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French enduro star, Jerome Clementz (Cannondale), won the opening round of the Superenduro Powered by SRAM 2013 PRO season in Sestri Levante, Liguria.

All photos by Superenduro/Matteo Cappe

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500 riders from across Europe took to the mountains above the Ligurian seaside resort in Italy to compete on courses that covered more than 40km of riding with approximately 1,500m of climbing. Over four timed stages, Jerome Clementz was dominant. Defending champion, Davide Sottocornola (Cicobikes/Santa Cruz), pushed hard but after more than 22 minutes of racing across the four stages, the Frenchman held nearly a minute and half advantage. Last year’s number three-ranked rider, Manuel Ducci (Life Cycle/Ibis) rounded out the podium..

Climbing with your friends is at the heart of Superenduro. In big, steep mountains like these, it's the perfect time to chat to your buddies as you crank out the miles on the way to the timed downhill stages.

Italian young gun, Alex Lupato (FRM/Lapierre), was looking strong with a victory on the first sprint stage, but a mechanical on the second stage put him of the running for the top spots. 4X World Champion, Michal Prokop (Specialized) made his Superenduro debut this weekend, finishing a respectable 48th in a discipline that surely doesn’t suit his incredible explosive power.

These rock passages really typify the trails in Sestri. Lower down they get much steeper, uglier and more fun.

In the Pro Women’s race, the podium was dominated by the French. Pauline Diefenthaler (Cannondale) won by a margin of nearly two minutes, with fellow countrywoman, Isabeau Courdurier (Maxima Team/Santa Cruz) in third. Only Valentina Macheda (Life Cycle/Ibis) could break the French stranglehold putting in her best-ever performance at a Pro race to take a well-deserved second.

Alex Lupato is known for being strong on the pedals and didn't disappoint during the Prologue, putting 0.9 seconds into the rest of the field on the short course.

Sestri Levante has been a riders’ favourite on the Superenduro circuit for many years. The picturesque resort on the Ligurian Sea is better known as family destination with its stunning beaches. However, in the mountains above the town there is an extensive network of mountain bike trails which are rideable for almost twelve months of the year.

Superenduro’s next PRO race is in a month’s time (18-19 May). The Tuscan resort of Punt Ala will host the second race of the season, which will also be the first ever round of the Enduro World Series.

Prologue Stage 1 Winner, Alex Lupato

Onboard Interview with Tobias Pantling on the Prologue Stage

48th was a sound result for 4X superstar, Michal Prokop. This kind of long-distance racing surely doesn't suit his explosive power, but he had fun, which is always more important than anything else.

There was definitely a bit of a British invasion this weekend. The original Europikey, Bike Magic's James McKnight charging to a solid 35th (without any crashes).

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Superenduro are meticulous in taping their courses. They try to find a balance that doesn't turn the course into a long DH track, but does stop people from taking dirty shortcuts.

Jerome Clementz won by a healthy minute and a half today against the fastest riders in Italy. He came here to prove his form before the Enduro World Series and can consider his form well-proven this evening.

Overall Pro Results

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