The first race of the Enduro World Series takes place this weekend in Punta Ala, Italy. With the growing popularity of the enduro format, the heavy-hitting field of competitors and the new series, which has consolidated the world's biggest single enduro races into one entity, the Enduro World Series is considered by many to be the most anticipated competitions in mountain biking this year.
Among this weekend's competitors will be: Greg Minnaar, defending DH World Champion at his Enduro debut, enduro specialist Jerome Clementz, two-time Italian Champion Andrea Bruno, gravity living legend Nicolas Vouilloz, USA specialist Curtis Keene and BMX and MTB multichampion, Anne Caroline Chausson among other big names.
Presented by Chris Ball, Managing Director of Enduro World Series, Enrico Guala and Franco Monchiero Superenduro founders and Thomas Daddi, President of the local organization, I-MTB, the athlete panel signifies the historic nature of the Enduro World Series.
"Having multiple world champion title-holders sitting all together at the table is an incredible thing," says Guala. "Having them fighting over the following days in a format that is totally new for some of them is even more interesting."
The field of riders for the inaugural Enduro World Series race is almost twice the number hosted in Punta Ala for previous SuperEnduro races. Most of the new attendees are international riders and include powerful contenders from every discipline of mountain biking, including Tracy Moseley, Cecile Ravanel, Emmeline Ragot, Anka Martin, Anneke Beerten, Pauline Dieffenthaler, and Chausson in the women's category, and Fabien Barel, Sam Blenkinsop, Steve Peat, Dan Atherton, Brian Lopes, Cedric Gracia amongst the legend-packed male field.
Jerome Clementz has been at the top of the enduro racing world over the past few seasons, but with a new level of competition in 2013, will he still reign as the king of enduro?
Says Guala, "We're making history. Our aim is to see the highest level of racing combined with great riding and the atmosphere that enduro provides. Ultimately, our success will be measured by the smiles on the riders' faces at the end of the event. They're going to be very tired after such a long race but the quality of trails and the surroundings will help to overcome the fatigue."
The top fifteen riders will start every minute from 8:30am CEST on Sunday, May 19.