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In autumn 2011 the news spread that for 2012 an MTB Enduro Series in Germany will be brought into being. Since then people have been working eagerly behind the scenes and now the sports director for the Series, Matthias Faber, has made some details public.
Over the last years the rather new Enduro Races have taken root in countries like Great Britain, Italy and France. In Germany, however, these races were only held sporadically. Hence it was high time to organize such a series for the German speaking region. The idea of staging an Enduro series gained vital momentum when the UCI announced to run an Enduro World Series from 2013 on. As a consequence the term “Enduro” is getting more and more attention.
But what is it that makes the new format so appealing? Essentially, the Enduro Series attracts all the different types of mountain bikers. If you look at who competed at the last two Enduro Challenges, you will find that various disciplines were represented: Fourcross, Downhill, Cross Country, Marathon and Slope Style. It goes without saying that many renowned athletes took part, for example World Cup legend Brian Lopes, Markus Klausmann (multiple champion, German DH-series) or long distance expert André Kleindienst.
Marcus Klausmann - Sram Enduro Winterberg 2011
The new series is sponsored by two prominent names in the bicycle sector. No less a figure than Specialized gives the series its name. Having had a special Enduro-bike with the apt name “Enduro” for years, Specialized undoubtedly plays a leading role in this market segment. The well-known company ‘SRAM’ completes the name of the series with its four-letter-brand. Thinking about it, the title alone indicates that the bicycle sector sees a huge potential in the new Enduro format.
Talking about the athletic side of the discipline, at Enduro races one lap of at least 30 km (~ 18,5 miles) has to be completed. Such a lap includes five or six special stages. The time needed for the special stages is added up, whereas the time needed for the sections in between is annulled. For clocking a transponder system is used, which ensures that the time is taken automatically when a rider passes the markings of a special stage. Riders start individually at the first special stage, but riders may cluster in the sections between the special stages. Contrary to the Enduro races in Germany so far, it is possible for the riders to do trial rides on the course before the race day. This allows the athletes to get a better feel for the course.
Frank Schneider - Sram Enduro Winterberg 2011
The first race takes place in the college town Ilmenau on May 5 and 6; Hosting the German Downhill Championships (part of the iXS German Downhill Cup) as well, the city will establish its reputation for hosting two top-class mountain bike events this year. After the opening race the series continues on May 17 and 18 at the iXS Dirt Masters in Winterberg (May 17 to May 20). There, Enduro races have long since been a permanent feature and the number of participants is steadily growing. This shows that riders like to compete in a fairly relaxed manner. In the third race the Enduro community will be heading to Samerberg in the Chiemsee Alps in Oberbayern on 30 June/1 July. The race is hosted by Bikepark Samerberg, which is part of the Hochries on the northern edge of the Chiemgau Alps. The Bavarian Sea, as the Chiemsee is often called by the locals, is in close proximity to the venue. Those details alone promise a breath-taking date with nature, but as always this is matched with an unforgettable race. The fourth race will be the only stop abroad in the series, as the second last race in the season will be stopping in Navis in Austria. Only a 20-minute drive from Innsbruck lies the Wipptal, where the race will be held. In the Brenner region riders will find ideal conditions for an Enduro race. The course will be part created on trails in the alpine mountain areas, and riders can also expect open larch woods and a panoramic view beyond comparison. The final race of the series is staged in Treuchtlingen on October 13 and 14. The conditions at this venue in southern Germany are ideal for Enduro races.
The official website for the series is now online. Browse this site if you want to apply or learn more about anything related to the series.
All in all it can be said that the new ‘Specialized Enduro Series powered by Sram’ enriches the racing landscape. To make use of the huge target group of mountain bikers, a close cooperation is in place. This network comprises the company ‘Racement’ (overall planning of series), the sports director Matthias Faber, all the different venues and of course Specialized and SRAM.
May 05-06, 2012 Specialized Enduro Series #1 powered by Sram Ilmenau (GER/Thuringia)
May 17-18, 2012 Specialized Enduro Series #2 powered by Sram Winterberg (GER/North Rhine-Westphalia)
June 30-July 01, 2012 Specialized Enduro Series #3 powered by Sram Samerberg (GER/Bavaria)             
September 15-16, 2012 Specialized Enduro Series #4 powered by Sram Navis (AUT/Tirol)
October 13-14, 2012 Specialized Enduro Series #5 powered by Sram Treuchtlingen (GER/Bavaria)
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