Autumn arrives late on the Cote D'Azur. While northern Europe has felt the chill of winter approaching for a couple of months now, the shores of the Mediterranean get a little longer to bask in the sunshine and enjoy the dusty trails. This weekend the regional races series, the 1001 Sentiers Tour, held it's last hurrah for 2017 in the mountain town of Sospel, just a few kilometres north of the glamorous cities of Monaco and Nice. Here in this part of the world, riding fast seems to be something of a habit and many of the top racers in both DH and enduro come from these valleys. As such, when there is a local race on good trails you tend to get a good turn out - on the start list this weekend were names like Fabien Barel, Loris Vergier, Adrien Dailly and Florian Nicolai. The only rider conspicuous by his absence was a certain Nico Vouilloz, who was busy on the other side of the mountain, dominating the local rally in a Skoda R5.
While the Sospel enduro has looked to push the limits of how much riding people are willing to do during a weekend in the past, for this year they took a very different approach. The race would be over five stages, starting at 1,000m, then working in loops along the north side of the valley, before plunging down to finish in the town below. In total, riders faced 30km with 1,000m climbing and 1,600m of descending. It was up and coming World Cup racer, Kevin Marry, who took the win ahead of the strong field, with Florian Nicolai and Fabien Barel rounding out the men's podium. Severine Cigana won the won's race, with Sandra Dolcerocca in second and local Mary Wragg-Moncorge in third.