A few weeks ago, fast Frenchie Thomas Lapeyrie of the SUNN Enduro Team swung by the ENDURO HQ in Stuttgart, Germany to talk with us about injuries, the future of enduro, and the upcoming season, oh and of course we had to show him our local loop! After a personal best of 5th in Samoens last year and the frustration of a niggling hand injury over the winter, motivation will be at an all time for Thomas when he lines up on the Chilean soil at the end of the month!

Thomas Lapeyrie Interview Action Shot 1

Enduro: Hows your winter been? You’ve been suffering with a wrist injured for a lot of it?

Thomas Lapeyrie: Yeah, I have been suffering from my hand injury for a long time because the doctors weren’t able to identify the problem at first. I tried training in between with my broken hand but with the pain I always felt that something was wrong. After 4 X-Rays, they finally found out that my wrist was broken. It is getting better now and I am able to ride carefully again, and I will hopefully be able to compete in Chile.

Thomas Lapeyrie Interview Action Shot 2

ENDURO: A fresh face in the team for 2016 in Isa, how will that change the team dynamic?

Thomas Lapeyrie: Last year was all about working on the bike and optimising everything. This year, we will be able to compete in all the races with a perfect bike, and Isa will have a lot of chances to get to the Top.

Thomas Lapeyrie Interview Action Shot 3

ENDURO: What are your thoughts as a whole on last season? The highlight being a 5th in Samoens obviously…

Thomas Lapeyrie: Last year was my first fully professional year, and I was going faster and faster with every event. Unfortunately, I crashed a lot and had to compete with multiple injuries. I definitely look forward to more consistent results in 2016.


ENDURO: Is there any race you are particularly looking forward to or have your eyes set on doing well at?

Thomas Lapeyrie: The Megavalanche at Alpe de Huez! It is such a fun race, you need the physique for it as well – but you also need some luck too. Last year, I was able to compete with Remy Absalon, but ran out of power at the End of the Race.

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ENDURO: What about the French EWS in Valberg?

Thomas Lapeyrie: We had a French Cup there last year, I really like the Track, and I would love to win, but I know that the southern Frenchies are already able to train there. I also look forward to the other 7 races of the EWS and some other classics, but I want enough power and to rest for the big events.

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ENDURO: You and Kilian have been heavily involved in the development of the Kern with SUNN… How much has the bike evolved since you first experienced it?

Thomas Lapeyrie: We developed the Bike in the last year and were able to experience it, so for 2016, we only have minor changes to do. I did not study Engineering, but tried a lot and found a good balance.

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ENDURO: Do you have any interesting plans outside the EWS?

Thomas Lapeyrie: I want to continue our Enduro Day webseries, which I first created with Yoann Barelli. For season two, I want to capture all details of my travels and races. We just film it with my iPhone, but it gives a good insight into the life of a professional racer!

Secondly, I created a blog, where I share photos, videos and articles with my sponsors.

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ENDURO: Have you changed anything in regards to your preparation this year? Any changes to training or targeting a particular weakness?

Thomas Lapeyrie: I have to admit that this year was my first year in Gym. But the biggest change is that I am going to start riding Downhill bikes for training, which I’ve never done because of my background in XC, BMX and 4X. This will help me carry more speed in technical sections.

Thomas Lapeyrie Interview Action Shot 10

ENDURO: You’ve raced multiple disciplines including XC and bmx before making the switch over to enduro, has that made you a better overall rider?

Thomas Lapeyrie: I believe that you need to be good at every discipline, but my background certainly helps me with my physique. On the other hand, I am missing the experience in Downhill, that most of the other guys have.

Thomas Lapeyrie Interview Action Shot 11

ENDURO: Where do you see the sport developing into over the next few years, what rules, or formats would you like to see more of?

Thomas Lapeyrie: At the moment, the bikes have some limits, so they need to be able to adapt to more situations. I often change my setup mid-race, according to the conditions. I am not a fan of backpacks, and always need to carry stuff on my frame. I would like to see more formats with less uphill sections and more downhill action, because the long climbs really exhaust you. I’d like to see the formats getting more similarities, so that we could train more specifically. On the other hand, sneaky practice between the events should be more controlled…

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Thomas showed us a thing or 2 about our local trails!

Thanks Thomas!

Keep up to date with Thomas’s racing by liking his Facebook-Page.

Words: Ross Bell Photos: Noah Haxel

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