As the Enduro World Series moves into the fast and flowing trails of Les Deux Alpes, for some riders it is a chance to reflect on the events so far. Already showing great variety in venues and event character, the EWS is demonstrating the diversity within the race format. After a tough challenging pedal at Punta Ala, the Val d’Allos and 2Alpes events throw chairlifts and strictly controlled practice into the mix. As Lifecycles Rider Valentina Macheda gets set for the 2Alpes race, she looks back on the Val d’Allos race:
Enduro was born in Val d’Allos 10 years ago! At that time I was not racing mountain bikes, in fact I approached this world just four years ago and is a great incentive for me to be at the second EWS as I hope it is for many others … I say this in the hope of seeing more and more girls at the races, of course it is not an easy sport but if you are brave… you have to try it!
We arrived in Val d’Allos on Friday afternoon, and already there are new things for us as enduro racers, bikes are only permitted on the day of the race, so if you want to check the stages you have to walk! A tough task as at some events you could clock up 10000 meters of altitude in reconnaissance.
One consideration for me, and mainly targeted at women and young people is that if you cannot do at least one days practice following teammates or friends, it is more difficult to improve and learn something. Those who have already participated in previous years, or who have come to ride this bike park in the weeks before, had a huge advantage.
This weekend I discovered a race format completely different from what I’m used to, here you do not pedal in transfers but use the chair lift and the special are long and more downhill!
It was a great weekend, we raced over 10,000 meters of vertical drop in two days of competition, it was heard and tough but at the end of the race, as always, satisfaction was imprinted on my face. Even though the race did not go as I wanted once again I can confirm that I gritted my teeth and held firm to the end!
This event has highlighted that this year will expose the strengths and weaknesses of the various race formats to find the best solution!
Photos: Matt Wragg
Words: Valentina Macheda
Life Cycle Team