Enduro racing is gaining popularity, globally, but the US is admittedly behind the European curve. The event format has taken hold, however, thanks to precursor events with an American spin, including: the Ashland Super D, and Downieville Classic.
Ross Schnell and the Trestle Bike Park in Winter Park, CO ushered in more of the European format with the Trestle All-Mountain Enduro event, which ran in 2011, and will be expanded as part of the Colorado Freeride Festival in 2012. Others are catching on too, making 2012 a banner year for all-mountain Enduro racing in the US.
Here’s a preseason peek at what’s available for 2012, but hurry many of the events are almost full.
BC Bike Race announces 2012 route and Gravity Enduro Stages
BC Bike Race enters their sixth year with the announcement of 2012’s route and new Gravity Enduro Stages. The 2012 event runs 30 June to 7 July in British Columbia, Canada.
The 2012 route offers similar venues as 2011, but add a 7th day in Whistler as well as additions to the other six days’ courses. “We never rest on our laurels, having our course designers who are core mountain bikers and trail builders means new trails are added every year”, said BC Bike Race president Dean Payne.
Shredding a ribbon of single track through British Colombia's most picturesque scenery
In addition to Whistler, participants will experience single track in the communities of Cumberland, Campbell River, Powell River, Sechelt, and Squamish.
With the addition of two timed sections downhill sections in the first six days, BCBR boasts twelve Enduro-style legs.
Last year, in a continual pursuit to evolve the event, BC Bike Race included two-days with two separate timed sections per day. The format served to launch the “Race within the Race,” now tried and true BCBR have expanded timed sections in 2012.
In 2011, gravity legend Brian Lopes rode the BC Bike Race, won two of the Enduro timed sections. "BC bike race was one of the most fun events I have ever done,” he said. “Every day we were treated to some of the best trails in the world, trails I would have never experienced if it weren't for the BC Bike Race. Like all top road stage races, there are categories for those with different skills and it was great to see the BC Bike race organizers throw in some contests for those with exceptional DH skills."
The 2012 event only has 20 spots remaining — out of 500 — and will shortly be sold out.
The 2012 BC Bike Race, billed as 'the ultimate singletrack experience'
Bell Super Enduro at Demo, Santa Cruz, CA
One Bike. Three Climbs. Three Descents. Be the first to race Euro style at the Bell Super Enduro at Demo – Soquel Demonstration Forest’s first legally sanctioned race, which will be held 14 April, the Saturday before the Sea Otter Classic down the road in Monterey, CA. The event is invite-only (anyone can apply, though) and expert riders must submit applications by 11:59pm PST, tonight, 17 February.
The Bell Super Enduro is part of the Santa Cruz Mountain Bike Festival, which is heading into its third year.
The race takes on a point-to-point format that starts in Aptos Village and ends at the end of Sulphur Springs trail on Hihn’s Mill Road in Soquel Demonstration State Forest. Racers must complete 3 ‘transfer climbs’ and 3 ‘special stages,’ which are timed downhill runs, and detailed in the course map. A rider’s placing is the cumulative time of the 3 timed ‘special stages’; racers will descend on a closed course at 30-second intervals. “We want to be in touch with the future of the sport, and Enduro — how it’s been done in Europe — is the future in my opinion,” Evan Turpen, event manager for the Bell Super Enduro at Demo told BikeRadar. “It’s what people do on a normal basis, they go pedal and ride trails with their buddies; they climb up and race down.”
The 3 transfer climbs do not count toward your score, however, failure to complete one within the allotted time will result in a time penalty or possibly disqualification from the race. Turpen said he rode the course this past Tuesday and estimated it took 4 hours to complete. “It’s physical,” he said.
The field is limited to 50 riders due to permit restrictions. As a result, an application process will be used to select a representative field of athletes: men and women, near and far, amateur and pro, sponsored and not; see the race application for further details. “We’ve got 163 entered,” said Turpen, “but we can only take 50.”
Oregon Enduro series presented by Santa Cruz
After a successful inaugural year, the Oregon Super D Series made a mark as one of the top mountain bike events in the country. For 2012 the event is back with a new name — Oregon Enduro Series — and an additional stop.
The 2012 season adds a new stop in Bend, Or to the 2011 season’s line up of Hood River, Oakridge, and Sandy River. The draw of the weekends remain the Super D racing, series promoters plan to grow the festival components, adding unique events all weekend with more opportunities for demos, cross-promotions and partnership exposure. “Our goal is to support and celebrate riders, not just racers,” say Oregon Enduro promoters. “That means people who love to ride bikes and play outdoors; all ages, abilities, background and competitive nature or lack there of.”
Although the full series is only in it’s second year, established events such Hood River, Sandy Ridge and Bend Super D’s have longstanding history of successes in the Pacific Northwest. All individual series races will have cash and merchandise prizing with the overall award ceremony following the last race, the season finale at Sandy Ridge.
2011 Oregon Enduro Series:
- Race 1: Hood River – 28-29 May
- Race 2: Bend – 2-3 July
- Race 3: Oakridge – 7 August
- Race 4: Sandy Ridge – 3-4 September