We just wrapped up the second round of the Enduro World Series race in Val D Allos, France this past weekend & what a great weekend of riding and racing it was. The setting was spectacular, surrounded by majestic mountains, pretty much in the middle of nowhere, in a tiny little ski town and only two hours from bustling Nice. With the French format not allowing any practice before the race, we had plenty of time to explore some of the other tracks and trails in the area, which was good fun to go and ride bikes with your mates and not even bother to give the race a thought until race day, which I love.
We stayed in our van and created a nice pikey site with fellow van-ier (and photographer), Victor Lucas who took brewing up the morning coffee to a whole other level using his big track pump to get the frothy crema on the top of the brew, a sure way to get your morning started off on a good note.
The racing was absolutely amazing. The tracks were really fun, scenic, exposed, fast, sketchy, unpredictable, with shale rock, loamy dirt, dry loose bike park dirt, roots, rocks, cliffs, switchbacks, I mean, it had absolutely all the elements that a good trail needs to have to call it epic. They were super fun to ride, but to race, they were hard. Hard in a good way, as it should be. It tested your everything. On Saturday the tracks were a bit more DH oriented, but still quite pedaly if you wanted to do well, and on Sunday, they were still technical and tricky, but the pedaling sections were just too long for me to make use of my downhill skills to get a good result. I just didn't have the legs to stand up and sprint on all the traversing and uphill sections, but I still had a blast and loved the tracks. Proper enduro riding. Raw, unpredictable & hard. I just need to find my legs now :) We managed to descend 10 000 meters over the two days of racing, so I'd say you definitely get your money's worth at these events. Don't even get me started on the food station and how incredibly delicious it was. I have Haribo sweets stocked up for the rest of the summer!
I was happy with a 6th & a 7th place on two of the race runs, then a bit of bad luck on one of the runs cost me a lot of time, but it was the long pedaly one's on Sunday that killed me and put me into 11th place for the overall results.. All in all a magnificent weekend of racing. Hats off to all the girls that raced - 30 of us, which is pretty amazing to see a start list with so many girls ready to race. The level of the racing for the men & women was really high, everyone killed it & I look forward to this coming weekend to see how Les Deux Alpes will format their racing for the weekend, and hopefully I can have a good weekend and get into the top 10...but there are plenty of trails to go exploring this week and adventures to be had before the race, so I'll worry about that later.
One of my highlights this weekend was meeting up with my good old friend Sabrina Jonnier & catching up with her about life in general and just seeing her glow in the sunshine with her baby belly. I cannot wait to meet Stella soon!
Cheers to everyone for all their support & to Sven for the stunning photographs. It was such a treat to race and ride with all my new Sombrio kit - I LOVE all my new goodies, and they look good! THANK YOU!!!!!
Peace out, Anka xxx