Crankworx Les Deux Alpes - Enduro World Series - 3

Jul 7, 2013
by Paris Gore  
Welcome to Les Deux Alps located in the heart of the French Alps. The town rests nearly at the top of a massive cliff that looks over the valley below. Today holds practice for the third World Enduro and the start of Crankworx.
  Welcome to Les Deux Alps, located in the heart of the French Alps. The town rests nearly at the top of a massive cliff that looks over the valley below. Today was practice for the third World Enduro and the start of Crankworx. The enduro course has four stages, two located on each hillside of the valley all with long, technical descents and a chairlift to get back up. Here's the start to the third Enduro World Series!

Pits at the base of Les Deux Alps
  Pits get raised at the base of Les Deux Alps.

Les Deux Alpes is a confusing place to be right now... a city still torn in two by powder hounds and dirt junkies. There s still plenty of white ish stuff up top but the sweltering heat below the mid-station is no place for tall-tee-toters.
  Les Deux Alpes is a confusing place to be right now... a city still torn in two by powder hounds and dirt junkies. There's still plenty of white(ish) stuff up top, but the sweltering heat below the mid-station is no place for tall-tee-toters.

Lapierre techs prep the bikes for the days heavy practice.
  Lapierre techs prep the bikes for the day's heavy practice. The terrain is loose, dry, steep and extremely exposed here. The bikes must be in absolute perfect shape to handle the abuse. Adjustments can only be made at the pits and team organizers / mechanics are not allowed to be on the course.

Loic Bruni s here with Blenkinsop to rain on the parade of the old guards of the Enduro world. Loic is well suited to steep and ragged hillsides on offer here. He sees Enduro less as a focus and more a perfect way to train for the downhill. Still plenty of cause to be afraid.
  Loic Bruni's here with Blenkinsop to rain on the parade of the old guards of the enduro world. Loic is well suited to the steep and ragged hillsides on offer here. He sees enduro less as a focus and more a perfect way to train for the downhill. Still plenty of cause to be afraid.

Anneke Beerten putting on the last touches to her bike before a full day of practice.
  Anneke Beerten putting on the last touches to her bike before a full day of practice.

Lift up to Stage 1
  The Crankworx Europe lifts are full of dropper-posts like never before....this being the first year of inclusion in the highly acclaimed mountain bike festival.

Stage 2 amp 4 side
  Stages two and four rest on the eastern side of town holding much more technical terrain than the more mellow one and three stages located across the valley.

This sky wire takes you to stages 2 and 4 in express time. The other side of the village is another story. Stages 1 and 3 are an agonizing 1 2 hour wait bobby above the buttercups.
  This sky wire takes you to stages two and four in express time. The other side of the village is another story. Stages one and three are an agonizing half-hour wait, bobbing above the buttercups.

  If you think we've gone on enough about about the epic scenery, that'd be because sometimes a picture just isn't enough.

Sure they look innocent but these guys haven t help trail smoothness one bit.
  Sure they look innocent, but these guys haven't helped trail smoothness one bit.

Sick Mick shows us how it s done on the alternate line on stage 2. 2 amp 4 are extremely technical and resemble a DH track while 1 amp 3 are a bit less rocky.
  Sick Mick shows us how it's done on the alternate line on stage two. Two and four are extremely technical and resemble a DH track, while one and three are a bit less rocky.

Sick Mick
Belgian junior Liebrechts skips through the dragons teeth half way home for team Urge.
  Belgian junior, Liebrechts, skips through the dragon's teeth, half way home for team Urge.

Sunscreen and dust makes a grubby cocktail... Marco Fidalgo of Portugal keeps it clean in black and white.
  Sunscreen and dust makes a grubby cocktail... Marco Fidalgo of Portugal keeps it clean in black and white.

French local Jerome Clementz is said to be the top contender for the race here in Les Deux Alpes. Currently ranked second in the Enduro World Series he is expected to do extremely well on this course. Will he beat Graves and Nico
  French local Jerome Clementz is said to be the top contender for the race here in Les Deux Alpes. Currently ranked second in the Enduro World Series, he is expected to do extremely well on this course. Will he beat Graves and Nico?

Stage 1
  Upper part of the course on stage one.

Line choices.... Blinky and Niko choose their nemesis. Camera left line is harder to get into and has a better run out while the other is the opposite.
  Line choices.... Blinky and Niko choose their nemesis. Camera left line is harder to get into and has a better run out while the other is the opposite. This rock section had many riders walking some sections and just about everyone stopping to check out the line choices.

The American Dream Curtis Keen
  The American Dream Curtis Keene

American dream Curtis keen. Second in the Crankworx Canadian Enduro Open 2012 the Statesider looks hungry to celebrate the 4th of July a little late in France.
  Keene, second in the Crankworx Canadian Enduro Open 2012, the Statesider looks hungry to celebrate the fourth of July a little late in France.

The view doesn t get too old here deep in the French Alps.
  The view doesn't get too old here deep in the French Alps.

Anneka Beerten prepares for birthday bumps tomorrow by hammering down the ultra-dusty pine-lined chute on stage 3. Despite incredibly rough sections across the whole mountain Stage 2 is seems to be most riders technical nemesis.
  Anneka Beerten prepares for birthday bumps tomorrow by hammering down the ultra-dusty, pine-lined chute on stage three. Despite incredibly rough sections across the whole mountain, Stage two seems to be most riders' technical nemesis.

Braapp. Lower section of the first stage isn t more than a weed whacked grassy line. It s slick and quite technical.
  Braapp. Lower section of the first stage isn't more than a weed whacked grassy line. It's slick and quite technical.

Kiwi powerhouse Justin Leov 6th at Val d Allos is crossing all fingers and toes for a mechanical amp crash free foursome of runs tomorrow.
  Kiwi powerhouse, Justin Leov, 6th at Val d'Allos, is crossing all fingers and toes for a mechanical and crash free foursome of runs tomorrow.

Lars Sternberg
  Lars N' Bars

Polc finds the mentality required for downhill and enduro much the same. At the end of the day it s all about the hunt for the win.
  Polc finds the mentality required for downhill and enduro much the same. At the end of the day it's all about the hunt for the win.

Jared Graves seen here on the minimal amount of climbing at the top of stage 4. Graves is known to be a powerhouse and will be giving Clementz a run for his money here.
  Jared Graves, seen here on the minimal amount of climbing at the top of stage four. Graves is known to be a powerhouse and will be giving Clementz a run for his money here.

Swiss Norco riders Lukas and Michael feeling the baking summer vibes before taking the plunge to the valley floor.
  Swiss Norco riders, Lukas and Michael feeling the baking summer vibes before taking the plunge to the valley floor.

J rome Rolland
  Jerome Rolland

It might look like a nicely padded grassy hillside but underneath the daisies are big gnarly holes and jagged rocks. This mountain shows no mercy to it s countrymen either giving Alexandra Sicard some serious grief at high altitude.
  It might look like a nicely padded, grassy hillside, but underneath the daisies are big gnarly holes and jagged rocks. This mountain shows no mercy to its countrymen either, giving Alexandra Sicard some serious grief at high altitude.

Matt Snelling
  Matt Snelling

Heavy duty metal work... that s Filip Polc s Evil Uprising.
  Heavy duty metal work... that's Filip Polc's Evil Uprising.

The way Dan Atherton attacks the stages you would assume the beautiful meadows of Deux Alpes make him very angry for some reason. A huge believer in the power of GoPro Dan reviews and relives his runs from the day until they ve thoroughly sunk in.
  The way Dan Atherton attacks the stages, you would assume the beautiful meadows of Deux Alpes make him very angry for some reason. A huge believer in the power of GoPro, Dan reviews and relives his runs from the day until they've thoroughly sunk in.

Fields of green. Fresh cuts on the course made things a bit interesting today. Should be all cut in for tomorrow with the heavy traffic.
  Fields of green. Fresh cuts on the course made things a bit interesting today. Should be all cut in for tomorrow with the heavy traffic.



48 Comments

  • 32 1
 Wow. Best photos I've ever seen from any race period.
  • 19 1
 damn, this race looks like so much fun. really wish I was there right now.
  • 2 0
 gofer
  • 3 0
 I need to utilize the Alps more..
  • 14 0
 Ohio is such a terrible place to live...
  • 7 0
 Graves is still running a 26" isn't he?
  • 5 1
 So is Clementz. I think enduro is perfect for proving its not about wheel size. Nico is on 27.5 but he's also a terrific rider. If the top 5 was all 27.5, then I'll become a believer.
  • 3 3
 Clementz is riding the new Mavic enduro wheelset which is a 27.5. Unless it is a (bad?) commercial move, I think he is riding 27.5
  • 4 1
 krisrayner - believing in wheel size or any equipment basing on podium standings is like becoming atheist after the episode of Mythbusters on walking on water...
  • 1 0
 Guess what I was trying to get across is not to believe all the hype unless there's some consistent results. All the wheel sizes have their place, but I think it all gets trumped by the rider when your competing at this level.
  • 1 0
 In a close race the wheel size could make a difference, and it did last week when Nico won. But I'm staying on 26 cause I don't care about seconds, I just want to be able to tweek my bike sideways as easily as possible when I jump.
  • 1 2
 Krisrayner - read about the scientific term: "hype cycle". You might find few interesting things...
  • 1 0
 These guys are paid to promote products which will turn the company a profit. Them being able to win on 27.5 doesn't mean that they wouldn't win on 26. The only way you can tell if the product will work for you is to get out on it yourself - no-one can tell you what works best for your riding; only your instincts when you're calling upon them the most.
  • 1 0
 Definitely!! Your instinct and I think the rider's size should also been taken into account. To me switching from 26 to 27.5 when you are riding a small frame makes less sense than when you are 1m90 and riding a large one
  • 7 0
 Not much clearance there on them swiss guys norcos forks/tyres !!
  • 1 0
 theres a fender in there too
  • 5 0
 What beautiful pictures. Thumbs up for PB photographers.
  • 4 0
 Does anyone know if this is being broadcasted or webcasts?
Thanks
  • 4 0
 I love the quip on how beautiful alpine meadows make Dan angry!
  • 2 0
 Caddy Shack, where's Chevy Chase! Awesome terrain. JC gonna bounce back me thinks! So is Fabian,mso many WC DHers again awesome.
  • 1 0
 Caddyshack!that's what I thought. Although its bill Murrays character who takes the fight to those pesky gophers
  • 2 0
 POD POD POD POD POD, POD POD POD. Paris Gore some truly great photos that have been beautifully framed. love that last one Smile
  • 1 0
 I see no "home here for Clementz. He's not from the area at all.
Considering the massive pedaling on stage 1 i'd bet on Graves or maybe a surprise with sick Mick?
  • 2 0
 The groundhog does NOT look "innocent" -- it looks like a Rodent Overlord of Evil. (Bow to him.)
  • 1 0
 If you need a kick to get up and ride your bike, this is it!! GO AND RIDE!
  • 2 0
 beautiful scenery. I went to La Grave this winter. Lift access to 3600m!
  • 1 0
 And part of that on a rope behind a cat Big Grin
  • 1 0
 "...the third World Enduro and the start of Crankworx." Damn. I wanna live in the 'third world'. :-)
  • 2 0
 looks amazing!
  • 1 0
 Taking bets on the number of punctures.
  • 2 0
 Jerome FTW! Gooooo
  • 4 2
 Nice beaver.
  • 4 0
 not a beaver ! a marmot !
  • 2 0
 Whistler have the bear, we have the marmot !and....CG !!come on !!!!!!!
  • 3 0
 Hate to break it to you but Whistler have marmots too - the whistling marmot - its where the 'Whistler' comes from!
  • 1 0
 I think he was quoting Naked Gun.
  • 2 0
 god !!I absolutely did not know that ! and I always wondered why "whistler" was so close to "whistle" !thank's man !Wink
  • 2 0
 Thanks, I just had it stuffed.
  • 3 0
 Ha ha ha!!! I think we need to educate some people...

www.youtube.com/watch?v=zhyCL-ELRxg
  • 1 0
 Just watched it, Friggin' awesome! That pic totally looks like the beaver.
  • 1 0
 "enduo" must bring in money...
  • 1 0
 Carbon Spesh Enduro with Bos suspension HMMMM.....
  • 1 0
 Where can i watch live enduro races?
  • 1 0
 Carnage...
  • 1 0
 Nice marmot
  • 1 0
 Stunning pics.
  • 1 2
 Amazing scenery! I predict several crashes. Cant wait to see this.
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