4th place at the Round 1 of the European Enduro series

Sam and Phil headed out to the first round of the European Enduro series at Pulta Ala, Italy. Here’s Sam’s point of view on the experience…

After missing my original flight due to an allusive passport, 24 hours later I finally made it to Punta Ala; the destination for the first round of the European enduro series in the Tuscany region of Italy.

I was greeted by sunshine and rolling hills which dropped into the Mediterranean. I hit the trails bright and early the next morning on a brand new Specialized Enduro 29. I couldn’t say if I was more excited about trying out the bike or the trails but they were both epic.

The trails were gnarly, which is a word I try not to use too often but in this instance I think it’s appropriate. Savagely rocky in sections but with a full mix of terrain and great flow left me thinking Punta Ala might well have one up on Finale Ligure.

The race consisted of 5 stages. The prolog which had a painful elevation change of approximately 0 meters, stage 1, 2 and 3 which were all long, physical and rocky and stage 4 which had fresh cut sections and loose sweeping turns.

I suppressed my self by setting the fastest time in the prolog despite have to make an emergency stop for the dog. The 4 stages on Sunday were combined into and 4 hour loop which was a challenge in the Mediterranean sun. I rode strong in all stages but was unable to fend of the locals and ended up in 4 place. Just making it around such a tough loop without any issues to the bike and body was an achievement so I was very happy with my ride. I was also relieved to pip Rob Williams (Mario Rodregez) by a couple of seconds.

Team mate Phil Shucksmith put in a solid ride on the Sunday after a crash in the prolog to recover from 21st to 8th.

European Enduro Series #1 Punta Ala (ITA) from Racement on Vimeo.

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