Beerten and Clementz crowned Euro enduro champs

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The first ever European Enduro Championships took place over the weekend in Kirchberg, Austria over the weekend. Experienced racers Anneke Beerten (NED) and Jérôme Clementz (FRA) were crowned the first ever European Champs – no surprise given the extreme conditions riders endured, with crazy alpine weather (read: snow) making things hard for them (though sadly the pics are all of glorious green woodland). With 198 riders starting the four-stage course, mud was a given; here’s how the race went down…

Ceremony awards at the 1st UEC MTB Enduro European Championships in Kirchberg, Tyrol, Austria, on June 21, 2015. Free image for editorial usage only: Photo by Antonio López Ordóñez.
Men’s Elite podium. Photo by Antonio López Ordóñez.

“In four stages the riders had to scoop all their technical and physical skills to compete and survive in the uncompromising scenery of the Kitzbühler Alpen. Stage #1 was right next to the start and finish area and lead its way to stage #2, the famous Gaisbergtrail, the downhill section of the Austrian Downhill Masters in 2014 – really fast and certainly muddy and sticky today. Taking a relaxing ride in the chairlift to stage #3, the riders had to give it their best on the Lisi Osl Trail. Named after the overall winner of the MTB Cross Country Worldcup and local hero Lisi Osl, this trail was flowy on the upper parts and pretty technical and challenging on the lower section in the woods. The following last stage stretched the riders to their limits on the 1000 meters in altitude and 7 km long Fleckalmtrail. Tyrol’s longest singletrail was totally soaked with mud on race day. Only the real tough riders could push their limits in conditions were the mud was already covering their breaks and big parts of their bikes.

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Jérome Clémentz (FRA) © Manfred Stromberg

“It was a really cool final run and for me, it was definitely the best of the day”, Anneke Beerten was really stoked after crossing the finish line as first of the Women’s Elite Class today in Kirchberg. Anita Gehrig, from Switzerland, and Raphaela Richter (GER) put up a good fight, but in the end Beerten took the prestigious trophy. No surprises in the Men’s Elite Class. Jérôme Clementz, title favorite and probably the world’s best enduro biker, was the fastest down the legendary Fleckalmtrail and countrymen Rémy Absalon had no chance to keep up with his dreams to become the first European Enduro Champion ever. Vid Persak from Slovenia completes this strong podium.

Ceremony awards at the 1st UEC MTB Enduro European Championships in Kirchberg, Tyrol, Austria, on June 21, 2015. Free image for editorial usage only: Photo by Antonio López Ordóñez.
Women’s Elite podium. Photo by Antonio López Ordóñez.

Antje Kramer (GER) is the first European Enduro Champion in the Women’s Masterclass, even as she is not a specialist for wet and muddy trails; for her today was one of the greatest days and she had lots of fun riding the trails in Kirchberg. Winner of the Men Master 30+ category is the outstanding René Wildhaber, from Switzerland, who just decided to compete in the race a few days before. Austria’s Benedikt Purner crashed hard in stage 3, but still managed to finish second place in the Men Master 30+ class and more than happy with this result: “This really exceeded my expectations. I had a bad crash in the last stage and did not know, if I can even finish the race. So, it went really well for me.” Daniel Schemmel, from Austria, is the proud first European Champion of the Men Juniors class.

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Benedikt Purner (AUT) © Manfred Stromberg

The Enduro sport is heading in the right direction – the bikers’ unanimous resume of the weekend. The first ever Enduro European Championships were a full success and the competitors as well as the organization was very happy with this event. The rainy and muddy weather made it both a challenge for the riders, organizers and the technical equipment. Without any serious crashes or injuries the event was a great kick-off into the future and will go down in sports history by crowning the first UEC MTB European Enduro Champions ever.”

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Anneke Beerten (NED) © Manfred Stromberg

Full results of the 2015 UEC MTB Enduro European Championships:

MEN ELITE

  1. Jérôme Clementz FRA
  2. Rémy Absalon FRA
  3. Vid Persak SLO

WOMEN ELITE

  1. Anneke Beerten NED
  2. Anita Gehrig SUI
  3. Raphaela Richter GER

MEN JUNIOR

  1. Daniel Schemmel AUT
  2. Killian Callaghan IRL
  3. Kevin Maderegger AUT

WOMEN MASTER

  1. Antje Kramer GER
  2. Daniela Michel SUI
  3. Eva Carrer SUI

MEN MASTER 30+

  1. René Wildhaber SUI
  2. Benedikt Purner AUT
  3. Guillaume Heinrich FRA

MEN MASTER 40+

  1. Remo Heutschi SUI
  2. Wilfred Van de Haterd NED
  3. Christian Schleker GER

MEN MASTER 50+

  1. Carsten Geck GER
  2. Roberto Masciadri ITA
  3. Derek Laughland GBR

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