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Getting fake tanned in Sao Bras de Alportel enduro race.

Updated: Jan 9, 2022

Usually "weekend in Algarve" brings allusion to sunny hot weather and quality beach time. We thought it will be like this and we will enjoy after race Halloween on a sunny beach, maybe with some easy post-race surf. We were surfing just not on the boards. With bikes in Algarvean clay... Don't want to be dramatic.. It was first rain after summer in Portugal and trust me it is always dramatic. For us it was the first proper muddy and rainy ride after long dry summer and it happen in a new destination on never-ridden trails and never tasted soil of Fonte Férrea. It was fixed very quickly. We literally were tasting splashing mud on our first practice run and absorbing southern clay with our bodies and popped eyeballs.

The race venue was in the amazing park Fonte Férrea with loads of trails around and 3 of 4 race stages was passing through or finishing in race pits. Amazing riding destination and for sure we will come back to explore! Despite quite uncomfy weather amount of people staying directly in race pits was quite impressive and it means loads of fun! Camping in tent during rain and all day riding deep in mud was cheery on the cake.

Mixtape of the things that was more or less visible through a muddy lens. Filming was really complicated. Trying to find clean piece of cloth to clean lenses was impossible.

PEC 1 had interesting start on wooden platform in the middle of hill 30min climb from pits. Heard many stories of riders puncturing tires at start point on some poking nails. "Wake UP!" type of start. Flowy fun turns, few little jumps, tiny bits of rocky sections and amazing rock face before crossing road (actually coming on Friday night and seeing it hoped that it is on race menu).

PEC 2 had different emotions. Quite remote start point, endless pedaling and pushing your bike to it gave really adventurous feeling. Rain and heavy wind on top of the mountain cooled us well while pedalling through the race stage. YES pedalled a lot and always on red line. Here I though that finish line is after every turn. It wasn't it was longest stage.

PEC 3 extra 30mins climb from PEC 1 and you are on another windy peak. Fun stage with few jumps straight in to sharp corners, 1 tricky rockgarden and flowy turns on open space were I cut sidewall of rear tire during practice runs.

PEC 4 starts far far away on another uber windy peak. While trying to warm up was thinking about what is waiting in PEC 4. Did it only once during training day because of a slashed sidewall on PEC 3 run. So hard to remember.. race aim is flowy ride without crashes and here we go: start from the geodesic mark, unnecessarly skipping all the nicely built jumps, chunky rockagarden there yestruday took worst possible line, few more technical places and then IMPOSIBLE muddy corner and felt that nailed it, again stepping to safety and skipping drop before finish slip and slide down to finish line.

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