Spring Hardtailing & Cannondale Enduro Tour Race

Belfort Enduro_Benoît Grébaux

My first race of the season was the Cannondale Enduro Tour in Belfort, France. Unfortunately my new bike was delayed arriving so I raced on my hardtail with a 140mm fork, no dropper post and 10 gears! It was actually great fun just slightly slower than normal, but it was the lack of a dropper post nearly killed me. The trails weren’t particularly technical but really physical race with each stage having at least one 30-40 second fireroad sprint, I managed to stand up for all of them but it left my legs exploding with lactic dropping into the next section of trail and my quads were burning for a few days afterwards!

The last stage involved descending from the top of an old castle, down through the brick vaults with tunnels, narrow passages and flights of steps before hitting a steep sketchy shoot into the town centre. Awesome! I finished 7th, happy enough given the bike.

In fact I’ve been honing my skills on the hardtail all winter since my enduro bike is cleaned up and ready to sell.  Since March the weather has been at times amazing and we’ve done a good job of avoiding snow by developing a knack of hunting out south facing slopes for some awesome riding in places you would expect to be only able to ride in summer. I’ve had some full body batterings riding rocky trails chasing the lads on proper bikes and a full-sus will feel like the ultimate luxury when the new one arrives!

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