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 World Series 2018 edition 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 2018 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 is a continental series that feeds into the recent Global points structure.
Saturday August 12th, 2018
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.
North American Continental Enduro Series
Round 1 – Aspen Colorado
Saturday August 4th – Sunday August 5th, 2018
The finals of the Big Mountain Enduro series as well as Round 1 of the EWS Continental series, expect to see a FULL weekend of biking mayhem. Aspen Mountain and Snowmass Bike Park are the only lift served biking in the U.S., taking riders on 4,000-foot descents, beginning above tree line and ending in the high mountain desert. Riders will see six stages and over 15,000 feet of descending and 1,500 feet of climbing. With both lift served and backcountry access to start lines, this event offers a wide variety of raw terrain that top riders are looking for.
Round 2 – Northstar California
Saturday August 25th – August 26th, 2018
Stacked fields. Rowdy tracks. Intense action. The Northstar Enduro is known for its physically demanding and highly technical course. Attracting some of the world’s most talented riders, the two days of racing features long transfer climbs at altitude followed by steep, loose and rocky timed stages for the downhill. One of the three prestigious events showcased on the CES Golden Tour, this is the first year it joins the Enduro World Series (EWS).
Round 3 – Burke Mountain Vermont
Saturday September 15th – September 16th, 2018
The last stop of the continental series is part of the CLIF Enduro East tour at Burke Mountain and Victory Hill located in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. The affiliation with the Enduro World Series is a huge validation of what they have to offer in terms of riders and terrain. You’ll find off-camber rock chutes littered with roots and rock slabs followed by muddy ruts. Racers will be challenged and kept on their toes from start to finish. Don’t miss out on this opportunity. The race is fast approaching!