Downhill mountain biking requires technical skills to navigate a steep course on very rough terrain, while cross-country bicycling is based on applying athletic endurance to ride a single track path through a forest. What if you could take both of these abilities and test them in ONE race? That’s where the Enduro mtb race known as the Enduro World Series comes in.
What’s Enduro & How Does it Work?
Enduro is a combination of the downhill chaos plus the vigor of uphill/cross-country biking. To add another layer of complexity, the downhill section is timed while the uphill section is not. That doesn’t mean taking a leisure cruise to the summit though. The problem is you only have a certain amount of time to get to the top of the next downhill section. So, now that you’ve got the basics, the next challenge awaits… and that is choosing the right bike for the competition.
Choosing the Right Bike
To do this, each competitor must understand the topography of the course. If the route contains rougher terrain and you choose a cross-country mountain bike, you will most likely break down on the downhill segment. On the other hand, choosing a downhill bike when there is a lot of uphill sections means you will be cursing the heavens on how tough it is and may not even complete it within the allotted time. All of this translates to having a hybrid bike that makes it easy to climb, but at the same time can take the beating of the downhill sections.
The Origin of Enduro
The next question that comes up is where did this sport come from? The motorized version started way back in 1913 from the ISDT race in England. The International Six Day Trial covers over 700 miles and is an off road test of rider skill and motorcycle reliability. Based on this, the Enduro mountain biking concept was born in France in 2003. The popularity of this event has exploded in Europe and it’s just now gaining momentum across the pond in the U.S. and Canada.
Enduro World Series 2019 Edition
In 2012, the Enduro Mountain Biking Association was created. Their goal was to develop the sustainable growth of Enduro racing alongside its membership, including riders, teams, industry and organizers. In 2013, they joined together seven existing large events across four countries and two sides of the Atlantic Ocean, resulting in the flagship Enduro World Series. These major tour stops still exist today with one in North America (Round 6), and new for 2018 was a continental series that feeds into the recent Global points structure.
Round 6 – Canadian Open Enduro
Sunday, August 11th, 2019
The classic Crankworx round in Whistler barely needs an introduction, with its legendary status of the world’s largest mountain bike festival. This race always pushes riders to the limit, rightfully earning the nickname ‘Crankzilla’. Expect a long day in the saddle for this one day extravaganza, but it’ll all be worth it to hit those iconic Whistler trails.
Round 7 – Northstar Enduro
August 24th & 25th, 2019
If you’re anywhere near Lake Tahoe, don’t miss out on the ONLY United States stop of the Enduro World Series. After a one year hiatus, they’re introducing a new venue – Northstar! Nestled high in the Sierra Nevada range, it will offer the best of the best a taste of what Northern California riding is all about. Round 7 is bound to be a hit with riders and fans alike.
North American Continental Enduro Series
Round 1 – Eureka Springs Enduro
Saturday, May 18th, 2019
Eureka Springs, AR
The trails in Eureka Springs, AR are among the most amazing in the country. Two premier trail building companies have spent the last two years developing a world-class trail network on some of the most rugged terrain in Arkansas. The Eureka Springs Enduro will utilize Lake Leatherwood and Passion Play trail networks for full weekend of racing.
What lacks in big elevation is made up with impressive rock features, jumps of all sizes, flow lines, huge berms, and challenging terrain. Top performers will possess technical riding ability combined with strong fitness levels.
Round 2 – Norco Canadian Enduro Series
Saturday, June 16th, 2019
Revelstoke, BC is the place that everyone has heard about, talks about, and dreams about, but only a few have really been able to explore it. Revelstoke is pure, raw, unadulterated riding. There’s no lift lines, no egos, just top to bottom descents waiting to gobble you up whole. The town oozes mountain culture and is backed by some of the longest descents in British Columbia, coupled to a strong cycling culture and even better, hand-cut trails.
This is the most technical venue of the 2019 Norco Canadian Enduro Series, so bring your best.
Round 3 – Fox US Open
Saturday, September 14th, 2019
Big Bear, CA
The final stop on the North American Enduro Series will be the Fox US Open of Mountain Biking at Snow Summit in Big Bear Lake, California. The US Open has been a stalwart of the country’s mountain bike scene since its inception in 2003, and 2019 marks a new chapter in the event’s history as it takes place on the West Coast for the first time. Taking place on Saturday, September 14th, the race will also form a round of the California Enduro Series.
If you want to learn more about races closer to home, get tips on gear, or explore adventures you can have from the shores of Tahoe to the mighty Grand Tetons of Wyoming be sure to check out our comprehensive guide on everything two wheels: