The second edition of the European Enduro Series is just around the corner - kicking off in Spain at the end of the month with the Enduro Salines. Located in Massanet de Cabrenys in Catalonia, this tiny village is host to an incredible trail network that has hosted enduro races for the past decade. We caught up with Race Director Jep Corominas Vilarrasa to see what lies in store for riders in just over a week's time.
How are the plans coming together for your race? Are the trails ready?
Everything is ready for riders to enjoy two or three days of authentic enduro. The weather forecast looks good so the trails will be perfect. In addition every year we improve the circuit with the aim of offering the best track: half of the trails are new since the last edition and totally different from what we offered on 2016.
Enduro Salines takes place later this month and is the first round of the European Enduro Series 2019
What can riders expect from your race - what is the style of riding there?
Riders will find in Maçanet de Cabrenys, a charming tiny town, a special mixture of fields and forests; close to the sea, in the middle of the mountains, with a 40km route that gives the Enduro Les Salines, its unique characteristics. Riders of past races say they have enjoyed an incomparable experience with such varied terrain in so little mountain space; narrow paths with a lot of flow, combined with forest tracks with constant changes of soil. You will also find technical sections of rock with a lot of grip.
How long have the Enduro Salines race been running for?
This is the 9th edition - Enduro Salines has been a pioneer since 2010. It has also been the first venue with the Spanish championship title (2014). We have always worked with the idea of continuously innovating to offer the best of this region for enduro riders. In this area, where the competition takes place, multiple Cross-Country, Downhill and Enduro events have been held for the last 20 years.
The event has attracted big names in the past - including Jerome Clementz
In the past some big names have raced here - who are the big name riders that will be competing here in 2019?
From the first edition won by Tomàs Misser, to the last one won by Damien Oton, the list of European riders who have participated is incredible. Good riders and better people have come to Maçanet de Cabrenys. Anne Caroline Chausson, Remy Absalon, Keegan Wright Jerôme Clamentz, Bernat Guardia, Cedric Gracia, Mariano Marí, Simon André, Youn Deniaud and Gabriel Torralba. There are already 11 different nationalities registered for this year. It will be the first time we see Robin Wallner, Zakarias Johansen, Stefano Mola, Anita and Caro Gehrig, Marketa Malkova or Yasmine A. Refaat.
Do you think there are any local riders we should watch out for?
Yes, especially about three young people who have grown up edition after edition and who transmit confidence to the organisation that we are improving and connecting the territory and the younger generations: Guillem Sanz, Gabriel Torralba and Mariano Marí.
Are there any spaces left for amateur riders? What would you say to anyone thinking of taking part but who has not entered yet?
The trails of the area are designed for all riders to enjoy a great weekend. There are many amateur riders who participate in Enduro Salines because they know that they will find the descents very fun. They will be able to roll side by side with professionals and people from their usual group of friends. In essence, Enduro Salines is the ideal place to share the same hobby regardless of the individual level of each runner. Even if it's your first time, it's sure to be a great experience.
Maçanet de Cabrenys is a trail paradise just two hours from Barcelona
What makes this place so special to ride and race?
There are several elements that make Enduro Salines special: the great variety of routes; the experience of the organisation and without a doubt, riding with the pioneers of this discipline in Spain. In addition, the environment that is generated, which allows you to compete and share experiences of friends from your area and riders from other countries. The food of the area is highly valued. Maçanet de Cabrenys is basically a tourist village, but the opposite to sun and beach tourism - although it is close by. It has everything you could need to spend several days with the family, a great cultural offer within walking distance, such as the Dalí Museum in Figueres, or everything Barcelona has to offer, which is less than two hours away by car. You don’t want to miss the Enduro Salines!