Slideshow: Race Prep, Enduro World Series, Val d'Allos

The second stop of the new Enduro World Series takes place this weekend at the French ski resort of Val d'Allos. The opening round in Punta Ala, Italy featured lower-elevation terrain near the Mediterranean sea, so the change to the high alpine environment shows the diversity of venues in the EWS.

The event in Val d'Allos features the use of chairlifts to get riders to the stage starts. This is different than the Punta Ala event, which was a pedal-powered effort. Use of chairlifts is NOT unusual in the European enduro discipline.

As long as riders can make their start times, they may perform maintenance or acquire food and hydration from sources at the top or bottom of the lift, meaning many riders will not be carrying packs with them. French cycling rules are enforced which means back and elbow protection are required for all competitors.

The course map in the slideshow above was just issued by the race promoters and the trails were closed for any pre-race riding or practice. Sven Martin reports that some riders tried to walk the stages for inspection (which was allowed), but quickly realized the amount of terrain made it impossible to get any real walking inspections done. As a matter of safety, on race day, all riders are required to take a strictly monitored, no-stopping inspection run down each course, so major hazards and features can be identified. Riders will then return to the start for their timed stage runs.

Stage 1 features nearly 3200 vertical feet of descending while Stages 2-5 feature nearly 2800 feet each. Stage 4 is unique in that it will be run twice, for a total of six timed stages and Sven says this particular trail ranks as one his top 10 all-time rides. When the 6 timed stages and 5 inspection stages are added up, racers will descend approximately 30,000 vertical feet over the span of the 2-day race. Saturday features Stages 1 through 3 while Sunday features Stage 4 (run twice) and Stage 5.
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  • N'Duro

    6/29/2013 5:38 AM

    Safety is not the reason why the first run is not timed: french Enduro Seires has always been ridden blind for the first of 3 (or 4) runs on a same course. And we've never seen more crashes and injuries during the first run. Actually the opposite...
    As for Dan Atherton already saying even before the start of the first run he has no chances because the course is known from other riders (from previous seasons), I would say it's a pretty lame excuse. He could have raced in the french series last year but never did. why? The whole EWS was known to happen!
    Looking foreward to the EWS of Val d'Isère which will also be ridden semi-blind as the course will be new to everybody. No excuse there Mr Atherton.
    This ruling is a pity as instead of having 10 000 m timed DH runs, it's gonna be trickled down to 5-6000m. And that for safety? No! just under pressure of some ex-DH and ex-XC riders that made the transition to Enduro but have never been racing blind. EWS please spot trickle down the sport!

  • foco yeti

    6/29/2013 11:13 AM


  • scarface

    6/29/2013 11:28 AM

    Dude, you're reading way too much into what everybody says. He was totally chill about it, and did not say he had "no chance". He said "as long as I have 1 reco run I'm happy".

  • iceman2058

    6/29/2013 12:54 AM

    Go EWS!

  • foco yeti

    6/28/2013 10:06 PM

    i still cringe at the thought of leolame in the DH WC and no schladming.