Editor’s Choice | Our Favorite Races of 2014
At ENDURO we love and live biking. Many of our international editors and test riders are passionate racers and spend their weekends racing at events all over the world. Now at the year-end, it’s a good time to wrap the season up, and find out, what their favorite race was. What was your favorite event this year?
Daniel Dunn, US-Editor & Photographer, Breckenridge (Colorado, USA)
My favorite event this year was the Enduro World Series in Whistler, BC, Canada. Between the unbelievable dirt and terrain used, the best athletes in the world putting on a world class show, and the incredibly stoked overall vibe, Crankworx Whistler and the EWS has it going on! I can’t wait to go back and be in the promised land.
Jim Buchanan, UK Editor, Shrewsbury
My favourite race of 2014 has to be the same as that of 2013, The Ard’ Rock Enduro. It is a massive loop around the incredibly scenic and unusual open rolling hills of the Yorkshire Dales. The going is tough, real tough on some of the climbs, but as you are never stressed out by any type of transition time limits, you can just chill out and ride it all with your mates. There is also no real kind of order on the stages, so you decide your position of starting in your group of mates, blip the timer and you’re off, so if your mate was quick enough on the timing blipper he could virtually follow you down. There were over 700 riders at the 2014 event, and even the rain couldn’t dampen the spirits of the racers. The 5 stages consisted of rocky, flat-out moor-land and really fun foot-out grassy turns. We camped on site at this fun family orientated event and I even managed a top 20 finish out of the 500 who raced the main Enduro on the Sunday, I can’t wait for the next one!
Hannah Röther, Trainee, Freiburg
My favorite race in 2014 was the stop of the Bluegrass Enduro Tour in Dublin. A blind-race without practice, like I like it the most, held on the best trails around the Irish capital. A bus-shuttle drove us to three different trail centers where we were awaited by a mixture of old classics and new trails. All of them where steep, rooty and muddy! The atmosphere was great. Because of the limited capacity of the shuttle buses, the organisers decided to make it a women-only race – we were a small, exclusive group. It was great!
Aaron Steinke, Web Director, Stuttgart (Germany)
The question of the best race of the season couldn’t be harder! In 2014 I raced a lot of races and therefore the list of potential candidates is long: Was it a race of the Specialized-SRAM Series or one of the stops of the European Enduro Series? Or was it one of the single events like the Dakine Trailfox or the Trek Bike Attack, where I had the most fun? One thing is sure: Each one of the races was a blast and I really enjoyed racing with my friends! But still: The most fun weekend was the EES stop in Flims with the Dakine Trailfox on the same weekend. The blending of awesome trails, four (!) versatile races, good weather and the right people around wasn’t matched by any other race of the season. The season start in Punta Ala came close though! Or was it the fun mudparty at the SSES in Terlago? Hm, looks like I’ve to try all of the races again next season…
Rachael Gurney, Test Rider, UK
Round five of the UK Gravity Enduro in September this year was an absolute belter! After a week in the Alps racing the Trans Savoie for Enduro mag, I felt on top form. Race organiser, Steve Parr and team had created five of the most enjoyable stages that we could have wished for, absolutely mint from top to bottom! There was everything – roots, rocks, steep woods, bike park jumps, loam by the bucket load and that signature fast open section into the finish arena.
The only slight hitch in this race was that I broke my hand in the seeding run. The race atmosphere and the feeling of confidence I had on my bike over the weekend after a week improving my riding in the Alps far out weighed the negatives! Oh, and then there was the after party…….
Trev Worsey, Chief Editor UK, Innerleithen (Scotland)
I was lucky enough to race in some amazing events in 2014, but my favourite race has to be the Bluegrass Enduro Tour at Glencoe. It was the craziest event of the year, a day of full-gas, blind racing on open-mountain side; concluding with a mass start stage on the snow. Tearing over the open mountain flank was incredible, flat out, blind hucking off grassy ridges, with many bar-humps to break up the party! Without a defined trail to follow, you had to tread a fine line between looking where you were immediately going, and keeping an eye on where you were supposed to be going. There were bodies everywhere, riders battled neck and neck until one spontaneously exploded over the bars. It was riotous, delirious fun, and even though many used their helmet peaks as spades, everyone loved it; and I was stoked to come home 13th overall..
What was your favorite race of 2014? Let us know in the comments below!