At the weekend I raced the BMC Chauxmont Super D in Neuchatel in the french speaking Swiss Jura. 5 times stages over 16km with 2200m descending connected by 19km/1200m liasons and two uplifts. The weather was pretty wet with on and off downpours all day and although we timed it well to avoid being drowned, the steep ground was very muddy and slippery.
The race was ridden blind with 10-15 minute stages mostly through the forest. In between some lung bursting pedalling sections the trails were pretty steep with lots of rocks, roots and drops. It made a nice mixture and the course was really fun to ride but the mud added a different dimension. The Jura seems to have an ability to make me ride like an idiot and after crashing early on my head went and I spent most of the day crashing down hills. At one point I came hurtling towards the end of a trail and only realising at the last minute that there was a good 80 cm drop onto a fireroad, I panicked and tried to slow down too late so ended up flying off it and landing on my head/elbow (finding a large pebble wedged in my elbow in the showers after). The rest were mostly emergency exits or wiping out and sliding down things tangled up in a bike.
In between times when I managed to ride there were some really cool bits of trail, some fast flowy sections that complimented the technical bits nicely, and a few pedally bits where I could make up some lost time! It was a long day out, by the last descent it was getting dark in the woods making it very difficult to see the trail or judge distances and drops so it was good to reach the finish where a bike wash, hot showers and homemade pizza cooked in an oven in the back of a van made an enjoyable end to a great event. Other than learning to ride I must learn French if I’m going to do more Enduro racing, the last 2 years learning German is proving useless and its rubbish not being able to talk to people!
Nice video of the race here, I’m demonstrating how not to ride at 3 mins (there were far worse moments luckily not on camera, at least I saved this one!). Enduro lesson of the day: do not think, just do. Every time you question yourself, hesitate, dab, run you suddenly loose a minute and the race is over.
Next weekend racing in the Alps with snow forecast…