Enduro race season got to its climax in central Europe. This time our favorite race series E1 held its stage event in Austrian Kirchberg/Tirol next to the famous alpine ski track the “Streif” in Kitzbuehl.

The weather promised a warm weekend at 25° Celsius in the Alps. The stages in this area are up to five minutes long, so the suspension and brakes are really tested over the whole weekend.

Saturday is training day with four stages to be inspected while the remaining stage four had to be raced blind. Late afternoon the race starts with the prolog which is also the last stage five next day. On race Sunday itself we were sent on the 25 km long track after the routine check-in. Five stages and over 1,400 alpine meters of altitude difference had to be completed.

Stage one was one of the black lines of the local bike park area. Not really technical challenging but becoming more and more demanding as speed rises. Short steep chutes and wide open grass single tracks alternated with narrow switchbacks and some root section. I found my pace there and got fifth overall.

Stage two and three followed straight one by one on the famous Lisi Osl Trail with countless gravel berms. Not my type of riding but the next two stages promised more high speed technical rooty stuff. 

Stage four was a blast. I overtook one of the competitors after 20 seconds and letting the Process work over the roots and rocks until a loud dull noise on my back wheel occurred. A big dent released all air and I had to ride half of the stage with a flat tire. That half minute plus was impossible to catch up on the last stage.

The last stage unfortunately was too short to caught some time back and I missed the podium by one place.

Matthias had a strong race as well. He was fast in all five stages and missed the podium by a very small margin of half a second! Good job, bro!

Next race will be Frammersbach with steep trails but more pedaling.

Stay tuned!

Stefan Westerveld