Race Report | Enduro Pilipinas Series Sta. Elena
With the Philippines not generally known for its mountain bike racing, what better way to improve its widespread globalization than to hold a gnarly, technical enduro race? If we had the unbelievable mountains, beautifully technical trails and breathtaking scenery around here, who says we would even go to work?!
The municipality of Sta. Elena in Camarines Norte played host to the second major leg of the 3rd Enduro Pilipinas series. The gentle and calm giant known as Mount Cadig was ready to take on all comers as riders from different parts of the Philippines rode on to face the fast and flowy tracks ahead of them.
Saturday, May 16, 2015, 4:30 am.
Sharing all courses but the second stage, the riders rode and pushed through the grueling climb toward the special stages. The whole track was a well-designed course which formed a loop giving the riders a quick review of the course during the liason stages. Stage 1 was the appetizer. A quick teaser of a single track giving a feel of what lay ahead. Special stage 2 gave everyone mixed emotions of excitement and cautiousness as they trooped to the start line.
The stage had a seemingly unending rocky downhill section, which enters into a steep, long and winding single track that would test both the riders’ skill and resolve. After a grueling second stage, the riders were treated to two fast and flowy trails during special stages 3 and 4. SS3, dubbed “the roller coaster” was a mixture of pedalled climbs and smooth descents while SS4 was every mountain bikers dream. It consisted of long gravity tracks laden with drops, single tracks, ruts, fast pedaling sections and a sprint to the finish.
Everyone finished strong with wide grins on their faces at the finish line. There were first time overall winners with Sonny Manalo taking the Curious category , Keigh Pascual winning the Feminino category, and Renan Ricafrente taking the Idols category. The Elite category was well contested with the third place being settled with a mere 3 second gap with Rene Lutching edging out Rhommel Ragasa. The Philippine enduro legend Nilo Estayo took the first place with as Vinctent Platitas settled into second. World class rider Iztok Slapnik from Slovenia encountered another technical during SS4 causing him to settle in at the Top 10.
This second leg hosted by the warm and friendly people of Sta. Elena has set a standard in the Philippine Enduro MTB scene. It was very well organized with a fun and very challenging course. Spearheaded by Dr. Rodel Porto, the event proved to be a major success, pushing awareness of the sport to loftier heights.
The next leg of the Enduro Pilipinas Series will be held in Zamboanga on June 13.
For more info, visit: enduropilipinas.com
Words & Photos: Courtesy of Leandro Cayco