Photo Epic: Simply Grin-Inducing - Morgins Dual Slalom 2020

Nov 3, 2020
by Dan Roberts  


Tucked away up one of the many winding steep sided valleys in the Alps lies the small, sleepy town of Morgins. Probably best known for its connection to the Portes du Soleil, the town has for a long time been a bit of a gem for people in the know. In recent years that popularity has grown and word of the dreamy vert berms has spread.

So too has word about what happens on the opposite side of the valley once a year when a small group of locals organise possibly the simplest but biggest grin-inducing event of the year. This year's event attracted a turn out so high that a qualification round was added in order to slim down the numbers for the final.

Simple flat grass turns are laid out over three sections of steep hillside, divided by two roads. The first is negotiated with an almost pop up construction wooden road gap and the other is well, just hit full chat, a touch sideways and with a firm grip of the bars.

In a year with less than normal amount of racing it was a welcome sight for spectators and entrants alike, with the accompanying long jump competition always being a hoot for who can pull the hardest, and then subsequently hold on the hardest.

It doesn't take much to make the average mountain biker happy. Just a field, some gates and a sole entry requirement of no mud tyres and you have the annual Morgins Dual Slalom.


Views: 1,054    Faves: 0    Comments: 0



2020 Morgins Dual Slalom Photographer Jey Crunch
After a particularly wet Autumn in the Alps, the clouds cleared, the sun made an appearance and the views are always more than good enough to blow your socks off.

2020 Morgins Dual Slalom Photographer Jey Crunch
2020 Morgins Dual Slalom Photographer Jey Crunch

2020 Morgins Dual Slalom Photographer Jey Crunch
With his house literally meters away, Raph Robles is one of the men behind the event along with...

2020 Morgins Dual Slalom Photographer Jey Crunch
...Ronan George Wallis Brown in all his triple-barrelled name glory, who despite a broken wing is still simply the most infectiously positive guy you've ever met...
2020 Morgins Dual Slalom Photographer Jey Crunch
...and Jeremie Severain, right, who was also unfortunately out with an injury. Both are local wild men on bikes and have in past years either won or been in contention for the top spot. Gilles, middle, knows where all the good wild mushroom spots are.

2020 Morgins Dual Slalom Photographer Jey Crunch
Jenna, Robles' dog is never far away and ever the diva.

2020 Morgins Dual Slalom Photographer Jey Crunch
It doesn't necessarily need to be high tech to be enough. Although this year saw some official timing in place from the P2V team.

2020 Morgins Dual Slalom Photographer Jey Crunch
2020 Morgins Dual Slalom Photographer Jey Crunch
While final preparations were made with the timing, riders contemplated line choice and the slightly intimidating and very off-straight road gap out of the start.

2020 Morgins Dual Slalom Photographer Jey Crunch
It wasn't just the World Cup happening in Maribor that had some puzzling going on. Local wheelie king and hopeful soon to be member of the 12 O'Clock Boys, Julien Fournier, doing a bit of early morning chin scratching.

2020 Morgins Dual Slalom Photographer Jey Crunch
2020 Morgins Dual Slalom Photographer Jey Crunch
Other attendees included Vincent Tupin, aka Vinny T aka Vinny Too-Pinned aka Vinny Steeze, and Antoine Buffart, who was probably contemplating how to complete the entire course backwards on just the front wheel.

2020 Morgins Dual Slalom Photographer Jey Crunch
This year saw quite the turnout for what is a small patch of grass high up on the hill above the Rhône Valley.

2020 Morgins Dual Slalom Photographer Jey Crunch
Low tech doesn't mean low quality, and the random gate starts ensured fair racing and a good amount of rider participation in running the event.

2020 Morgins Dual Slalom Photographer Jey Crunch
Straight out of the gate was the road gap, not huge but definitely hit at an angle from the gate placement before and after it. From the get go Camille Blanchard, left, was looking comfortable and fast.

2020 Morgins Dual Slalom Photographer Jey Crunch
Flat or even off camber grass turns, plus the entry requirement of no mud tyres, made for some traction issues as the morning dew burnt off and the track cut in. Feet up and focus in front was the the best way to attack.

2020 Morgins Dual Slalom Photographer Jey Crunch
Interrupting the steep grass hillside were two roads that provided quite the compression when hit at full speed and required riders to really use their body language to manage the g-forces.

2020 Morgins Dual Slalom Photographer Jey Crunch
Loïc Delteil, left, and Vincent Poupon, right, both work in the industry for Santa Cruz and Scott respectively. Both are simply animals on all manner of bikes and skis. The industry is in good hands with members like this.

2020 Morgins Dual Slalom Photographer Jey Crunch
The book, in the phrase 'never judge a book by its cover', Kristof Lenssens. Ex World Cup racer, trail crew for Bike Park Champéry Morgins, Fest course builder and rider, Mr Humble, all around nice guy and one of the reasons this little slice of the Swiss Alps is getting the reputation it is for the tracks. Buy your trail builder a beer!

2020 Morgins Dual Slalom Photographer Jey Crunch
Delteil swapping to the big helmet. A few riders went down, and given the competitive level and speeds they were doing the grass offered little sponge for your sack of bones on impact.

2020 Morgins Dual Slalom Photographer Jey Crunch
Another rider who was comfy and fast from the start was Liam Seydoux, left, riding for Bold.

2020 Morgins Dual Slalom Photographer Jey Crunch
Cyrille Kurtz, right, who used to race for Honda back when they were on the World Cup circuit, was going for the biggest lean angles all day. Evidently his bag of f**ks was left at home, poor little Intense.

2020 Morgins Dual Slalom Photographer Jey Crunch
About the only thing to slow Poupon down was his air brake visor. Lockdown locks flowing in the breeze and his eyes already focussed on the next turn.

2020 Morgins Dual Slalom Photographer Jey Crunch
Kurtz leads out Cédric Colombe and would eventually finish in 5th position.

2020 Morgins Dual Slalom Photographer Jey Crunch
Liam Seydoux mid dealing with the road crossing compressions. Even with a lot of body language the riders were still being sent a fair way off the road.

2020 Morgins Dual Slalom Photographer Jey Crunch
Robles is always the danger man on pretty much anything with two wheels, the number 1 plate from a previous race showing his speed. He finished the day in 3rd.

2020 Morgins Dual Slalom Photographer Jey Crunch
Lenssens and Seydoux over the road gap with some course forced style to boot.

2020 Morgins Dual Slalom Photographer Jey Crunch
Blanchard with a middle finger to the washing machine and a wide open throttle all day long. The sub-conscious body movement when you're in the flow are sometimes surprising, with maybe one pin on the pedal doing all the work.

2020 Morgins Dual Slalom Photographer Jey Crunch
Kurtz feet up again and helping develop the turns nicely.

2020 Morgins Dual Slalom Photographer Jey Crunch
Heat after heat riders lined up to whittle down the numbers. Focus levels were high, but at the end of the day it was really just a bunch of mates in a field.

2020 Morgins Dual Slalom Photographer Jey Crunch
For all you fashionisters who think goggles with a little helmet looks dumb, I dare you to stop yourself from crying without them at the speed you need to do to keep up with this guy. Are you a rider or a poser?

2020 Morgins Dual Slalom Photographer Jey Crunch
Morgane Jonnier was racing and was right up there, sending many a person packing through the heats.

2020 Morgins Dual Slalom Photographer Jey Crunch
Étienne Chaloin is another Scott employee who sends harder than most and rides more than many. He's also about as excited about bikes as a Jack Russell at the mention of a walk.

2020 Morgins Dual Slalom Photographer Jey Crunch
Robles leaned over and locked in. The poles that defined the course, along with the rider's shins, took a beating as riders cut the corners as close as possible to find every little advantage.

2020 Morgins Dual Slalom Photographer Jey Crunch
Delteil with all the steeze from the knees along with his ferocious speed.

2020 Morgins Dual Slalom Photographer Jey Crunch
And then there were two. Tupin and Blanchard had a twinkle in their eyes and looked special from the go.

2020 Morgins Dual Slalom Photographer Jey Crunch
But when it was all said and done, it was this man, Vincent Tupin who took the crown by a gnats whisker.

2020 Morgins Dual Slalom Photographer Jey Crunch
And he was bloody stoked. Always the gentleman and someone who clearly just loves riding bikes of any and all sorts.

2020 Morgins Dual Slalom Photographer Jey Crunch
Once racing was done it was the turn of the long jump for the brave few who like to pull hard and then ask questions later. Leo Jaegle went further than anyone else with a 18.2m, or 59 feet, huck.

2020 Morgins Dual Slalom Photographer Jey Crunch
Using the compression on the road, and timing it right, could launch you pretty damn high and far.

2020 Morgins Dual Slalom Photographer Jey Crunch
Riders were consistently clocking up distances of 17 meters, or 56 feet for our across the pond readers.

2020 Morgins Dual Slalom Photographer Jey Crunch
Multi sport practitioner Poupon pulls past previous participants.

2020 Morgins Dual Slalom Photographer Jey Crunch
And Antoine Buffart obviously found it a bit too easy with a regular bike and opted to add a few kgs in the form of a motor and battery to the equation. It also helped it getting back to the top in the dual slalom as fresh as a daisy.

2020 Morgins Dual Slalom Photographer Jey Crunch
2020 Morgins Dual Slalom Photographer Jey Crunch
Main man Robles demonstrating his skills on a moto as he rides the course backwards, including the road gap.

2020 Morgins Dual Slalom Photographer Jey Crunch
The leaves are falling fast and the man with the white coat is coming for a dance. Until next year then, when riders who had to sit out due to injury will be back, and along with riders from this year, and will be as hungry as ever to challenge for the title in 2021. Long live Morgins.



13 Comments

  • 11 0
 So much kick assness going on here! Old school slalom, grass turns, high speed, gaps/drops, grassroots vibes, "run what you brung" with all kinds of bikes. Hell yeah! \m/ #longliveslalom
  • 6 0
 But honestly this looks amazingly fun.
  • 4 3
 Seeing as I live right across the border, spend a ton of time in Morgins and have NEVER heard of this event I take it was an invitation private locals only event. Looks like a lot of fun though.
  • 4 1
 long live slalom
  • 2 0
 Excellent pics and write ups... Thank you.
  • 2 0
 More of this.
  • 12 13
 Not a face mask or social distancing in sight. Americans are so irresonpsib....wait....
  • 3 0
 I was there in summer and it's not a surprise they have one of the highes infection rates in europe there.
  • 1 0
 Great coverage!
Below threshold threads are hidden

Post a Comment



Copyright © 2000 - 2021. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv23 0.011293
Mobile Version of Website