Three rounds in and the Enduro World Series has found itself at another new venue in the small village of Olargues, France. Just as the first two rounds could not have been more opposite to each other, the conditions this week are like nothing the riders have faced yet this season. Once again stressing how strong racers have to be to be good in any conditions and any terrain if they hope to contend for the overall championship.
Both Sam Hill and Cecile Ravanel have shown no weakness thus far in 2018 on the moon dust of Chile and the slippery slop in Colombia, but will they have what it takes to dominate the never-ending rock gardens, loamy dirt, and unpredictable weather of Montagne du Caroux? Hot on their heels will be a host of local riders like Theo Galy and Damien Oton in the men's field and Cecile's French compatriot, Isabeau Courdurier in the women's. So far the conditions have been fairly similar to what has been seen in previous venues such as Ainsa, Spain, and Finale Ligure, Italy, but with some classic French flavor thrown in for good measure. Lots of tricky switchbacks and tight trees break up some flat-out sections on every stage. There's hero dirt when you actually find a section of trail free of rock, but on many stages it feels more like holding on to a jackhammer.
Right now things have been dry and the sun has been shining through both of the training days, and while all the riders are loving the tracks now, the weather may throw a spanner in the works for the weekend. With possible thunderstorms in the forecast for late Saturday and into the early hours of Sunday, there's a good chance all that rocks will get a bit wet and wild before this round is over.
Stay tuned over the next two days as we bring you all the action from the Montagne du Caroux and the third stop of the 2018 Enduro World Series.