Past weekend Sauze d’Oulx was the stage for the best enduro racers in the world to battle for the nations title. The Frenchmen ruled but the English dominated the Vibram Round One Enduro of Nations, read below for full details.
The Vibram Enduro of Nations Round One ended with the victory of Jerome Clementz Cannondale/SRAM) in the Superenduro Powered by SRAM race. Clementz came into Sunday with a commanding lead from Saturday’s six special stages, having won four of them.
Behind him the battle was still tough though. Nicolas Vouilloz (Lapierre – UC Monaco) was sitting in third overnight, but pushed Nicolas Lau (Cube) back into second place during Sunday’s racing. This meant an all-French podium again, although none of the riders were on the national team! Dan Atherton (Atherton Team GT) put in strong performances to hold fourth position and the young Belgian, Martin Maes (Yeti), rounded out the top five. Al Stock (Team Kona Bike o’Clock Brooks) was sixth, followed by Nicolas Quere (Commencal), Davide Sottocornola (Ibis Cicobikes Team Endura), Joe Barnes (Orange) and Manuel Ducci (Ibis Life Cycle).
France and Italy were dethroned and powerless against the mighty England. The biggest shock of the weekend was that the English team of Dan Atherton, Al Stock and Joe Barnes took the team victory. The French team – Remy Absalom, Florian Nicolai and Nicolas Quere – missed a checkpoint on Saturday and the time penalties cost them dearly, but fought off the Italian team of Davide Sottocornola, Alex Lupato and Andrea Bruno for the second place spot.
The Portuguese team led by Marco Fidalgo had a solid run taking the 10th spot on the national teams, with some strong individual performance for some of the athletes. Taking into account It was the first Enduro of Nations competition on which Portugal entered (and that the Enduro is just now taking off there) it can only get better.
In terms of individual competition, Marco Fidalgo had the best result and a great overall weekend taking the 31º place on a competition packing the best enduro riders in the world. The best performance by the Portuguese national team was in the Super-mountain race with a top 40. (Marco Fidalgo 16º; Afonso Ferreira 24º e Bruno Ferreira 36º)
The men’s individual race standings:
1. Jerome Clementz
2. Nico Vouilloz
3. Nicolas Lau
4. Dan Atherton
5. Martin Maes
6. Al Stock
7. Nicolas Quere
8. Davide Sottocornola
9. Joe Barnes
10. Manuel Ducci
31. Marco Fidalgo
66. Afonso Ferreira
219. Bruno Ferreira
Official results available here
In the women’s competition it was business as usual for the French and their team of Hanna Israel, Isabeau Courdurier and Morgane Jonnier came out on top. The Italian team of Chiara Pastore, Marianna Uttini and Valentina Macheda took second ahead of the Finish ladies. In the junior competition France were first, then Belgium and Italy. All is still to fight for though as the Enduro of Nations competition continues at Valoire August 5.
A mass-start Supermountain race closed out these two incredible days of racing. Dan Atherton was the first to reach the Miramonti Piazza from the start line in the mountains high above. He was 8.7 seconds ahead of Florian Nicolai and 22.5 up on Martin Maes. In the second race for the top 100 riders who weren’t in the national competition, Manuel Ducci emerged victorious.
The national competition is far from over. In Valloire next week the winners will be decided and the French have to be strong favourites on their home turf. Superenduro Powered by SRAM now takes a break, but will return 9 September with a Sprint race at Monte Tolfa in the mountains near Rome. Supermountain will be back soon after with two exciting races in Pila (September 15) and Scopello (September 30).
Next weekend in Valloire is the second leg of the competition for the Enduro of Nations and it’ll be payback time. England beware because the rest of the nations will try to beat you, especially the French and Italians…