Cycling: The Specialized-Sram Enduro Series invited to Kirchberg in Tirol for the fifth stop at the weekend. Despite the rather mixed weather forecast, around 250 riders followed the call and were rewarded with 1650 meters downhill on varied stages. In the end, André Wagenknecht and Anneke Beerten set the fastest times and were able to assert themselves against the strong competition.
As usual, training was on the agenda on Saturday. In view of the forecast, the weather was surprisingly good, thanks to the two lifts, the participants had the opportunity for extensive training on the five stages. And that was necessary, after all, it was a matter of memorizing a total of 13 kilometers of partly technical trails as well as possible.
While the first three stages meandered into the valley over numerous built berms, the last two descents got more technical: hanging curves, steep passages and countless carpets of roots demanded material and drivers, with around 6,5 minutes per stage also the condition came Claim not too short.
Things got serious for the first time in the late afternoon at the XS Power Ride prologue: on a tight circuit with two creek crossings, the time was set, which, as usual, is already included in the result as the first special stage. Anneke Beerten (Specialized Factory Racing) and Hayden Lee (Giant/Fox Gravity NZ) set the best times here and were therefore able to start the race on Sunday with a small time buffer.
The race started in the dry, but shortly after the first drivers left the starting area, a light rain set in, which should last throughout the day and caused changed ground conditions. Especially drivers with late start times rolled heavily muddy - but happy - through the finish line.
In the end, André Wagenknecht (Cube Action Team) found the most grip, rode consistently and was able to place ahead of Hayden Lee (Giant/Fox Gravity NZ) and Joseph Nation with a total time of 21:36.32 minutes. Fabian Scholz (Focus Trail Team) secured fourth place, followed by his teammate Markus Reiser (Focus Trail Team).
With 24:58.20 min and thus the fastest time in the Pro Women, Anneke Beerten once again dominated, leaving her competitors behind again with best times on two stages. Meggie Bichard (Specialized NZ) followed in second place, 25 seconds behind. Series leader Raphaela Richter (Radon Factory Enduro) was third, Birgit Braumann (Trek Gravity Girls) and Kerstin Kögler finished fourth and fifth.
In the Masters category, Benjamin Herold (NRG-FOES Racing) emerged victorious from the duel with Remo Heutschi (gravityunion.ch) and secured first place with a lead of just under 1.37 seconds. Third was Walter Martinschitz (mountainbiker.at).
The fastest amateur men goes by the name of Leonhard Putzenlechner (ENVE Composites) and with a time of 23:15.68 he was able to position himself in front of Bernd Tauderer (Giant Stattegg) and Thomas Wickles. The fastest amateur lady was Stephanie Frankl (WOMB girlsridetoo.de) ahead of Anja Düthmann and Manuela Drenska (www.balkanche.de)
The full results are here. [Link]
The Specialized-Sram Enduro series is now taking a 3-month break and will then come to an end in Leogang at the end of September - again in Austria.