The final weekend of August welcomed a new addition to extreme enduro with the Gökbel Arena race in Turkey. Rocks, mountains and extreme heat gave everyone plenty to sweat about…
Images: © Denis Günther / Enduro.de
With neighbouring event Red Bull Sea to Sky reaching out to a global audience the appetite for enduro – and extreme enduro in particular – is growing in Turkey. The Gökbel Arena is the latest addition to the calendar.
Germany’s Marcel Teucher was the only international rider to make the trip to Alanya. A win in the Saturday’s Prologue put him in prime position for Sunday’s main event. Unfortunately a couple of problems early on saw his advantage disappear and he finished second.
The baking hot Turkish sun ensured the 30km long main event was hard on everyone. The 30-plus degree heat definitely increased the extremeness of the race.
The race took riders 1600 metres up into the mountains but the sting in its tail was the two kilometre long dried up rocky riverbed to reach the finish. Ismael Özgül digs deep to take third.
Goggles off and charging – Teucher fights hard to recover the time deficit he suffered in the opening stages.
For many this was their true first taste of enduro and it ended with varying levels of success.
It was hot in Turkey – seriously hot. Pop-up shelters offered some welcome rest bite from the scorching sun though many would have enjoyed kicking back on the beaches of nearby Alanya along the Turkish Riviera.
Burak Özdemir took a well-rewarded break from his Red Bull Sea to Sky track management duties and came away with the race win. Second in the prologue, he quickly chased down Teucher in Sunday’s race. Sticking to his wheel tracks throughout, Özdemir crossed the finish line as the winner.
The Taurus mountain range didn’t just offer a stunning backdrop to the prologue, it was also where the majority of the action took place. Using a 30km loop, the race really only skirted along the fringes of what’s actually on offer in Alanya.
Relatively speaking the inaugural running of the Gökbel Arena proved itself a success. And with plans already in place for 2015 things look set to grow.