The first round of the European Enduro Series got off to a blistering start with the Drop Down Superenduro Val Di Fassa in Italy last weekend.
Five hundred riders from 16 different countries took to the start line in the Dolomites, as riders began their fight to be crowned the European Enduro Series Champion.
Created by the Enduro World Series (EWS), the four race European series is designed to bridge the gap between Qualifying events and the main EWS races. The series allow up and coming riders to compete in existing events closer to home, gain ranking points and the chance to win a completely new Championship title.
Superenduro had created an incredible course that took in five big stages, and it was a tight fight in both the men and women’s races.
In the men’s race it was a purely Italian affair, with Nicola Casadei putting on a dominant display to win three of the five stages and take the race - a perfect start to his championship bid. Matteo Berta came second, with Matteo Raimondi rounding out the top three.
Nicola Casadei said: “The race here, in Val di Fassa, has been really good; quite physical, as all Special Stages had quite a lot of pedalling. Between the elevation we were at and all that pedalling, there was a nice mix of issues to deal with, and it made the race really challenging.”
There was an international flavour to the women’s field, with Israeli Noga Korem (GT Factory Racing) fighting it out with New Zealand’s Rae Morrison (Giant Factory Off-Road Team) and Switzerland’s Anita Gehrig (Norco Twins Racing). Korem proved unstoppable - winning the race and relegating Rae and Anita into second and third place respectively. Korem is now hot favourite in the overall championship.
Speaking after the race, Noga said: “It has been a really awesome weekend. I came over mainly to have fun, but also to switch back into racing-mode before the EWS round that will take place in Slovenia at the weekend.
“As soon as I arrived and saw these amazing views, I fell in love with the place. I raced well, I felt on form and at ease on the bike. I really had no goal other than enjoying myself and find the right pace on the bike. I am stoked I also managed to win the race.”
Chris Ball, Enduro World Series Managing Director, added: “This weekend was the first ever EWS European Round and the trails and organisation were perfect and started the new European Series off in the best way possible.
"They showed the world class standard in Canazei and Val di Fassa and proved that next year it will be incredible for the EWS coming here with our trusted partners Superenduro. We’ve been speaking with the local trail builders and they have some incredible ideas on how to add some additional special touches to this already amazing place for what is going to be a spectacular race here in July 2019.”
The series returns for round two in Les Orres, France on July 28th and 29th.