A supremacy which built up during the whole season and which culminated in the victory of the final round. Superenduro Powered By SRAM 2014 has just closed in the same way it opened, with Marco Milivinti and Louise Paulin on the podium.
The rider of team Torpado Factory Racing has been the absolute star of the second racing day here at Sauze d’Oulx, even if he did not win any Special Stage. The race of the rider from Valtellina has been smart and consistent. It has been the racing strategy of a champion, not dissimilar from that of the lady from Sweden, already well-known at Finale Ligure with her Cannondale and with the colours of the Oddone Bici Team.
The high region of Val Susa has confirmed its value as MTB destination, with Sauze and Alpi Bike Resort trails playing the main role in one of the most intense events of the Superenduro Series. The great use of chairlifts to move the athletes back up to the top has made it possible for the organizers to run no less than eight Special Stages, with an overall descent of more than 5500 meters. Seven ‘traditional’ PS and the Supermountain grand final in its totally new format have offered endless emotions here at Sauze. The weather, with two amazing days of blue sky, really gave a big help as well.
The battle has been hard, even if the supremacy of Milivinti never really seemed to be threatened. A number of riders alternated in the other top positions during the two days of racing, but Greg Callaghan (Nukeproof – Gravity BC) from Ireland was finally the one who got the second position, in front of Nicola Casadei (Lapierre – Gravity Games) from San Marino, who also won the Red Bull Special Stage. Next to the podium Samuel Shucksmith (Specialized – Pro Ride Guides), as fast as ever, with Alex Lupato (Lapierre – FRM Factory Racing) closing the top five positions. Sixth position instead for the other of the Shucksmith bros, Philip (Specialized – Pro Ride Guides), in front of Denny Lupato (Lapierre – FRM Factory Racing) and Vittorio Gambirasio (Trek – Red Bike). Nicolas Walser (Mtb Baden), from Switzerland, got the ninth place, followed by a solid Francesco Fregona (Banshee – Weekendwheels), back among the top riders.
A number of good – but unlucky – performances have to be mentioned, as that of Davide Sottocornola (SantaCruz – Cicobikes Dsb), who has been on the virtual podium for most of the race and who had to give up for a flat. Marco Bugnone’s (Trek – Red Bike) race also stands out, as he has been able to ride elbow-to-elbow with the top five riders after years of absence from the scene. The rider from Torino was then forced to abandon the race for a mechanical, but we now know he will be again one of the main contenders.
Among the ladies, Louise Paulin, who came to Sauze with the overall title already in her pocket, well kept under control the rivals, led by Gabby Molloy (GT – Rotorua mtb club) from New Zealand, the only one really able to give Paulin troubles. Due to a crash, Gabby lost a few precious seconds and had to fall back into second place, in front of Katy Winton (Pivot – Morvelo Enduro) from UK. The first Italian has been Laura Rossin (Devinci – Dream Team), followed by Valentina Macheda (Ibis – Life Cycle).
Superenduro Powered By SRAM also laid down another milestone in the history of the discipline here in Sauze, with the great success of the new format of the Supermountain at the end of the two-days of racing. The racers left the start line in the order given by the overall ranking, split apart on the base of their real time gaps. The sequence of departs from Rocce Nere has offered a very intense moment, especially thanks to the riders who kept cheering their friends and team-mates while waiting for their moment. Sauze d’Oulx went through another epic moment of Superenduro history, exactly as it has been happening in the previous six editions of the SuperSauze.
Superenduro Powered By SRAM keeps rolling and it will be back next weekend at Palazzuolo sul Senio (FI) with the Experience Series, just before the final event closing the season on the 26 October in the totally new location of Portofino – Santa Margherita Ligure, where the awards ceremony of the PRO Series will also take place. All of this without forgetting the Gran Final of the Enduro World Series on the 4-5 October at Finale Ligure!
Text: Superenduro | Photos: superenduromtb.com
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