Enduro season is in full swing, and if you want to keep the buzz going til the end of the summer, you should check out the Cardrona 2W event on April 13. It promises to be one of the biggest of the year, with truly epic stages and more descending than you can poke a ski pole at. Oh and you'd better get your full "Squid" safety setup on; in what could possibly an Enduro first, the 2W Cardrona event is asking for elbow pads as compulsory protection (does anyone even own elbow pads these days?). Hell, I suggest removal of all peaks off full faces to go with the Squid look! Elbow pads aside, the 2W Cardrona event looks pretty damn awesome and will be one not to miss. Better get organised...
The Cardrona extreme Giant 2W Gravity Enduro is epic in size and nature with up to 4800 vertical meters of descending. It's an event for the more adventurous rider, whether young or old, who loves riding mountain bikes downhill. It draws in the riders who seek to have serious fun and hone their skills on long, flowing (sometimes testing) natural downhill trails. The beauty of the event is that it can be won by anyone from laid back social weekend warrior, to cross-country machine, passionate Enduro rider, or mad downhill rider. Skills, fitness and tactics play an equal role in the execution of each Race Stage timed run over the course of the event to decide who will be crowned Extreme Gravity Enduro champions. In addition to the overall winners we also run a handicap to determine the most improved male and female rider from race to race.
The April extreme Giant 2W Gravity Enduro is run from the historic Cardrona Hotel in the small old goldmining township of Cardrona, located on the Crown Range Road between Wanaka and Queenstown. Starting and finishing under a big gantry in the Cardrona Hotel garden bar, riders will roll out in groups of four every 15 seconds. Journeying out on a short 2km marked route down the valley, riders will reach the dedicated central pick-up point where they can be shuttled from up the skifield access roads to the top car parks.
Provided with a map, riders must decide in which order they ride the four special ‘Race Stages’ and therefore which roads they are shuttled in which order. From the shuttle drop-off points riders cycle and push their bikes on what are commonly known as un-timed touring 'Liaison Stages' to locate the special Race Stage starting gates. Race Stages are electronically timed runs of considerable duration on specific marked trails and routes from ridge and mountain top to the valley floor.
There will be a ‘Feed Station’ and ‘Technical Zone’ in a convenient location on the valley floor for competitors to purchase great coffee and wholesome food, plus get assistance with any mechanical repairs required. So be sure to take some cash with you!
But keep an eye on your watch because you'll be given a set time (somewhere between 5 and 7 hours) to complete the four special Race Stages and return back to the finish before you begin to accumulate a time penalty (six seconds for each minute you are late).
Category podium placegetters will be those riders with the lowest accumulative special Race Stage times, plus any time penalty for late return to the finish.