The mountain bike race MONDRAKER ENDURO TEAM – formerly Mondraker Enduro2 – in the Grisons destination Davos Klosters will already take place for the fourth time from 3rd to 5th September 2020. It is one of the few enduro races for teams in Europe and is accordingly well received by the international mountain bike community. For the 450 participants, the focus of this race adventure, which has been sold out a long time ago, will be on the first-class trails of the Davos Klosters region as well as team spirit. Nearly a third of the riders will not be starting in teams of two, but in the completely new open category FUN TEAM, where teams of 3 to 6 riders are allowed to join in the epicness. MONDRAKER ENDURO TEAM 2020 is one of the first mountain bike events since Covid 19 reared its ugly head, that will be held in its nearly normal way.
Like in a conventional Enduro race, MONDRAKER ENDURO TEAM also runs several stages or timed sections per day. These mainly lead downhill and last a few minutes each. Between these descents on the best trails of the Davos Klosters Region, the participants cover various transfer stages without time measurement, often supported by mountain railways. This leaves time to enjoy the impressive alpine scenery of the Grisons mountains and the camaraderie within international bike community. In addition, the riders share the whole adventure with their team partners, which, as is generally known, doubles the pleasure. The race format therefore is very popular: Despite the uncertainty due to Corona, the event was already sold out in April.
One third in new category FUN TEAM
"Of course, we are especially pleased that the new open category FUN TEAM for teams of 3 to 6 people is so popular", says organiser Britta Wild. “Some 130 riders in over 30 varied teams have applied in this totally fun category, which makes up for almost one third of the field. Obviously, we fulfil a desire of our participants, because we always had several teams of two who wanted to start together in a larger group, as they didn't care about the timing, but just about the fun with their bike mates.” In this completely new category FUN TEAM, which has never been seen before in Enduro mountain biking, teams of at least 3 to a maximum of 6 people ride together, with free choice of gender composition and team size. The measured times simply count from the first rider crossing the starting line to the last one crossing the finish line. True to the motto "even more fun for bikers by bikers", the idea of camaraderie is even more in the focus here.
Bike pros Alessandra Keller and Gusti Wildhaber at the starting line
But this year again there are some quite ambitious and prominent mountain bikers at the starting line. For example, the Swiss Alessandra Keller, Cross Country U23 World Champion of 2018, who rides in a mixed team with her mechanic Gavin Black: "After the World Cup in Lenzerheide was cancelled due to Corona, I took the chance to ride at MONDRAKER ENDURO TEAM. Fun, a great downhill training and some variety for me as a mountain biker", she explains her motivation. "I've never taken part in an Enduro race so far – Gavin, on the other hand, used to ride in the Downhill World Cup. So I'll just try to stay on his rear wheel as long as possible...", says the athlete from the Thömus RN Swiss Bike Team. The successful Swiss Enduro professional from the CUBE Action Team and competitor of the Enduro World Series, Gusti Wildhaber, will also be starting at MONDRAKER ENDURO TEAM. The winner of the 2017 event premiere rides in a team with last year's champion Tim Bratschi and he admits: “Sure, I'm at the starting line to win. Anything else would be a lie...”
The most attractive trails around Davos Klosters
In the three race days, the 450 participants cover a total of around 120 kilometers, climb over 1500 meters and ride nearly 10,000 meters downhill. The trails are varied and attractive – but sometimes also technically demanding, as they are all-natural trails, no man-made flow trails. Because of this, a good level of mountain biking skills is essential to have fun at MONDRAKER ENDURO TEAM. "Our goal is to show experienced mountain bikers the most beautiful trails of the destination Davos Klosters in the best company," says Britta Wild from the extremely small organizing committee. “This year we have again integrated many new trails, so that even the most seasoned of our returnees have something new to look forward to” she describes further. This time there will be 11 stages, which is fewer than in previous years, but instead, they will be longer. Like this, participants can look forward to some 35 kilometres of epic racing trails.
Covid 19 is just background noise
Despite Covid 19 the all out fun mountain biking event can go ahead almost like normal. “With 450 participants we are well under the 1000-persons-limit for events and with our registration process we can easily tracing contacts if needed” says Britta Wild. Non the less some protective measures will apply to all participants: “In the mountain railways and gondolas people are required to wear a mask anyway. We will also be extending these precautions to the starting blocks in the morning, as all of the riders will be gathered in one spot.” However, once started, the teams can easily keep their distance from one another throughout the day. In addition, there is no longer a prologue on the first day, but three stages over a whole day instead, so that not everyone is crowded. “Fortunately, mountain biking takes place outside, where there is enough space – so Covid 19 should just be nothing but background noise,” says Britta Wild. “However, we hope that most of our foreign participants can travel here, despite the quarantine regulations in certain countries.” Under normal circumstances, they would make up about half of the field: 20 different nationalities, mainly from Europe, were on the starting list originally. How many it will be in the end, will show. The age range of the riders extends over more than four decades, from 17 to 61 years. Mountain biking brings together people from all walks of life, age and nationality in a unified competition setting, especially in times like these.
The organization is set up as a non-commercial association and the event is very family-like. Mondraker is the title sponsor for the second year. Furthermore, the organizing com-mittee is supported by the Davos Klosters mountain railways and the Tourism Organi-zation. "Without these partnerships, we would definitely not be able to manage the event," says Britta Wild. But also the work of Trail Crew Davos, who keeps the trails of the area in good shape, is indispensable. "We are also supported by Graubünden Sport and maintain partnerships with various recognized bike hotels in town," explains Britta Wild. In addition, around 50 volunteers will be on duty during the event.