Switzerland, the chic ski village of Davos, is located in the corner of Liechtenstein, Italy and Austria. With many peaks above 2,500 meters and an extensive range of lifts, you know that you are also in the right place here in the summer. Take a look at Trailforks to see what an extensive trail network is here!
We now come to Davos with one goal: participation in the Enduro2 enduro competition. A unique event where you ride the stages as a couple; the time of the slowest participant (the one who crosses the line second) counts. Driving your teammate out of the wheel as quickly as possible is not the smartest move if you want to win the race;)
When we collect our things together, we look anxiously at the weather forecast in the week beforehand. It is getting colder, the frost line drops and there is more than 10 mm of rain (or snow?) Predicted daily. When we arrive on Wednesday afternoon, we enter Davos with a clear blue sky and sun-drenched alpine meadows. We are disappointed that we no longer have the time to take one descent, it is already too late for that. This sun is the only time we get to see it …
It is unknown in advance how many internships we have to ride. The competition is a 3-day competition, and the only thing we know in advance is that we will run 1 prologue and 2 stages on Thursday.
The prologue is optional: if you do not drive it, you will be placed at the back of the starting field. If you drive it, your starting section will be determined based on your time set. This is also one of the easier descents: three-and-a-half-minute bike park trail with mainly many curves. But in the briefing we heard that a lot of risk is already taken here; there have been some crashes.
Stage 1 and 2 are in the afternoon and in the clouds. All stones and roots are already wet and slippery. And we don’t see anything at all from the view that we should have on stage 1 (a ridgeline descent)! Fortunately; we drive behind a guy with fear of heights 🙂 We hear cowbells somewhere, but we don’t see them.
Driving together takes some competition tension away. Diving a stage together, feels like trail riding like you always do: behind (or in front) your bike mates and both occasionally ride different lines. And because there are hardly any pros (except for the Norco twins), the competition organization is also not strict on how many seconds there are between the different starts.
We drive with a number of Dutch teams. Maichel from Mikey’s Bike Adventures is also there and is taking part in the mixed category with his girlfriend. The slowest can sleep in the longest, the fastest must be at the start at 8 am. At the welcome beer from the day before, it was announced that 2 stages were canceled today: 1 because of the heavy snowfall and 1 because of a rock avalanche that partly wiped out the trail. 5 stages remain.
And those stages are not easy. Big rockgardens, root packs, vicious climbs and especially long! After the 2 internships of yesterday and the 5 of today we are already at a total racing time of more than an hour. Some stages last 15 to 20 minutes non-stop! I thought I had trained my arms enough, but everyone here is bothered by arm-pump. This is slightly different than a Belgian enduro, where you sometimes have a total racing time of 20 minutes on a competition day; now that is one stage.
The lunch in an Alpine hut is perfectly arranged. But we also needed to get warm. We drive all day in rain / drizzle / snow and because almost all uplifts are with a lift it is sometimes a bit longer to wait (and get cold).
Of course we see all Dutch teams again at the finish at the bar. Those (expensive) beers taste good. First photos are shared. Vouchers compared with end times. And we all look back the same on this day. What a cool stage! “That one stage, you know, there was really everything in it. Starting in the fog with snow all around, with thick roots, narrow single tracks, blind – without brakes – going straight into the fog, rockgardens that are so brutal that we have to walk a bit , a front wheel that just shoots along the path into the bushes “. Awesome!
More snow has fallen, now at the beginning of September. With the briefing and the card we received yesterday evening, we can already see which 2 stages are for today: Äbirügg and Jakobshorn – Sertig. We check YouTube videos and wonder about the views. Even today 2 stages have been canceled because there is too much snow on the trails. Sin, but nobody complains. Did you do 7 internships yesterday? We really could not handled that!
These two stages are also great. From a flowy start, diving into a forest and ramming, ramming, ramming. Riding with goggles is difficult: if it does not cover the fog and drizzle, it covers the heat coming from out off your jacket. Descending here on 2.500+ meters is really intensive. The last descent we descend nearly 1,000 meters.
See ya next year!
Next year again? Hell yes. The team spirit is really an added value with this enduro. The organization is fine. And ….. next year we would like to see on what crazy trails and what altitude we actually rode.
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