European Enduro Series 2015 | Punta Ala Crowns Its Winners
The first stop of the European Enduro Series 2015 kicked off in Punta Ala, Italy, today. Michal Prokop (CZE) and Valentina Macheda (ITA) were way out in front of their competitors on the dusty stages of Tuscany.
After a hard and challenging prologue, the first stop of the European Enduro Series 2015 kicked off with an exhausting and tough race. In four stages the riders had to scoop all their technical and physical skills to compete and survive in the beautiful scenery of Tuscany.
All riders tried their best on the dusty trails of Tuscany, but Valentina Macheda (ITA) and Michal Prokop (CZE) were way out in front of their opponents and won the Women’s and Men’s Elite class. Franziska Meyer from Germany and Monika Büchi from Switzerland were close in on Macheda. Valentina Macheda stated, that she had a perfect day competing in the EES and had a lot of luck to not crash or have mechanical problems. Michal Prokop, who already won the prologue yesterday, was very happy, but for him, it was a pretty hard race with a lot of pedaling and technical parts. With his basics in BMX, he tried to be smooth in the technical sections. Hard training on his road bike and additional core training paid off and he was fit enough to finish as leader. Robert Williams (GBR), overall winner of 2014 EES, and Robin Wallner (SWE) finished second and third in the Men´s Elite class.
Austrian Benedikt Purner won the Men Masters 30+. On Thursday he had a hard crash and was about to go home, so he was simply happy to compete today and finish with a great result.
Starting straight from the ocean, the transfer to stage one led right up above the Tuscany coast. Through thick forests and on loose gravel trails, stage 1, or better known as “The Guardian” led down to a small harbor by the sea. The transfer to stage 2 was one of the most challenging parts of the race, since it was an uphill section of about 1.5 hours. The following stage was fast, but with only a few climbings. A long and pretty steep graveled road built the transfer to stage 3. The riders had no chance to climb this section, furthermore they had to push their bikes. Just a brief and painful transfer. Rider André Wagenknecht said, that it was one of his toughest races so far. He’d never pushed his bike so much. The following stage 3 and stage 4, well known as “Rock Oh” claimed the last physical resources of the shredders, since they are one of the most technical and exhausting parts of the competition.
The first stop of the EES 2015 was a complete success and the competitors as well as the organization team were very happy with this race. The sunny weather and the beautiful scenery of the Tuscany coast made it a spectacular event with great atmosphere and sporting highlights. Without any serious crashes or injuries the stop was a great opening to the EES 2015.
As it is one of the goals of EES to close the gap between the National Series and the EWS, the riders approved this mission consistently. Robert Williams mentioned: “The EES is the best idea for an Enduro race. A good mix between long stages and long tracks is the perfect enduro competition for me and all this combines the EES”. Michal Prokop said that the EES is a good direction for the sport and he is looking forward to the next start in the EES stop 2 from the glacier in Sölden.
Next Stops of the European Enduro Series 2015
- 04./05.07.2015 #2 Sölden (AUT)
- 25./26.07.2015 #3 Reschenpass (ITA/AUT/SUI)
- 05./06.09.2015 #4 Molveno-Paganella (ITA)
- 17./18.10.2015 #5 Málaga (ESP)
Words: Trailsolutions Photos: Antonio Lopez Ordonez