European Enduro Series #1 Punta Ala

European Enduro Series presented by XS Power Drink
Kick-Off in Punta Ala – Registration Open Now

The world of enduro has just got even more exciting! Registration has now opened for the landmark first round of the new European Enduro Series presented by XS Power Drink, and once again the seaside resort of Punta Ala will mark an important turning point for enduro racing.

On the 19th of April 2014, Europe’s fastest racers will line up to battle it out over the dust and rock of the legendary Italian location, hoping to start a journey that will lead them to the top of the series podium. The new series will provide an important stepping stone between national enduro events and the Enduro World Series, and bring a new focus to racing on the continent. Organised by the German company Racement, famous for their iXS Downhill Cups, the six round series will travel to some of the most famous riding destinations in continental Europe. Featuring rounds in legendary locations such as Flims, Kronplatz, Reschenpass, Maribor and Treuchtlingen, all eyes will be on the exciting first round in Punta Ala to see who is chasing the series title.
Georgy Grogger is the Technical Delegate for the new European Enduro Series as well as the Specialized-SRAM Enduro Series, and he took some time out to talk to us about what to expect from round 1 in Punta Ala.

Punta_Ala_03_-_by_Matt Wragg

What can participants expect from the opening round in Punta Ala?
You mean beside warm weather, a beautiful beach and tons of red wine? Well: Punta Ala is simply wonderful; after the crew of i-mtb showed me some of the best trails I had ever ridden, I knew it had to be included in the series. We have set up the course with an all-in-approach; there will be hard and technical parts, smoother sections with loads of flow and some sneaky uphill pedal sections. It will be a tough race and will meet the high continental standard we are looking for. The race will have 4 challenging stages – and all I can say about the trails is that participants will meet some old enemies and also find new friends.

Where would be the best place to stay?
The best place to stay for the race is the PuntAla camping resort. It’s the beating heart of the Bandite Trail Area where the race will take place. With the Start, Finish and Prologue held at the resort, and with excellent facilities and situated right on the beach, it is the perfect location to enjoy the racing action. Punta Ala also makes a great holiday destination not just for riders/racers but also their companions and families.

Punta_Ala_01_-_by_Matt Wragg-1

What will the racing be like?
The main goals of the series are to not only present the best trails and riding spots, but also to maintain a unique personality and familiar feeling throughout the series. That means that from the moment of registration, right through to the award ceremony, the organisation will be similar at every venue. Riders will find the same rules, the same timetable, the same chrono-system and the same friendly team at every round of the circuit.

What about practice on the stages?
Practice will be allowed, but only on the day before the race. If individual shuttling is part of the culture at a certain venue it will be allowed during practice, but not at the race. Only 5 out of 6 races will count – so if you miss one, or have a bad day, this will not ruin your overall result. And of course, shortcutting will lead to disqualification.

What protection do I need?
Just like in Downhill the national regulations for safety equipment vary according to national regulations. You will always need a Fullface-Helmet for the timed sections, and in some countries such as Italy, long fingered gloves, kneepads and back protection is mandatory!

The round at Punta Ala is held on the same weekend as the EWS round in Chile – why is that?
Since the European Series is continental we don’t think that the EWS race in South America affects our event. The European Enduro Series is for racers who want to compete at a high level, in a well-organized race series, but without the expense of travelling around the world. We want to attract the enduro racing weekend warriors, becoming a greenhouse for growing and developing new enduro talents. The continental series will bridge the gap between successful national series and the enduro world series.

Punta_Ala_02_-_by_Matt Wragg

Is the European Enduro Series a licence-only circuit?
Yes and no. We definitely want to develop a professional continental race series, and you will have to have a license for the Pro Category. But there will be an Amateur-class, where non-license racers will be able to take part, but they will need to purchase an extra insurance!

All Images – Matt Wragg


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