Cycling: The third stop of the Specialized-SRAM Enduro Series took place in Samerberg in Bavaria and provided a lot of fun for participants and spectators with optimal weather conditions and a varied route.
For the third year in a row, the Samerberg bike park hosted the Specialized-SRAM Enduro Series. The 24 registered participants awaited five challenging but fun special stages on the approximately 335-kilometre circuit. Stage 1, which was peppered with artificial obstacles and wooden elements, led through the bike park, while the remaining stages were carried out on natural trails. The access to the last stage with a steep climb of more than 500 meters cost the participants a few grains, but the panoramic view over Chiemsee and Inn was great. The following passage of the rating became the favorite stage of most drivers. At an altitude of 1150 m, to everyone's surprise, a particularly large number of hikers and spectators cheered on the endurists. At the end of the day, the riders had climbed over 1300 meters in their legs.
The prologue, which took place after training on Saturday afternoon, revealed the first target times and sometimes amazing time intervals. Extended in the bike park, it offered 4X track character and a sporty uphill passage. There, Michal Prokop (Specialized) was able to win with an unbelievable lead of almost 2 seconds in a time of 58 seconds. Anneke Beerten (Specialized Factory Racing) won the women's class with a gigantic 7 seconds and thus already indicated in the prologue that the Specialized pilot had ambitions to win.
The race for the top drivers started at 8.30:XNUMX a.m. on Sunday morning. In addition to well-known German drivers such as Ludwig Döhl (Cube Action Team), Fabian Scholz (Focus Trail Team) and Petrik Brückner (Radon Flow Team), the international starting field also included rising stars such as the Austrian Matthias Stonig (MS Mondraker).
In addition to Anneke Beerten, Ines Thoma (Canyon Factory Enduro Team) and 16-year-old Raphaela Richter (Radon Factory Racing) were among the favorites for the women.
In the Pro Men class, Michal Prokop not only dominated the prologue, but also the race. With a time of 12:47:15 minutes he was able to prevail over the Austrian Matthias Stoneg. Already on the physically demanding Stage 1, the fast Czech was able to extend his lead from the prologue and hold it throughout the entire race. The second-placed ex-downhiller Matthias Stonig did particularly well on the rough stages, winning the short but just as daring 2nd stage, for example. Stuttgart Focus driver Fabian Scholz came in third, and his teammates Markus and Tobias Reiser also made it into the top 10. Slovakia's Matej Vitko (CTM Team) made it onto the podium for the first time with fourth place. Like in Terlago, Petrik Brückner finished fifth.
Anneke Beerten won the Pro Women class with a lead of 32 seconds and a total driving time of 14:28:47 minutes. Very strong as a single result. The reigning world champion in fourcross has already won all three stops of the Specialized-SRAM Enduro series this year. Ines Thoma comes in second and Raphaela Richter is third ahead of Anita Gehrig (Specialized Twins) and Antje Kramer (Giant Germany)
In the Masters class, drivers such as Bas de Bever, Wilfred van de Haterd (Nicolai), Jelmer Pietersma, Nino Antic (Giant), Remo Heutschi (DT Swiss) and Benedikt Purner (Liteville) caused excitement. Here it was the Swiss Remo Heutschi who won the race. Walter Martinschitz and the multiple Croatian downhill champion Nino Antic flanked him on the podium.
All in all, the third stop of the Specialized-SRAM Enduro Series was a complete success. The sun and the summer feeling certainly played a big part in that. “The most fun and best race of the season so far” – this is how Antje Kramer sums it up and many will agree.
It continues on 14./15. June in Willingen with the fourth race of the series. More information and full results can be found at enduroseries.net.