After the summer break, finally the race we had been waiting for was here – Enduro of Nations in Val d’Isere.
To prepare for this race we spent the week before at the bike park in La Thuile in Val D’Aosta because we knew we were going to be at really high altitudes for this race.
In fact, the special stages here started at around 3,000m. The race format was the French Enduro Series one, where you have one run down the track without the clock and then your race runs.
Both me and Manuel were called up for the Italian national team, to represent your country is an amazing feeling and honor. When you are racing in a team like this you are scared to make mistakes or let your teammates down.
The teams were three riders and the difference between this and other races is that each of your times goes towards the team’s time, your total time is added together.
It was another reason to finish the race if something happened on the course, if you had a mechanical motivation to take the bike on your shoulder, fork in hand and finish the stage, because your error could undo all the hard work of your teammates.
Manuel got a good individual result, but had a big crash. The men’s national team took second place, a great result for Italy and shows that Italy is more and more competitive in enduro.
I was hoping for a strong result too, but it was not to be. I was feeling good and was enjoying racing with the other girls, but this was soon wiped out when I found out on the first day that one of my teammates had hurt themselves crashing a few days before and retired from the race on the first day.
It was still a great weekend though, maybe the coldest race this year and the weather conditions were difficult and constantly changing.
The stages were covered in cloud and this created problems and some people lost their way. But, aside from that I raced with the same motivation as always, maintaining my spirit of enduro…
Words: Valentina Macheda Photo: Matt Wragg