Category Archives: Race

Coupe du France Enduro series round 5, Valberg

Stage 2 practice. It was pretty much this awesome all the way down.

There’s been a lot of race writeups on here recently, and I will get back to proper riding for the next post, but there was one last race in the Coupe du France so for one last time the Kangoo was laden with bikes and tyres. One last time we headed out through the Gorge du Arly. One last time we drove south with no air-con and one working window. One last time you get the idea.

This last one was Valberg/Guillaumes, star of online hits like Fabien Barel’s this, Yo Barelli’s that and Nico Quere’s other. All of these … [Read full post]

Coupe du France Enduro series round 4, Samoens

Coupe du France enduro series 4: Samoens

There are 3 certainties in life; death, taxes and the Samoens round of the Coupe du France being muddy.

But to be honest, on Friday afternoon as the car was getting packed for the short drive over to register and deal with scrutineering, I wasn’t so sure. And a quick track walk to see what the trail conditions were didn’t have me convinced I was going to need my newly purchased second hand wetscreams.

Then it started raining, then pissing it down, then the warm up act ended and the real storm arrived. The certainty memes were safe, it was … [Read full post]

Coupe du France enduro series round 3, Val d’Isere

101 riders wait for their start time.

I heard on Thursday morning that the latest edition of the Oxford English dictionary was going to feature the word “amazeballs“. Generally I’m of the opinion that anyone using said phrase should have bungee cord tied to their amazeballs and be kicked off a bridge, but looking at the maps for the race when they went online Thursday evening, only one word came to mind.


8 stages over 2 days taking you from Val d’Isere over the cols to Tignes and back. Bits in the bike park, bits on walking trails, bits in the middle of nowhere marked “here … [Read full post]

La Thuile, not racing.

Stage 2 on race day, looked pretty good!

The world series of who’s best at ‘going out and riding their bike about a hill and calling it ENDURO’ has come to La Thuile, which I reckoned was probably the best place I’d been for ‘going out and riding a bike about a hill and calling it ENDURO’ when I first rode there a few years back, so that seems pretty fitting.

As the E.W.S. races are open to everyone I thought it would be good to head through the tunnel and ride against the world’s best. Alas work was less interested in this idea and thought it would … [Read full post]

MB Enduro Megeve

Spence's first finish

Another weekend, another race.

For the last 5 years Megeve has been publicising the opening of it’s lifts for the summer with “the most difficult race in the world”, a 140km, 7000m +/- marathon race that in the 2010 running only 1 of the 600 starters finished.

That sounds a bit much like hard work, so fortunately they also have a 1 day enduro using the Portes du Mont Blanc network of lifts.

Being close to Chamonix there were a few familiar faces dotting about the paddock. The entry forms implied you could choose the riders you wish to race … [Read full post]

Coupe du France Enduro series round 2, Val d’Allos

Mud = fun

12 years ago in a small ski resort (not that) far far away, a new race was born…….

The riders of Val d’Allos took DH racing, but went further, creating the “Tribe 10,000” where riders would race laps of different trails, with no practice, over a weekend clocking about 10,000m of descent (that’s 33,000ft, 18 laps of the Fort William DH course or 26 empire state buildings, depending on if you read The New York times, Dirt or The Sun). Like DH, but more endurancy.

The event went well and grew year after year. But what to call this new … [Read full post]

Coupe du France Enduro Series round 1, Blausasc

Is fixing bikes in YOUR garden as photogenic as this? Last chance to prep the bikes.

When I last raced DH in 2000 I remember looking at the results of the masters category and thinking that I’ll come back to racing next decade and I can get to be competitive again. It’s been 14 years, but I look through the names of the masters category and now they’re the ones top ten-ing in the overalls. No chance of being competitive there then.

So instead I looked at enduro, apparently the refuge of downhillers who were never quite quick enough, and sure enough, the start list is again filled with the heroes of my youth. Still, how … [Read full post]

Risoul Deval (turns out the deval IS in the detail…)

Across the world, the end of the ski season is marked by weird races thought up by, usually drunk, ski bums who don’t really want the snow to melt, but if the inevitable’s going to happen then they might as well have fun doing it. Hence the “Peak to Pub” multi sport carnage which takes place annually from Mnt Hutt to Cairngorm.

Risoul’s been running the Deval for 9 years now, which involves an off-piste ski from 2500m down to the resort at 1800, then a 10km ish enduro bike down to the River Durance at roughly 900m where the … [Read full post]