Competition and determination were the words on everyone’s lips as the Superenduro series rolled into Punta Ala (Tuscany) last weekend. Bandite Bike Park & Punta Ala Camping Resort hosted the latest PRO race over the Saturday and Sunday.
Riders faced a tough weekend with long, hard climbs between stages and tough, technical timed stages to race over. With just five hours to tackle the 50km route it even put experienced riders to the test. “Very hard, too hard” were the words of Francesco ‘Cico’ Baroni, and those thoughts were shared by many as they struggled against with strict limit time for the climbing.
The secret to winning this weekend was keeping your focus after those demanding transfers, as riders faced dusty and very technical sections, such as the central portion of the PS2, with forced trajectories and narrow passages into a steep and tricky rock.
Racing was close all weekend with a different winner on each of the four timed stages on Sunday. With the series heading to its conclusion riders had to put everything on the line to reach those top spots in the overall rankings and already in the Saturday Prologue the leading players came to light.
In first place once again we find Andrea Bruno, Team Ready 2 Ride, getting closer to the overall series win this year and retaining his position as Italy’s number one enduro rider. He was able to take control of the race and through his incredible consistency, stage after stage, gained valuable seconds to build a commanding lead of almost a minute by the end of the weekend.
Battle for the second spot was tight with Alex Stock (Team Kona Bike O’Clock Nissan) and Vittorio Gambirasio (Team Surfing Shop) fighting hard for that step on the podium. Both won stages on Sunday and going into Stage 4 things were too tight to call. Unluckily, Vittorio went down on the stage, handing victory to the young Brit who is making a real impact in his first full season on the European enduro circuit.
Manuel Ducci (Riviera Freeride) wasn’t far behind either, missing out on third position by just a handful of seconds. This was his best result of the season so far, taking home his first category (SE4) victory in a Superenduro race, in front of Davide Sottocornola, Team GT-360 degrees, which closes fifth, despite winning the last stage.
This victory for Manuel is very important because confirms his decision to focus on enduro racing full-time next year and you can bet he’ll be taking aim for those top spots.
For the ladies there were three leading actresses this weekend. The top step of the podium went to the young Chiara Pastore (Rosas Bike Team), with her first victory in Superenduro. Second was Valentina Macheda (Riviera Freeride). Marianna Uttini (Cicobikes Nonsolofango) came home in third, she had dominated throughout the weekend, but suffered a puncture on the PS2 which ruined her race.
Tough, but fun racing, diving into the crystal blue Mediterranean Sea, long evening meals of the locally caught fish, a concert on the Saturday evening and a Dirt Jump Demo with local jump superstar Alex Barbero were the mix for an unforgettable weekend.
Superenduro’s first visit to Tuscany was a great success. This was confirmed by Thomas Daddy, president of ASD Bandite Bike Park, which has officially announced that Punta Ala will be one of the races on the Superenduro 2012 circuit. The welcoming atmosphere of Punta Ala Camping Resort, combined with the efficient organization of ASD Bandite Bike Park has managed to win the hearts of Superenduro, bikers and the public.
We look forward the next race on October 2 at Albese con Cassano (CO) for the last Sprint of the season and the grand finale on October 22-23 with the PRO race at Finale Ligure that will close this awesome Superenduro season!
More on: www.superenduromtb.com