Course Preview: Jagged Rocks, Tight Turns & Grippy Dirt at EWS Olargues, France

May 10, 2018
by Matthew DeLorme  



It's been an exciting start to the Enduro World Series season thanks to two brand new venues and greatly varied terrain. Round 3 is no exception. Montagnes Du Caroux, in Olargues, France is yet another new venue with new trails that will be sure to provide exciting racing. Nestled in the mountains in the South West of France, Olargues is a quaint medieval village with beautiful bridges and old buildings, Round 3 will consist of eight race stages over 81 kilometers in distance with 3,665 meters of descent, and 57.9 kilometers of liaison featuring 2,576 meters of climbing. The stages here are, for the most part, rough and rocky with your typical tight French-style turns. Stages 2 and 6 offer up some incredible fresh dirt to mix things up and keep it fun. Let's take a look at this new venue and all it has to offer.


The French village of Olargues which will play host to the 3rd round of the 2018 Enduro World Series.
The French village of Olargues which will play host to the third round of the 2018 Enduro World Series.

As you look around the mountains surrounding Olargues it s always raining somewhere off in the distance. Let s just hope it stays that way this weekend.
As you look around the mountains surrounding Olargues, it's always raining somewhere off in the distance. Let's just hope it stays that way this weekend.


The 4th stage will wind it s way through the streets of the old medieval village in Olargues.
The 4th stage will wind its way through the streets of the old medieval village in Olargues.


They just don t build cities like they used to.
They just don't build cities like they used to.

There are some carbon killers littered about these trails.
There are some carbon killers littered about these trails.

It wouldn t be an urban stage without a little wood added in to spice things up a bit.
It wouldn't be an urban stage without a little wood added in to spice things up a bit.

The top of Stage 4. You might as well pray for no rain while you are waiting for your start time.
The top of Stage 4. You might as well pray for no rain while you are waiting for your start time.

The locals are already out testing the fast lines for Stage 4 through the streets of Olargues.
The locals are already out testing the fast lines for Stage 4 through the streets of Olargues.

FRic dives into the shared start of stages five and seven.
Ric dives into the shared start of stages 5 and 7.

Dave finds the smoothest way through the jagged teeth of stage seven.
Dave finds the smoothest way through the jagged teeth of stage 7.

The Hoff gets shapely with all one hundred pounds of his gear on his back on stage seven.
The Hoff gets shapely with all one hundred pounds of his gear on his back on stage 7.

Matt Delorme descends through a tunnel of trees on Stage 8.
Matt Delorme descends through a tunnel of trees on Stage 8.

Stage 3 is a long one and it seems the rock garden goes on forever. This is actually one of the more tame bits as you can actually see a little dirt here and there.
Stage 3 is a long one and it seems the rock garden goes on forever. This is actually one of the more tame bits as you can actually see a little dirt here and there.

Dropping into Stage 4.
Dropping into Stage 4.


There is some nice loamy fresh sections out there.
There are some nice loamy fresh sections out there.

Two thumbs up for the conditions in France. Hero dirt in between a variety of rock from top to bottom of every stage.
Two thumbs up for the conditions in France. Hero dirt in between a variety of rock from top to bottom of every stage.

When it s not rough and rocky there are some super fast sections all covered in perfect grippy dirt.
When it's not rough and rocky there are some super fast sections all covered in perfect grippy dirt.

The 4th stage will wind it s way through the streets of the old medieval village in Olargues.
The 4th stage will wind its way through the streets of the old medieval village in Olargues.

Chris Ball pounds down the boulder field that is Stage 3.
Chris Ball pounds down the boulder field that is Stage 3.

Raise a wheel for round number three
Raise a wheel for round number three!

The Mad Dog decided to get his skin suit on for the cobble streets on stage four.
The Mad Dog decided to get his skin suit on for the cobble streets on stage four.

Stage three home to about a minute and a half of hand shattering Roman road.
Stage three, home to about a minute and a half of hand shattering Roman road.

Where the trails have no name. Milky was channeling his inner Bono for media recce.
Where the trails have no name. Milky was channeling his inner Bono for media recce.

We are in France so of course there and more tight and rocky switchbacks than you can count.
We are in France so of course there and more tight and rocky switchbacks than you can count.

They said to stay at least 20cm from the walls when the turn the jets on and Mad Dog Boris is ready to go.
They said to stay at least 20cm from the walls when the turn the jets on, and Mad Dog Boris is ready to go.

A little mud bath was a good way to prepare just in case it rains on the weekend.
A little mud bath was a good way to prepare just in case it rains on the weekend.

Those showers were a bit of a shock.
Those showers were a bit of a shock.

Mud baths and mineral baths. Post recce was the most chill vibe we squids have ever witnessed.
Mud baths and mineral baths. Post recce was the most chill vibe we squids have ever witnessed.

Ruaridh Cunningham is tired of hanging around and ready to get going.
Ruaridh Cunningham is tired of hanging around and ready to get going.


MENTIONS: @EnduroWorldSeries



31 Comments

  • + 81
 The EWS tracks are looking better than most DH world cup tracks IMO.
  • + 14
 Couldn't agree more. If they could somehow improve the live coverage (fairly impossible I reckon) I'd pay a subcription fee to watch.
  • + 2
 @OzMike: It would be a good alternative to those people that have enough time to watch those real time train journey videos:

www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/oliver-burkemans-blog/2013/jul/17/exciting-train-videos-calming

yea, that's a thing.
  • + 34
 holy schnikies, that's a brutally beautiful area. The town, the trails, the mountains. All of it.
  • + 3
 *Brutiful
  • + 12
 How cool is it that you can now pedal (not push) up to the top of a dh track and rag it down in an open face! Shit like this just shows how riders and bikes have evolved over the years, I fricken luuurve it. Oh nearly forgot, looks like a session, climbs like a blah blah
  • + 9
 I bet my house that jared gets at least 3 flats ...
Put some fu..ing air in those tires ffs
Its to a point where one could ask himself if he does that on purpose
I got a 2019 stump and 2018 enduro (Im a specialized boy) and want to see graves succeed
Come on buddy
Get to the finish line for once
  • + 1
 That's crazy that a cannot have one race without flat. He's running XC tyres or what ? If I have too many flats I switch to a thicker casing and that's it; the weight chase leads to riders trying to save 100g on tyres then DNF on flats.
  • + 3
 @Whipperman: Maybe you're not riding at the same speed. ^^ I doubt this boy has much to learn about racing and decking a bike for it. Esp when he was known for ghetto pro-core setup back in the days.
  • + 2
 seems to be the specialized tyres, i dont think he had this much bad luck running maxxis....
  • + 10
 Listen up tire manufacturers, this is your moment to shine! Whoever's tire makes it through the weekend with zero flats from any rider becomes the EWS spec tire.
  • + 1
 I am surprised at how low some of the pressures I hear the pros using. If I used those pressures in my rocky rides, I would be flatting every run. I am only 135lbs too. They could be bluffing on their setups. Lol.
  • + 11
 But will the 4th stage will wind its way through the streets of the old medieval village in Olargues?
  • + 6
 No. But I do believe that it will wind its way through the streets of the old medieval village in Olargues twice....
  • + 2
 Someone in EWS staff is doing a great job by selecting the most interesting trails in the world. The scenery in these first three races are so different to each other. The characteristic that is crucial is how challenging are these trails. That village looks like a movie fake decor. Thank you.
  • + 2
 It wouldn't be an urban stage without a little wood added in to spice things up a bit. Say that about the losjin track... Not saying I didn't like it!
  • + 1
 For those intrested in track footage look up the Radon Epic Enduro. they share alot of trails and give a good idea of how brutal it is. But the EWS race seems almost tame in comparison with the radon epic enduro race.
  • + 1
 After a hard day of rocking the rocks, the battered knights are granted the unique experience of taking a medieval bath in a diarhhea type fluid. Thats committement!!
  • + 2
 The EWS media jolly kicks off!
  • + 1
 Because there's no journos out at the DHWC tracks beforehand, is there?

I'm not sure why it bothers you so much?
  • + 3
 No golf course??
  • + 1
 Actually there is a golf course in the spa town of Lamalou. And, of course, a casino.
  • + 1
 Looks like Sam Hill designed that!
  • + 1
 can we have live coverage from some colombian TV???
  • + 0
 Anyone know when the videos will be posted ?
  • + 5
 Course preview video should be coming in the next couple hours!
  • + 2
 @sarahmoore: cheers!
Below threshold threads are hidden

Post a Comment



Copyright © 2000 - 2019. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv56 0.026138
Mobile Version of Website