This article will report two weeks of good experiences while racing / shooting the Enduro World Series with these French fellas, Ulysse Francoglio, Théo Daumas, Baptiste Gaillot and Clement Benoit from Ethirteen Urge BP Enduro Team.
Reaching this place is quite a mission. It took me exactly 60 hours on the road to finally watch the last light of the day on Matterhorn's head. The best place to watch would be by the Riffelsse Lake, so we headed on the Gornergrat railway up to its top, just on time for the magical moment - the golden hour followed by the twilight. No matter how many problems I faced, they were completely gone at that precise moment.Heading up to the top while Matterhorn was hiding the sun light.
For the first time in Enduro World Series history, the picturesque and world famous Zermatt village received the best enduro athletes in the world for what would be an epic event.
Composed of 5 special stages on a single day race format, this place delivered some of the most challenging terrain to ride but at the same time some of the most enjoyable. Ethirteen Urge BP Enduro Team were also there to share their passion for mountain biking.Every stage had two things in common - dramatic views and gnarly trails.
On the way down to Finale Ligure the crew decided to make a two days layover around Lago d'Orta. This region is known for its famous Pogno Trails that were somewhat similar to some of Finale's trails that riders would gonna ride later on.Baptiste Gaillot having a blast riding in Pogno. There were moments that we felt like we were surfing across the "V" bottom canyons - kind of a "rollercoaster" from Finale Ligure. For sure one of the funniest trails to ride.
Further south and in Finale Ligure, where all seasons end but this time with a brand new race format. Riders must had to form teams of three riders race all together. This event was composed of two days of riding - one for practice and the other to race the 5 historic stages.
Baptiste, Clement and Théo formed the Ethirteen Urge BP Team to battle on Industry class. The vibes were up and so, the expectations for a good result were higher.Pleasant interviews at the beach with the usual suspects - Théo Daumas, Clement Benoit and Baptiste Gaillot.Stage 1 was mindblowing - so fast, fun and at the same time, super physical sections at the top. Definitely one of the best trails to ride on team format. There is a reason why the "rollercoaster" is one of the most desired trails to ride around Finale.
With this good performance in their pockets, it's time to start thinking higher and plan the next competitive season. Meanwhile, we all should enjoy the off-season.
On my side, with this report, I wrap my chasing of international races that happened around Europe. Hopefully, I'll manage to make the full Enduro World Series calendar on a search for the best places, trails and best riders to shoot. Let's see...
Words and Photography: João Fânzeres
, MISSION adventure collective
Special thanks to: Ulysse, Théo, Baptiste and Clement | Ethirteen Urge BP Enduro Team