Last weekend, 18-19 May, the famous Superenduro Mountain
Bike Series visited Punta Ala Trail Center for the second round of the 2019
Italian enduro season.
Bikes. Buddies. Beach.
You can’t argue with that. Round two of the 2019 Superenduro
series was staged out of Punta Ala Trail Center’s coastal base at PuntAla Camp
& Resort, with the 350+ participants enjoying a slice of springtime on the
Maremma shoreline as passing showers did little to dampen the upbeat spirit
among the tall pine trees of the resort.
The race, an Enduro World Series (EWS) Qualifier-category
race, took place on the famously varied and highly esteemed trails along the
stunning Maremma coast and through the luscious forests that flow into the
After the delayed start to Superenduro’s 2019 season (the first round in Liguria was cancelled due to poor weather), riders took to the trails of Punta Ala Trail Center hungry for racing action on five varied special stages along the route of an arduous 50-kilometer circuit.
The race course began from the Camp & Resort before
heading directly into the coastal forest to take on the first timed special
stage (in enduro racing, riders leave the paddock area individually at a set
time and must make it to the start of special stages in a pre-determined amount
of time; they are then timed start to finish on each special stage and their
cumulative special stage times for the event determine finishing position). Later,
the ride stretched far out into the Metalliferous Hills National Park in the municipalities
of Castiglione della Pescaia, Scarlino and Gavorrano. This took riders upwards
on tough climbs to reach trails accessible only by pedal power – shuttling was not
allowed even in practice for this Superenduro.
Two days on the bike (one for practice and one for racing)
in one of the most spectacular beachside mountain biking destinations in the
world might sound nice, but the weekend was a true test of riders’ mettle as
they worked against not only the course length and technicality but also the
changing conditions that saw some of the hardest special stages – notably the
infamous Rock-Oh! – add a layer of slippery sludge-mud on top of hardpack
ground and unavoidable rocks.
While the ambience was light and upbeat back at the resort, out in the hills the action was fierce. The likes of Nicola Casadei, Marcelo Pesenti and Matteo Berta battled for the men’s win, ending the race in that order, Casadei having won three of the stages. In the women’s, Laura Rossin stole the show, fending off the competition and taking the win by a big margin from Irene Savelli and Jessica Bormolini in second and third respectively. There were also categories for youth and older riders, as well as a healthy turnout of 25 riders in the e-bike category.
Back on the beach, visitors and racers alike could relax in style, making use of the ample cycling facilities to ensure bikes were clean and in tip-top condition before taking a chilled drink at the beach bar and fresh foods from the PuntAla Market Recovery fridge – a sort of pasta party plus with a range of healthy produce provided by the resort, as well as free home-made piadinas from the Giangusto street food truck. . The new pumptrack and range of alternative activities ensured there was plenty to do for those with any energy left after another highly memorable event at Punta Ala Trail Center.
Superenduro information and results
All images by Superenduro MTB