This weekend saw the running of the 2nd Thredbo Super Enduro. Around 300 riders gathered to race across 3 tracks from the top of the chairlifts to the village, in either individual races or as a team. The format of the race is a little different to a regular enduro, with only the rider’s fastest time counting, making it possible to stay in the saddle putting down runs as long as the legs will last to get the best possible time.
A brace of top Enduro World Series talent had arrived at Thredbo including 2014 EWS Series winner Jared Graves, 2 time 2015/2016 EWS series winner Richie Rude, Josh Carlson and local Enduro and Downhill guns including Tommy Crimmins, Tim Eaton, Ben Forbes and Harrison Dobrowolski and many more.
With the weather moving from dry and somewhat dusty conditions on the Saturday for practice, then a large downpour of rain on the Saturday night, the track was wet and slippery early on in racing on the Sunday. But with the rain holding off for the remainder of the Sunday and the tracks drying out, riders faced a few questions. Would it be best to try and get early runs in before the track got too wrecked from wet weather runs, or wait until the track dries out and is grippiest later in the day?
The Blue Mountains’ Harrison Dobrowolski, fresh from a deal to race on Specialized bikes, took the win in front of Jono Fudge in U19. Harry showed why he’s becoming such a huge force in Enduro following on from his U19 win at Cannonball Festival, with an overall time that would have put him in top 10 Pro Men’s and Top 5 on the All Mountain track.
DHaRCO founder Mandy Davis took the Pro Women’s category and there was also some Team racing, with Tegan Molloy’s team taking the Women’s Team honours and the “Wheelie Bad Puns” team taking the Men’s Team win.
In the Pro Men’s individual category, with top Enduro World Series talent racing it seemed predictable that they would come away with the top results, but with the weather being what it was, there was an outside chance that someone else might sneak in there.
Tim Eaton put down a belter of a run on the Cannonball Downhill, taking his Trek Remedy to a sub 5 minute run at 4:58.55, in front of Josh Carlson at 5:02.72 on his coil-equipped Giant Reign and Jared Graves on his Specialized Enduro at 5:04.17.
Pro Men’s Individual Overall Results
1st – Jared Graves (24:53.03)
2nd – Richie Rude (24:59.66)
3rd – Josh Carlson (25:20.84)
4th – Ben Forbes (25:59.79)
5th – Tim Eaton (26:04.49)
After the race was won, we hit up Jared with a few questions about the weekend.
GDU: What brought you to the Super Enduro this year?
JG: Funny story, I was planning a week to come down for training to make the most of the chairlift and basically just punish the body with long days of full runs coming into the first EWS of the year, I had planed on coming this week to train, so I was on the Thredbo website to check some details and saw the race, then read about the race, saw the format, and just thought OMG! That is perfect!
GDU: Is it good to come back to Thredbo?
JG: I always love Thredbo, so many good memories and good races here, its one of my favourite places in the world.
GDU: What was it like racing with Richie again?
JG: Haha, I never feel like i’m racing Richie. he’s honestly the only guy in the world I don’t mind coming second to, he’s my boy, and I know how good he is on the bike, next level! so it’s never disappointing to come second to him. But more than that we love riding together and pushing each other, and its been huge on getting us both to where we are now. It’s a very friendly rivalry.
GDU: It was definitely a weather affected race, was tyre selection and wet weather skills critical for the result today?
JG: Yes and no, If I had my time over again, I probably would have hung out until the last 2 hours before laying down any ‘heaters’. It was so tricky, we wanted to get some times on the board somewhat early because you never know what the weather might do in the mountains. If it started raining again you could be in a bad place. I mean, my first flow trail hard run felt no different to my last, but 3 hours later I went 19 sec faster I think, it shows how much faster it rolled as it dried. I felt really comfortable in the morning slop which I was really happy with though. I was super happy with my all mountain run given the conditions at the time.
GDU: Was this a good warmup for the EWS kicking off in not long?
JG: Oh man, it was perfect! To be racing the clock, and have that race mindset, but not have the ‘one run only ‘ pressure. It was unreal, such a cool format that I hope we see more of. Pushing yourself, finding new limits, it’s exactly what I need to be doing at this time of year. Hats off to the Thredbo crew for something up with such a cool idea.
GDU: Do you think you would be back for another Super Enduro?
For sure, Yes!
Full results available here: http://onlineresults.com.au/
Thanks to Outer Image for the photos, if you were at Super Enduro remember they have photos of you available here.