Enduro World Series Round One – story, pics and video.

Hottest event of the weekend had to be round one of the Enduro World Series. Here are the results, the write-up and a nice video from the Superenduro press team out in Italy.

The circus is in town...

Just seven months after the creation of an Enduro World Series was announced, the first round took place over the May 18-19 weekend in Punta Ala, Italy.

Over 500 riders from every mountain bike discipline and almost every nation arrived to take part in one of the most anticipated mountain bike races ever.

Fierce competition in the brolly contest.

Locals from the seaside resort came out in force to experience the opening night time trial, the Prologue, and witnessed the world’s fastest mountain bikers tear through the rain-slicked medieval cobblestone streets of Castiglione della Pescaia. France’s Alex Cure (Urge Team) and Anne Caroline Chausson (Ibis) finished the Prologue in the top position.

Anne Caro blitzed the prologue but crashed out on stage two.

The podium results indicate what a true test of the all-round rider enduro racing is, with French downhill champion Fabien Barel (Canyon Factory Team), French enduro specialist Jerome Clementz (Cannondale Overmountain) and Australian BMX Olympian and 4X World Champion Jared Graves (Yeti-Fox Factory Team) taking the top 3 places. (Narrowly missing the podium was 16 year old Belgian rider, Martin Maes (GT Factory Racing.)

Focus, man, focus!

While Clementz took an early lead, winning Sunday’s first stage, Barel put in the performance of the race on the longest, most technical trail, the race’s second stage and special Red Bull Time Rush, where he took a 13 second lead.

Fast and dry - why can't all racing be this way...

Former DH World Champion and enduro racer, Tracy Moseley from the UK (Trek Factory Racing) beat out current DH World Champ Emmeline Ragot from France (Lapierre International) and XC Olympian Cecile Ravanel from France (GT Skoda) in the women’s field.

Womens podium: Moseley, Ragot and Ravanel.

Mens podium: Barel, Clementz, Graves.

For Managing Director of the EWS, Chris Ball, the event had the perfect mix of epic clashes of top athletes, drama and challenge with riders posting World Cup downhill speeds, instagramming during the liaison stages, and big names like Chausson and Nico Lau crashing out, Vouilloz racing to maintain a decent overall position after a puncture, and Cedric Gracia snapping his chain at the start of stage 4 and having to run his bike through the entire stage and 10km liaison before picking up a replacement chain for the final stage.

A skill familiar to most enduro riders: queuing.

Awwww, cuddles!

Even pros clean their own bikes in enduro.

Combined with the spectacular setting, great hospitality from the organisers, perfect trail-ending on the beach by the Mediterranean, and intrigue from the pits as prototype bikes and gear set-ups were tested out, the amazing vibe of the weekend set the bar for the Enduro World Series’ debut.

Yes, Italy has mud too.

We think we'd be stopping for a good look at this, too.

Atherton on the move.

“The riders took enduro to a whole new level today and the racing was some of the most exciting I have ever followed,” says Ball. “We have a lot to learn and a lot to develop both in the following 2013 rounds and in the years to come but I feel that this weekend marked a whole new chapter in enduro history. We couldn’t have asked for a better start and I greatly thank all of our members and supporters for allowing this historic race to happen here in Punta Ala.”

The Enduro World Series moves next to Val D’Allos, France, where riders will be met with chairlifts for uplift and a slightly different format that will provide another opportunity to test riders in the quest for the most versatile all-round mountain bike athlete in the world.

Full results here.

Video highlights courtesy of the Superenduro press office and rockinthemiddle.com:

Men’s top ten:

BAREL Fabien 20’38.1
CLEMENTZ Jerome 20’50.6
GRAVES Jared 20’53.1
MAES Martin 21’12.4
ATHERTON Dan 21’16.7
CRUZ Benjamin 21’30.9
BLENKINSOP Samuel 21’33.7
ABSALON Remy 21’33.9
BARNES Joe 21’34.8
CARLSON Josh 21’37.8

Women’s top ten:

MOSELEY Tracy 24’21.8
RAGOT Emmeline 25’17.6
RAVANEL Cecile 26’03.5
BEERTEN Anneke 26’34.9
THOMA Innes 27’03.1
DIEFENTHALER Pauline 27’06.0
EMMETT Kelli 27’37.6
TRUONG Lorraine 28’22.4
GEHRIG Anita 26’33.8
COURDURIER Isabeau 28’45.1

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