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North American enduro racing fans received an unexpected surprise when the upstart Enduro World Series announced its tour dates the week. While many expected a race at Whistler—officials from Crankworx, the annual mountain bike festival held there, are part of the tour’s organizing committee—the series will also make a stop at Winter Park, in Colorado.
In all, there will be seven events in four counties. In addition to the U.S. and Canada, events will be held in Italy and France.
May 18-19 Superenduro PRO - Punta Ala, Italy
June 29-30 Enduro Series - Val d'Allos, France
July 6-7 Crankworx Les 2 Alpes - Les 2 Alpes, France
July 27-28 Colorado Freeride Festival - Winter Park, United States
August 10-11 Crankworx Whistler - Whistler, Canada
August 24-25 Enduro Des Nations - Val d'Isere, France
October 19-20 Superenduro PRO - Finale Ligure, Italy
"Since the series was announced on November 22, we had a really short time frame to pull together the 2013 Enduro World Series calendar. EMBA [Enduro Mountain Bike Association] has worked incredibly hard to produce a calendar that includes the biggest enduro races in the best locations, on the best trails in the world,” says Chris Ball, managing director of the Enduro World Series. “We're really excited about our 2013 events and we are proud to embrace the Enduro Des Nations event in France, the birthplace of the sport.”
Enduro-style events have been surging in popularity recently. The races demand a mix of downhill skills and cross-country fitness, making them accessible to many riders. Because they can be contested on traditional trail bikes with only minor modifications, the events are popular with riders who don’t have, or want to buy, specialized downhill or XC race machines.
Due to the discipline’s rising popularity, members of the UCI’s mountain bike committee last year discussed creating a sanctioned enduro series, but ultimately decided against the idea. When those talks broke down, organizers of popular enduro series joined forces to create the World Series.
Registration for the races will open in early 2013, organizers said.