Like a French “Enduro World Series” – The 2nd round of the Cannondale Enduro Tour was a must do: 330 pilots ready to shred the trails with the best french enduro racers who came to the event: Damien OTON, Rémy ABSALON, Rémi THIRION, François BAILLY MAITRE, Nicolas LAU, Pierre-Chales GEORGES, Thomas LAPEYRIE, Jérémie ARNOULD, Florian GOLAY and also Ludovic OGET were in the starting list! The town has welcomed us as the “Tour de France” and offered a great show with 5 stages, 4 in the forest and 1 in the “Citadelle du Lion”the castle of the city.

Start of stage 5 above the "Lion" of Belfort.
Start of stage 5 above the “Lion” of Belfort.

The rider from Germany, Switzeland, Belgium, Czew Republic and of course French came to race for the 1st time in Belfort. The organization has prepared 4 physical stages in the beautiful forest of Salbert hill and the last one was in the castle of the city, in total they have to ride blind 35 km and 1200 elevation.

To bad Josh Bender didn't attend the race...
Too bad Josh Bender didn’t attend the race, he would have chosen another line…

The battle was tight to be in the 1st spot! The top pilots were on a relaxed mode during the liaison and they really have fun to see each other but during the special stages, they push hard and were full on!

Lorraine TRUONG is a real racer and got her 1st victory today! She is one of the most promising in the EWS.
Lorraine TRUONG is a real racer and got her 1st victory today! She is one of the most promising in the EWS.

Finally Damien OTON beats everybody on 4 of the 5 stages and won the scratch with a bug gap and a total time of 20:16:62. He was surprised to ride in the driest tracks because he comes to the north of France to get used to the mud!

Ludovic OGET, the young talented rider beats all the EWS riders and got the 2nd position!
Ludovic OGET, the young talented rider beats all the EWS riders and got the 2nd position!

Ludovic OGET, who already finished 2nd in the 1st round in Dabo last week-end, finished 29 seconds behind. Despite an “average feeling on the bike today”, Rémy ABSALON still got the 3rd rank (+31’)! That means he is stronger than he thought! The Alsacien rider Nicolas LAU finished 4th (+33’) and François BAILLY MAITRE took the 5th place on the podium!

The last stage was spectacular and attracted a lot of spectators.
The last stage was spectacular and attracted a lot of spectators.

The race got 18 girls and for the 1st time Claire HASSENFRATZ lost her 1st usual ranking position by 7 seconds behind the Swiss Lorraine TRUONG. The local Déborah MOTSCH, got an advantage on this physical stages with a XC background and takes the 3rd position.

Nicolas LAU was strong and  finished 4th!
Nicolas LAU was strong and finished 4th.

In the junior category, it’s again Corentin MACINOT, the rider of Jérôme Clementz crew, who won with a total time of 22:12:17. The brother of Eliott, Thérotim TRABAC took the 2nd spot and Eliott BAUD the 3rd step of the podium!

Nice line on the rock of Rémy ABSALON.
Nice line on the rock of Rémy ABSALON.

In the most tight category, the master (more than 40 years old), it’s again the previous professional DH rider Camille LEPLEY who won and took the 1st position! Pierre FLUCKIGER (+9’) the local was close but not enough to beat the master Camille! Mathias HOLVECK, the winner of the series in 2014 got the 3rd spot.

The women's top three.
The women’s top three.
The men's podium with OTON on top.
The men’s podium with OTON on top.

Check out the official video:

Word: Cannondale Enduro Tour press release | Photos: Benoit Grébaux & Simon Marchal