lap that we have put together, in collaboration with the local crew, to minimize the amount of pedalling and so save energy for Sunday, race day.
Obviously, this is only a suggestion and you can organize your practice in any way you like, but keep in mind that shuttles can only stop in one or more of the 3 spots indicated in the map.
Lap 1: Shuttle Melogno > Stage 1 > Stage 4 > Pietra Ligure
Lap 2: Shuttle Melogno > Stage 2 > Stage 3 > Pietra Ligure
Lap 3, if possible: Shuttle Giustenice > Stage 3
Lap 4, if possible: Shuttle Ranzi > Stage 4
Getting less runs done during Practice means riding more by instinct come race day. Setting-up the bikes right and choosing the best components for them will be far more difficult, as the time available for that will not be a lot.
All in all, it is quite likely that you will need to overcome some issues while riding during the race itself, and you will still need to give your best. But this is good, definitely: it is part of a learning process and will make you a better rider.
At Superenduro 2019 you will need to be on your toes, at all times, ready to learn from all signals given to you by your bike, the race course, your teammates, as well as by your competitors. Effective communication with your mechanic as with the assistance crew will be even more crucial, in order for you to get the best advice, as quickly as possible. Tactical choices will be now fundamental and they will elevate the Series to a different level altogether, increasing at the same time the quality of the spectacle for the general public and all fans.
In short, the new rules make for a real evolution, in all respects and for all of us, but like for all big changes it is necessary to grow and improve, overcoming our own limits.
We have just to wait for the sunrise on Saturday morning and see how everything will go during this important day at Superenduro.
And now, let’s answer the most common questions regarding Open Practice.
Why do you leave the announcement to the Friday before race week?
During the week that precedes the race, the work on the trails is usually almost at its end. However, during this time the work on the ground can still be pretty intense: the trails get the last cleaning and maintenance, the race track is established, different line options are opened, some extra material gets moved, amongst other things.
The whole crew is at work and it is important that they can carry on in peace, knowing that no riders are coming from behind the corner and that the work they have just finished is not going to be shredded, just yet at least, as it needs a few days to settle in. This is why it is so important to close the race course trails.
Moreover, practising on trails during the time that precedes race week would mean gathering a lot of information about the almost-finalised (if not ready) trails, and so it would also put the riders (including the local ones) in a far too favourable position compared to those who cannot be there earlier to practice.
This is the reason why the race course is announced on the Friday before race week, and Open Practice is only possible on the Saturday of race weekend. That’s why the rules say: “These are the Special Stages, nobody can ride them but it is possible to walk them (which makes already for a nice advantage, if you think about it). Saturday is Open Practice and we all get to test-ride the trails under the same conditions”.
Yes, whatever, but the locals…
Let’s face it so to put your mind at rest. ‘Locals’ have always existed and they will always be there. In all sports. Home trails will give to local riders an advantage, regardless of whether they do practice the week before. The fact that they will not be able to see the line options or the final race marking will possibly decrease this kind of advantage, even if some of it will always be there.
Cheaters, on the other hand, make for a completely different matter. They also have always existed and they will always be out there, but this is not a good reason to stop us from changing the rules to make the game more thrilling and fun. Everyone is free to do as she/he believes, but, again, there are rules for a reason.
The running of the shuttles on the Saturday
Surely this is an important and sensitive topic.
In particular it is important to give everyone the chance of doing at least one uplift: we will keep working hard on this, also in the future. For Pietra Ligure Round we have involved some new shuttle companies in order to overcome the initial hitch and, if needed, we’ll do the same in the other venues.
The other side of the problem concerns traffic. Many people were afraid of shuttles running amok up and down the mountains in order to offer as many runs as possible.
Actually, to avoid this, a few, precise locations for shuttle PickUp and DropOff have been established. These places are located (for Pietra Ligure at Colle del Melogno, coordinates: 44.230243, 8.196780, in Giustenice at the parking of Capalla Restaurant, coordinates 44.172198, 8.246452 or in Ranzi close to Il Capanno Restaurant, 44.157963, 8.266937) where the vehicles can easily move and turn around while riders need to pedal a little to reach the start of the Special Stages.
This is why, with the race on the following day, it is important to manage your own energy, and at the same time take maximum advantage of Open Practice.
Thus, with one or maximum two uplifts, there will be no need to rush with the shuttles and at the same time riders’ runs over the trails will be less, decreasing their impact in terms of erosion.
Superenduro remains at your disposal for any question or doubt. In all cases, we’ll see you In Pietra Ligure for another exciting adventure with Superenduro MTB!