The second run of the Specialized-SRAM Enduro Series is history - and this one was also marked by unpredictable weather: In the weather, which is not typical for Italy, the day's victory in Riva went to Nicolas Lau and Anneke Beerten.
Like last year, the Specialized Sram Enduro Series made its second stop at the BIKE Festival in Riva del Garda. While in the days leading up to the race persistent rain caused worried faces among the registered drivers, the trail paradise on Lake Garda presented itself from its most beautiful side on the training day: the more than 350 drivers were able to complete the training on the five stages in the best sunshine. And training was necessary: Blocked and technically demanding, the routes got down to business – typically Lake Garda! The fact that the numerous stone fields and slabs of rock were still wet from the rain of the previous days increased the level of difficulty even further.
You could almost see the XS Power Ride prologue at the old port of Riva as relaxation - but only almost! Because time was ticking here, too, and the flat, one-minute circuit put the pedaling power of the riders to a hard test. As at the previous stop in Terlago, Michal Prokop set the fastest time of the day and started Friday's race 0.655 seconds ahead of second-placed René Wildhaber and Nicolas Lau. In the women's category, Anneke Beerten also repeated her victory from Terlago and sat ahead of Ines Thoma and Alba Wunderlin.
On the race day the weather showed no mercy and constantly rained down on drivers and tracks. The unpredictable weather also meant that in addition to the fourth stage, which had already been canceled in advance, the third stage was also canceled for the starters for safety reasons. However, the remaining five or four stages offered enough opportunity for exciting racing: With the stage times being quite short, even a small driving error could cost you places – so maximum concentration was required throughout. The race was correspondingly spectacular for the spectators, who defied the weather in large numbers, especially on stage six. The bike control with which some flew over the rocks that were difficult to negotiate even on foot caused rows of gaping mouths.
Wherever there is talk of bike mastery, the name Nico Lau is usually not far away: The young Frenchman coped best with the wet and slippery conditions. With a total time of 7:23.42 minutes, he relegated Ludovic May to second place with a lead of more than five seconds, followed by René Wildhaber. The fastest woman of the day was again Anneke Beerten, who was able to place ahead of Ines Thoma (+8) and Raphaela Richter with a total time of 11.42:10.95 min. In the Masters category, Remo Heutschi was able to extend his overall lead and came first ahead of André Kleindienst and Walter Martinschitz.
The Specialized Sram Enduro Series will be continued - hopefully with better weather - in three weeks at the Samerberg. More information about the series can be found on the website enduroseries.net andand of course up Facebook