The first round of the 2013 Enduro World Series took place in Italy this past weekend and it was pretty epic. Enduro is an evolving format with bits of XC, downhill, and even street riding mashed together. In the first race of the year — formats will all differ — it required more than 4,500 feet of climbing and 40 miles of riding, with four timed sections. Who made the podium says a lot about how attractive the style could become, with downhiller Fabian Barrel winning, enduro specialist Jerome Clementz in second, and former BMXer Jared Graves taking third.
The field was extremely broad: Old school downhillers like Steve Peat clashed against pure cross-country riders like Adam Craig, and world champ downhiller Greg Minnaar even risked his collarbones. Maybe this enduro thing is actually tapping into what regular mountain bikers know and most of the establishment seems to have forgotten: that riding lots of different terrain, earning your vertical, and encountering different styles over a few days is really, really fun. Add a stopwatch and suddenly you have racing. Very cool and not too contrived racing…something a lot closer to the soul of the sport.
Photo: Matteo Cappe