Words and Photos: Liam Moss
Nestled high in the mountains of the Rhône-Alpes region of France this ancient village promised steep, technical trails accessed by chairlifts… and a little bit of pedalling/pushing.
This round of the EWS truly gave the racers the true Alpine experience.
Saturday was a hard one; a hard one for me and a hard one for the racers too. With a 05:30am start and a rude awakening consisting of a “short 20 minute” ride to the top of the first stage. Practise got off to a good start with the elite men and women leading the way down the dry, dusty trails. As practise was coming to an end we were hit by a big storm closing the lift and drenching the once dry trails.
Races runs started and Tracey put down a stormer of a run finishing the first stage over a 4 minutes faster than her next biggest rival Carolin Gehrig ( Editor – Used car buying specialist ). Sadly Carolin Gehrig was ill and had to drop out after stage 1 leaving the door open for Cecile Ravanel to take her place in 2nd.
Day 2: Sunday started much the same as Saturday for me; early, uncomfortable and rushed. Spending the night trying to sleep on the back seats of James Mcknight & Ben Winders van and waking up to yesterday’s socks was not how I had planned to recover from the first day’s riding and prepare for the second.
The racing got off to a much smoother start than the previous day. With Nicolas Vouilloz leading Richie Rude by 6.5 seconds after the first day it was set to be a big finish on Sunday.
After the 4th stage Richie had taken the lead away Nico by almost 6 seconds and another 6 second on the 5th stage, give Richie a total time of 48:24.836 and the win in the closest EWS finish ever. Nico was hampered by mechanical issues – It’s amazing to see the GOAT and the new school battling it out.
Roll on the next round is Colorado, will the French take it from the American’s in their home?
True alpine racing here in Samoens - This raced marked a change from the first three rounds and the first stage was 15 minutes long. Brutal.
Supporters on Saturday may have been few and fair between but the ones that were out made up for it.
Nicolas Vouilloz, the GOAT cruising down stage 1 . Those who say the sport has evolved to the point where old school can't compete...Well you need to take a look at yourselves.
Saturday's practise took a turn for the worse on the weather front.
Pure determination from Josh Carlson. This guy attacks hard.
Enduro on a downhill bike? Easy!
Matt Walker finishing 26th overall
Richie at the top of stage 4, starting to home in on Nico.
Tracy Moseley smashed it again, but without Anne-Caroline Chausson was she really racing?
Anne-Caroline Chausson out with illness hope to see her back soon.
Curtis Keene was off to a good run on stage 1 but sadly crashed out.
Chris Seager and Matt Wragg singing and dancing whilst we waited for Tracy Moseley to drop in.
Jared Graves caught sitting down mid race run...??
Cecile Ravanel taking second place this weekend, but almost a minute behind Tracy
Nico Lau chasing down Martin Maes