Things are ramping up as the 2021 FIM Hard Enduro World Championship focuses its attention on Italy and the Abestone Hard Enduro.
Set to reboot this year’s series in spectacular fashion, the three-day race, high up in the Tuscany mountains, will offer riders a feast of Hard Enduro action.
Getting its name from the Abetone townland, Abestone Hard Enduro mixes high-altitude, open-mountain peaks with gnarly rock-infested forestry. A ski resort during the winter, it’s set to come alive to the sound of motorbikes for the first time on July 9-11.
Now a veteran of the sport, event organiser Michele Bosi has been working hard to deliver a course that’s more than capable of challenging the world’s best riders to their maximum. As someone who’s been there and very much done it when it comes to Hard Enduro, he’s taken his favourite sections from around the world and mixed them into the Abestone Hard Enduro melting pot.
Friday will allow an opportunity to scope out the terrain on offer before hitting a short but all-natural extreme test. Optional for competitors, it will determine the starting order for Saturday’s time trial qualification race.
Laid out across two of the region’s peaks of Val di Luce and L’Ovovia, at an altitude of almost 2,000 metres, racing begins in earnest. Fast but technical best describes the 10-kilometre course, which will be ridden three times throughout the day. With a rider’s best timed run counting, the top 50 competitors qualify through to Sunday’s feature race, with the remaining entry contesting Sunday’s morning race.
Things heat up for Sunday’s action when all eyes turn to the afternoon Super Final to see who will come out on top for the first time this season. Ramping up the difficulty, the forestry sections become slower and extremely technical as riders battle loose rock, steep climbs, and equally steep descents as they fight to complete the 20-kilometre-long course within the available three-hour time limit. With very little room to recover between sections, it’s sure to reward those who’ve done their homework.
Across the entire weekend, and in keeping with the spirit of Hard Enduro, no outside assistance is permitted during the race. Whoever stands on the top step of the podium will have truly mastered the Abestone Hard Enduro.
Entries for the Abestone Hard Enduro are open, available from the event’s website. Those yet to register for the 2021 FIM Hard Enduro World Championship can still do so on iridehardenduro.com.
Round three of the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship takes place at Abestone Hard Enduro on July 9-11.
Michele Bosi – Abestone Hard Enduro organiser: “I’m really excited to showcase what the Abestone Hard Enduro has to offer. I feel like these mountains have been a well-kept secret that are now ready to discover. With such a mix of terrain at our disposal I’m confident we can put Italy back on the international Hard Enduro map. The race will be predominately natural terrain – we don’t have to bring anything in, the mountains already have everything we need to make this race special. When working on the course, I’ve tried to recreate elements of what I’ve ridden and enjoyed racing on over the years into the layout. The mountain peaks are pretty spectacular too and I know that will make for some incredible images. For sure riders will enjoy this one, it’s Hard Enduro!”
Abestone Hard Enduro schedule
Thursday, July 8
09.00: Opening Paddock
10.00: Track Walking
Friday, July 9
08.00-14.00: Administrative Control – NEWFREN
08.15 – 14.15: Technical Control – BRANDINI
11.30 – 12.30: Press Conference – ACERBIS
14.00 – 16.00: Free Practice – ELEVEIT Extreme Test
17.00 – 19.00: Timed Practice (optional) – ELEVEIT Extreme Test
Saturday, July 10
07.00: Group A – Lap 1 – JUST1 Special Test
08.00: Group B – Lap 1 – JUST1 Special Test
09.00: Group C – Lap 1 – JUST1 Special Test
10.30: Group A – Lap 2 – JUST1 Special Test
11.30: Group B – Lap 2 – JUST1 Special Test
12.30: Group C – Lap 2 – JUST1 Special Test
14.00: Group A – Lap 3 – JUST1 Special Test
15.00: Group B – Lap 3 – JUST1 Special Test
16.00: Group C – Lap 3 – JUST1 Special Test
Sunday, July 11
09.00-12.00: MITAS Final
14.00-17.00: LIQUI MOLY Super Final