Full event highlights from Val d’Isere Enduro World Series race
On Sunday fortunately the weather was clearing up and as the first gondola came down from the top of the mountain you knew it had been cold up there as it was covered in fresh snow. While the snow melted on the top of stage 3 we raced stage 2 again. This time it was pretty damn slippery and my choice of bike was my Remedy 29er, but sadly there are not many mud tyres out there for 29ers yet so I struggled a little on dry tyres trying to ride safely and stay upright. I lost some time to Anne-Caro again.
As the weather improved we were then able to go up to the final stage of the weekend and do a practice run. This was a long stage, just over 20 mins. It had a great mix of terrain and also a sustained grassy climb which was going to be tough towards the end of the stage! Due to the slight delay with the weather we would only have to race stage three once, which I actually think was a big relief for everyone as it had already been a tough weekend with a lot of riding in tough conditions.
I knew that I had to beat Anne-Caro on this stage by at least eight seconds to take the win, so I really pushed hard all the way and was absolutely ruined at the finish. It had been worth it though as I beat Anne by 21 seconds on the final stage and took the win. Sadly the celebrations were short lived as I was told at the podium that I had been relegated to second place as I had been given a 30 second time penalty as I did not have my ‘pin-on’ back number on for the final race run. I had lost the back number in the race run on Saturday afternoon in all the rain and fog and had completely forgotten to get a new one. I was pretty gutted as I had worked so hard to get this win and something like that could take it away from me, but that’s life. I was unhappy that there had not also been penalties given to the people who had cut the course on the Saturday in the fog, as this did not seem fair to enforce some rules and not others, but I don’t envy the organiser’s role in trying to keep on top of all of this in the first year of Enduro World Series competition and with all the things that can happen in a race.
The time penalty was a big blow for me as I knew that I had won that race, but the consolation I had was that I knew taking second place had still given me enough points to have won the overall series with the Finale Ligure round still to go!
It is just amazing to have been able to achieve this in the first ever year of the Enduro World Series, I am so happy. It’s been a tough year, learning how to race this new discipline, how to prepare, and what bike to choose and how to keep your head and focus throughout the races. I’ve loved it all and it’s still not over, I still have Finale Ligure in October to try and finish on a high and get back to the top step of the podium and don’t you worry I’ll make sure I have my back number pinned on my jersey!
Eastridge UK Gravity Enduro finals
Following Val d’Isere I had the final of the UK Gravity Enduro series at Eastridge. This was an opportunity for me to add the UK title to the World Title, something that would just finish off the year perfectly. It had been three months since I last raced an enduro in the UK and it was great to see everyone again.
The UK scene really has got a good vibe going on and I had such a fun weekend. The stages were all great fun and I enjoyed being out for the day, self-sufficient and not using any chairlifts to get around the stages. I like the format and the fact that three and a half hours after we started we were back in the pits having had a good workout, some great racing and even better banter on the way round. A top day that was finished off by taking the much needed win ahead of Helen Gaskell and also the overall series title!
Thanks to Steve Parr and all his helpers for making the UK Gravity Enduro series happen and I am so excited to see where this sport goes in the next few years as we had more girls racing the enduros in the UK than I have seen at a gravity race in a long time, it’s good to see new faces at every round and I only think this will continue. It’s a great place to start out and have a go at your first MTB race.