Skip to content


Enduro World Cup Round 4 in Combloux - New venue, equal opportunities for all

Enduro World Cup Round 4 in Combloux - New venue, equal opportunities for all

Combloux is a new destination in the French Haute Savoie and is considered a blank sheet of paper. Nobody really knew what terrain there was to be ridden on. This made the course release and the course walk all the more exciting. In some cases, completely new sections of meadow, hiking trails or ditches were simply dug up and marked out. From Stage 1 to Stage 6, there was all kinds of classic old school enduro terrain. Rough, rooty, meadow sections, steep descents and steep uphills. No problem in the dry. But when it's already wet and it rains again before the race, it gets really exciting and challenging.

Training Carnage - Improvisation is everything

Training was on the agenda for Thursday. As a privateer, it is always a challenge to create the same conditions on the training day as the team riders or the riders with assistance. This is because if shuttles are allowed (by a support person with a car), you are faced with the challenge of pedaling up as few metres as possible without a shuttle, i.e. with lift support. This has to be planned and the area studied beforehand. Once you've done that, you just have to find the right rhythm for your training. I try to stop less to find the right flow. I don't always manage that so well because it's often very chaotic with a lot of traffic on the trails.

Being able to watch the GoPro footage in the evening is an important factor in meticulously searching for lines when you have time. Because of course you also have to cook, set up the bike and spend time on the yoga mat working on your body with the Blackroll. Training days like these are really packed and you have to try to be as efficient as possible to save energy. Unfortunately, I broke my left brake lever in a relatively unnecessary crash (okay, every crash is unnecessary) on Stage 3 in training. Without a front brake, it's really impossible to ride reasonably well, especially on the slippery mud. Improvisation is everything in such situations and with a small spanner as a brake lever I was able to finish the last two stages!

Race Day - exploring the French Alps by bike, on foot and in a sprint

Friday was race day. I slept well and felt good for the day, without realising how tough it would be. The most stressful part for me was the transfer from stage 1 to stage 2, which involved a 600 metre climb over a steep ski meadow, which meant pushing. But in the end, this transfer was the most effortless of all. We had plenty of time, but it was still exhausting.

The transfer from stage 2 to stage 3 was very tightly timed. We sprinted (very fast pace uphill, over forest tracks, comparable to XCC) to the start of Stage 3 and overtook countless women. I needed so much energy, mentally and physically, to finish the transfer stage on time, but unfortunately the marshalls were not aware of this and made us (the punctual ones) wait to let the latecomers start without penalty. Unfortunately, the EDR is not always fair as there is often a lack of instructions and communication. If you are up to 5 minutes late for the start, you get a 1-minute time penalty. If you are more than 5 minutes late for the start, you get a 5-minute penalty. So about 8 women should have received penalties, but there were only about 4. Unfortunately a bit unfair, but at least I can say for myself that I was fit enough to get to the stage on time.

I was able to ride all the stages quite well, but only ride and not race. It didn't work out for me on race day, it didn't click. I know that I can be very fast if I ride with confidence. It was enough for P20, points for the overall standings - ok, but we'll attack again for the next races!

Merci Combloux, à bientôt!

Older Post
Newer Post