Returning to Les Arcs after a 3-year break; the Les Arcs Enduro2 had a point to prove, and it made it well:
Pairs-Format Enduro Racing – IS BACK –
We could give you the usual blow-by-blow detailed race report, but we’re not into boring you with all that nonsense. We didn’t even bother with a pre-race briefing (time in briefing = time wasted for shredding as far as we’re concerned). Thus a detailed, self-congratulating race report, once everyone is already back home, slogging away at their day job, seems somewhat against the spirit of Enduro2.
We’re not even going to tell you who won, because if you cared about that you’d probably be reading another EWS race report instead. (Oh, OK, if you really want to know, click here).
Because as far as we are concerned…
…The Only Time That Counts, is Having a Good Time.
(Yeah, we even came up with that one, all by ourselves!).
So, here’s the stuff you really need to know, sans the usual merde:
Last weekend, 300 riders arrived in Bourg-St-Maurice (French Alps) from 20 different countries for a 3-days of epic trails, lots of high-fives, and plenty of good times.
But don’t be fooled by our fake-news social media highlights full of cool beers, big-smiles, loamy trails, and riders taking an hour’s lunchbreak for a sit-down mountain-restaurant meal….or even a sneaky beer between stages..
…because when we say EPIC, we’re not screwing around: around 11,500m (35,000 ft) of on-stage descending in 2.5 days (we lost count of the real stats at the after-party-even-though-the-race-isn’t-even-finished-yet-party on Day 2)
Our riders dutifully did us proud by ‘pretending’ to enjoy the sprinkling of superb bike-park-groomers we threw into the mix (we need to keep our resort-sponsors happy!). We must commend these efforts that were sometimes bordering on Oscar-winnng performances of stoke, one stage after the next. (Or could it be that the bike park here is actually bloody good for Enduro? Surely that’s impossible?!) 😉
..but then again, we know they were really here for the region’s massive stash of Alpine singletrack – and they darned-well sure-as-hell got it in spades.
A typical total time of over 2 hours on-stage shedding over 15 Special Stages (yep, they’re big) squeezed into only 3 days’ racing, left our riders with just enough time for a few beers and a sausage from our farewell BBQ before heading back to their “other” lives via Geneva airport, or via a few hours of head-nodding on the road open road. At least the mountain roads in and out of here are epic, too (Tour de France next week, anyone?).
Most riders found themselves back in the day-job on Tuesday morning, staring down the barrel of the biggest come-down ever. Although the seasoned Enduro2 experts among them wisely booked the Wednesday off too and stuck around to make the most of the epic after-party that always continues long into the early hours of Tuesday morning.
Either way, having bagged around twice as much singletrack as the Pros racing the EWS / Enduro World Cup that was going down in parallel (in a flatter, more boring part France) – a regular day back in the office just wasn’t gonna cut it by comparison.
So you’re still thinking ‘No big deal’? Let’s put it another way; that’s more sweet-singletrack than many of the world’s top Trans-Style Enduro races over an entire week (admittedly skipping the joy of grinding up endless fireroads or sitting for hours in shuttle busses)…and without even having to offer the organiser a hand-job just to secure your precious entry in the internet-fight for registration, first place*)
*Trans-Lovers, please forward all hate-mail to: Ali@Trans-Savoie.com 🙂
Note: Enduro2 embraces an equal-opportunity, free-speech policy**
**Unless you even slightly bad-mouth us down the pub or on Pinkbike, in which case please don’t be a crybaby when all your mates get themselves booked in for next year, but your own application miraculously finds itself stuck forever on extremely long standby-list.
SCALPFOTO helped us to bring our racers down with a soft landing back to real life, by freely sharing hundreds of hi-res images of the race just when the withdrawal-shakes were starting to set-in. But just when our riders finally thought they were through the worst and could start to focus on work again, we only went and dropped the highlights video by AIGAL STUDIO along with this race report.
A core crowd of luckier souls (aka the divorcees, childless, unemployed, and the homeless/campervan contingent) hung around after the race to enjoy more of the same. As it happens, Bourg-St-Maurice is the perfect base from which to hit up Tignes, La Thuile, Meribel, and a shedload of other top spots all within an hour’s drive.
Race organisers trailAddiction also laid on a week’s worth of guided backcountry shuttles for anyone at Enduro2.
Many just jumped right on to the impressive new funicular railway from the town centre (yes, they did finally get around to opening it after all) and cracked-on with sniffing out more of Les Arcs’ near-infinite network of top-drawer singletrack.
Les Arcs Enduro2 will be back again to kick off the summer season next year. High-Fives to that! Follow the Enduro2 Facebook or Instagram to get the first tip-off on dates and entries.
Can’t wait that long? Check out Davos Enduro2 this September – same game, different location. It sold out ages ago, but it would not be a wasted effort to drop them an email and ask to join the wait list: We find that many riders have to drop out in the run up to an Enduro2, (typically due to high-fiveing-related stress-fractures) so you could be onto a promise.
Enduro2 Comes to New Zealand this year
If you are feeling particularly saucy, have an unlimited pool of both brownie points with the boss, and a massive air-miles account (or maybe you are just one of those lucky Kiwi b*stards that already lives there) check out Enduro2 NZ – Coming to the 2 best riding spots in the Southern Hemisphere this winter:
– 1-day special at The Wairoa Gorge, 1st December 2019,
– The full-bore 3-dayer, Nelson City, 29 Feb – 1 March 2020.
Sincere thanks go to Geoff Heuzard and his team at 4 Events for directing everything on-the-ground over the weekend, the 45 volunteers and medics who did an absolutely cracking job, GravityLab for keeping our racers’s bikes in top shape all weekend, Coolbus for speedy shuttles and for epic tunes from the DJ bus, Charly’s Factory, The Bistrot Savoyard, La Buche, and & the Woodbear Cafe for keeping our bellies full and our thirsts quenched, Massage-Me for top class post-ride pampering, and of course to the resorts of Les Arcs and Peisey-Vallandry for providing slick Ski-Lifts and for letting us borrow their truly spectacular scenery and awesome terrain.