Dan Mundell and Nieve Holmes both put in tremendous performances at the opening round of the Borilli European Enduro Championship in Pietramontecorvino, Italy, with Mundell finishing second overall on both days and winning E3 on each occasion and Holmes would be victorious in the Women’s category each time. Tom Ellwood also bagged a podium with third on each day in the E2 class.
In the very last special stage, Belgian junior Erik Willems took the overall victory of the first day of riding at the opening round.
Italian Enrico Rinaldi had been leading until the end, but the reigning European Junior Champion admitted that he was not fast enough in the cross test. His adversaries, the Belgian Erik Willems and the Briton Dan Mundell, saw it the other way round. Above all, Mundell struggled in the over 10-minute long Eleveit Enduro test with slower riders in front of him. All three riders were separated by just seven seconds throughout the day and in the end, it was less than a single second, with Willems winner of the day in E2-class and in the overall: the Husqvarna rider, who is only 23 years old, had switched from motocross to enduro only two years ago. With this start into the new season, he has had set an example for the first time.
He was followed by the British Beta rider Mundell, who was just 0.41 seconds behind. Only another 3 hundredths of a second behind was Rinaldi, who was a little happy because as the reigning champion he also won Junior Class 1 – but only a little happy because he was beaten by a narrow margin in the overall standings for all classes.
Not at all Italian were the outside conditions and the unusually low temperatures: In the first round all riders still had to struggle with the slippery mud on the track, but in the course of the day the conditions even stabilised and 94 riders of a total of 112 participants reached the finish in classification after three rounds.
On the second day, victory was again decided on the very last special stage.
After a heavy crash right in the first enduro test, local hero Enrico Rinaldi lost almost half a minute and at the end, he had to settle with the third final position.
The previous day’s winner Erik Willems took the lead, but in the last Enduro test Dan Mundell took the lead with half a second. This made the fight exciting, but as on the previous day, Willems again played out his motocross skills, winning the last cross test by less than two seconds ahead of Mundell. Now he leads both the Overall standings and the E2 class by a clear margin and goes to the second round in Hungary as leader.
The Italian Maurizio Micheluz won the new Enduro 2 class and is perhaps heading for his fourteenth championship title.
In the women’s category, Nieve Holmes won by a clear margin on both days: the British rider went back to Sherco. Behind her was the French rider Marine Lemoine.