The first Montenbaik Enduro championship went down in Chile last year with Pedro Ferreira becoming the first national enduro champion.
Here’s an edit from the final round which saw an appearance from Remy Absalon. Could we see a round of the 2014 Enduro World Series take place in Chile?
Eduardo de Solminihac from montenbaik.com has just beamed over this report.
Kona Montenbaik Enduro 3rd Round and Final
On Saturday December 22nd we ended the 2012 Kona Enduro Montenbaik in the famous Las Varas area. It was not an easy race for us as organizers or for the riders.
After the second date of the championship in Valdivia, which opened the possibility for Chile to have a date in the Enduro World Series in 2014, we decided to adapt to the standards of that series. The most important difference was to have over 18 minutes of Special Stages for the fastest classes of riders.
Also, we had the participation of Remy Absalon, winner of Megavalanche 2012, and we had to show him that we do things right in Chile.
It was not easy to find those 18-minute special stages in “Las Varas.” Everyone said they were no trails, but after many hours on Google Earth and months of investigating the area we found several bike trails with excellent potential.
With a 40kms race we had over 18 minutes of special stages and 1700 mt of climbing/downhill.
The link stages were hard, not so much for the time that was given for them to be completed, but due to the steep trekking, the strong, relentless sun and temperatures that reached above 30 º C throughout the entire afternoon.
The Specials Stages were technical and loose and did not give time for rest, especially “Morro Guayacan” that was unknown to all the riders, causing extra strain due to improvisation on the 7 minutes track. In fact this stage quickly pulled out several riders from the race.
The second SS “The Eagle” was almost as long and well handled. In fact, the first two SS were pretty much the race, because the riders needed to be very fit to handle 7 minutes in a loose and narrow track with lot of rocks.
The Special Stages 3 and 4 were easier and shorter. These SS were also at night.
A night enduro was something new for every rider and the organizers.
Between daytime and nighttime stages, riders stayed in the rest area on the top of the hill close to the start of the two stages. This generated a very cool camaraderie among all “Endureros”.
During that time the riders were able to discuss how fun the first part of the race was, and also to recover energy with bananas, apples, raisins, peanuts and water supplied by the organization.
When the sun began to fall The “Endureros” began to install the lights on their bikes and to prepare for start that was scheduled for 21:30 for the SS3 night. The general comments after the night special was how quickly you could ride at night with good lights. Actually, several riders had faster times for the night stages.
This race was the last of the Championship and there was a challenge in the Elite category between Pedro Ferreira (Commencal SX) and Nico Prudencio (Giant Reign) each giving everything to win the title. However, uncertain arose with Remy Absalon racing and the possibility of him coming between
them and causing changes in their positions. Everything changed quickly because of Remy’s 3 unfortunate flats during the first link of the race.
Finally Pedro Ferreira went solid, his fitness and excellent flow on downhill gave him 19:39 min, leaving him in first place of the race and the championship.
Meanwhile Nico Prudencio completed a tremendous race with 20:23 min, followed by Felipe Vasquez (Intense Carbine) 21:16 min, who made it to the podium for the first time this year showing that the 40 year old rider can still compete among the younger Elite.
We must emphasize the elite 4th place Rodrigo “Coco” Cabello (Ibis HD) another Master B who enrolled in Elite only to be able to do the nightly SS. In 5th place came Ignacio Rojo (Mongoose Teocali) who is beginning to show more maturity and consistency in his Enduro style.
Sixth and seventh were our French friends Remy Absalon (Commençal Meta AM) and Jérôme Conreaux (Specialized Stumpjumper EVO) that ran the whole race together helping each other when Remy suffered punctures.
With these results Pedro Ferreira was crowned as National Enduro Champion 2012, Nico Prudencio second and third Felipe Vasquez showing his consistency over the three dates.
Open Gallery10 Images
Photos by Animalejo and Juan Luis De Heeckeren
On the ladies championship undisputed leader Espiñeira Florence (Giant XTC) took first place in the race followed by the dedicated Sarita Donoso (Giant Anthem) who was the second woman to complete this demanding track. These results left Flo Espiñeira as leader, followed by Sarita Donoso and Third Sofia Abrigo who is a promising beginner in the Enduro.
Experts was dominated by ex-downhill rider Jan Guzman, who had already won the first round, this time was followed closely by Diego Ramirez, someone to watch in this category. Third was our friend and former downhill rider Sergio Uribe (Giant Reign) who raised his level throughout the championship.
In the youngest category only two riders managed reached the finish. Ignacio Gili who ran his first Montenbaik Enduro was ahead by almost 3 minutes of Matias Saxton (Cannondale Jekyll) who came second, but took the championship without problems.
Carlos “Chikle” Niklitschek (Ibis HD) was finally able to get on the podium taking first, after coming in fourth the last two rounds. Chikle was followed by the Commençal Team Manager Lesly Etchegaray (Commeçal Meta AM) who was closely followed by the Three-Time Master World Champion DH rider Sebastian Vasquez, who ran his second enduro. The championship in this category was led by José “Calufo Moreno (Pivot Match 5.7 Carbon), second Carlos “chikle” Niklitschek showing constancy in the championship, and third place Lesly Etchegaray.
The category with the most experienced montenbaikers. Fabian Cabrera (Ibis HD) finally was able to make a perfect race and won against Gerardo Marin (Ibis-HD). Third came the Spaniard Sergio de la Fuente (Trek Scratch). For the Championship, this category ended with Marin first followed by De La
Fuente and third Fabian Cabrera.
Thomas Gleixner surprised everyone with first place against Felipe Barra, who took second place in the round to win the champoinship. Barra was followed by Sebastian Barriga. The championship was led by Felipe Barra who did not miss a date, second Gabriel and Thomas Gleixner Convalia in third.
Tomas Abarca dethroned Felipe Fuentes (Cannondale Prophet), a regular at Las Varas and El Durazno, finishing second followed by Cristobal Barrera. This championship ended with Thomas in first, second and Felipe Fuentes and third former downhiller Jose Miguel Mitjans.
The 220 XC were motivated for this event with 11 riders. Pablo Flores confirmed his skill taking the win with a time of 23:41. Second came Victor Galvez (Giant-Anthem) who in previous years had led the Montenbaik Enduro. Third was for Nicolas Spalloni (Giant-Anthem).
We had a huge race, as organizers we literally busted our asses finding new trails and organizing this tremendous race that even included two uncommon stages at night.
For the riders it was very hard, but as the saying goes: “what does not kill you makes you stronger.”
We are confident that doing longer and tougher runs, we are raising the level of all endureros.
We know not everything was perfect and we have still many things to improve, but we are moving in the right direction and we hope to continue to improve next year and to have a longer championship.
At the end of the Championship awards ceremony, our sponsor Comennçal Chile donated a Commencal Meta Am frame (the same frame as the 2012 National Champion Pedro Ferreira) for a drawing between all the riders that participated in all three rounds. Nicolas Montecino was the lucky Endurero who won.
We want to thank to all the motivated riders, because without them we would not exist.
And we want to thank our sponsors who made this event possible:
Rario Horizonte 103.3