Sunday, June 10, 2012

Enduro Marathon de Roubion

Great day up in the ski/bike resort of Roubion today. Took part in an "enduro marathon": groups of 20 bikers race from the top of a mountain to the bottom, twice!

Each run took about 25 minutes of seriously challenging descents featuring wide grassy sections, forest singletrack, steep drops and pretty much impossible switchbacks. To make things worse, I somehow managed to get the 38th starting plate, meaning I was in the 2nd hardest group out of the 250 riders.

The first run started off a little too calmly as I thought I would take it easy enough. I was sitting around 10th in my group when I took a fairly big fall at high speed and lost a lot of pride, a little skin and 3 positions. I was pretty much stuck behind an awkward rider for the rest of the run and ended up doing pretty poorly: 65th. But mostly I was frustrated that I had chickened out of a lot of sections due the guy in front walking every other technical feature.

Got to the end, ate a some fruit, got a bus back up to the ski station, got my arm patched up to cover the friction burn, chairlift, pedal, hike and good to go again! I decided to really attack from the get go in the second run since I knew the course at this stage. I started off very strong getting into 4th position in the group. I lost a position or two towards the end when I wasnt as fast as the locals in the ridiculously steep stuff. In the end I managed to go nearly 3 minutes faster in my second run, and really enjoyed myself as I managed to get through the harder sections pretty clean. Although I did crash 6 times over the 2 runs... Savage fun though, really happy with my second run: 30th place and 44th overall for the day.

A few pictures below, click on the first one to get a slideshow. It starts with the view from the chairlift over to the start of the race, then a few scenic pictures of the ride/hike over, and finally the start of the first run.