The Specialized-Sram Enduro Series got off to a successful start in the 2014 season. The opening race went to Terlago in Italy. More than 300 drivers from 12 nations started and in the end Anneke Beerten and Marco Milivinti emerged as winners.
The town of Terlago was still unknown to the majority of the drivers, after all the series was making a guest appearance here for the first time. The fine trails in the region were all the more pleasing: 90 percent flow was the promise in advance - and that's exactly what the starters expected. The diverse mix of fast flow trails, stony passages, some steeper sections and short pedal sections made riders of all ability levels happy. The scenic transfer stages certainly also contributed to this – the region around Terlago is simply a beautiful spot on earth. Of course, on the circuit with 1500 meters of altitude difference over 40 kilometers and five timed stages, the physical demands were not neglected.
The XS Power Ride Prologue was the first task relevant to the result on Saturday. On a section of Stage 5 with an additional short uphill, a course of around one and a half minutes was presented. The centerpiece was a fast section lined by many spectators, which resembled a dry, stony stream bed. The winners were Michal Prokop (Specialized Racing) and Anneke Beerten (Specialized Factory Team), who certainly benefited from their world champion fourcross sprint qualities.
While the training and the prologue on Saturday took place in sunshine, constant rain set in on Sunday night, which should also determine the weather during the day. Accordingly, the starters found the dust-dry trails from the day before in a completely different condition: slippery stone passages, wet roots and greasy ground made for a significantly increased level of difficulty on all stages. Skilful time management also became an important factor: Drivers who completed the transfer stages quickly found the special stages to be drier and less crowded.
Exciting racing was guaranteed, especially as the field of riders presented itself as high-calibre as usual: Internationally well-known names such as Beerten and Prokop were joined by the who-is-who of the German enduro scene: Laura Brethauer (Cube Action Team), Antje Kramer (Giant Germany) , Petrik Brückner (Radon Flow Team), Fabian Scholz, Tobias and Markus Reiser (all Focus Trail Team) and Ludwig Döhl (Cube Action Team), just to name a few.
There were also numerous local top drivers in the starting field, for example Marco Milivinti (Torpado Factory Team) who was fastest in Terlago after his victory at the start of the Italian SuperEnduro Series. He only needed 25:10.65 minutes for the 5 stages and thus almost 26 seconds less than second-placed Ludwig Döhl in front of Fabian Scholz. Remarkable: There were less than 0,7 seconds between places two and four - proof of the high level of the series!
In the Pro Women, favorite Anneke Beerten prevailed with a time of 30:41.63 and thus more than a minute ahead of the 16-year-old Raphaela Richter (Radon Factory Enduro) and Birgit Braumann (Trek Gravity Girls). The fastest master was Benedikt Purner (O'fetzn Racing) with a time of 26:23.89 ahead of Remo Heutschi (Gravityunion.ch) and Guido Wachter.
The second round of the Specialized-Sram Enduro Series will start next Thursday in Riva on Lake Garda. Crunchy trails and many other top athletes also promise first-class racing there.