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Race Report: French Enduro Cup 2021 #4 - Les Houches

Sep 20, 2021
by Richard Bord  


As Risoul and Thollon-les-Memises, Les Houches was another new venue on the Enduro Series calendar. This 4th round closed the 2021 season in an epic place as we speak about the Chamonix Mont Blanc area.

The people from Les Houches are not used to Mountain Bikes events and it seems like it was not easy for the staff to organise this race. But during the podium ceremony on Sunday, the Mayor was quite happy about what just happened in her town and was already speaking about next year!

The 290 riders had to battle on 4 different stages during 7 timed sessions over the week-end with the help of the gondola to access to 3 of the stages. There was no E-Bike race, but the young Minimes riders (13-14 years old) had the chance to compete on Saturday using a part of the stages. It was such a good time to see some young kids (34) racing on this kind of steep and technical trails. Some of them fell in tears at the end of the 1st stage and after several crashes, but in the end they all deserved the gold medal in everybody's heart! What an adventure for them all!

The week was heavily rainy before the race, so even with a beautiful sunny Saturday, all the trails were wet and slippery, living no chance to the tourists on wheels! But fortunately I didn't see a lot of tourists competing this week-end, and the level of riding was quite high. The incredibly talented Cadet rider Raphael Giambi left no chance to the others winning this round and the 2021 overall in his category, and finishing 5th at the scratch overall of the season at only 14 years old. Impressive! For her 1st Enduro Series race, Juliette Willmann won here in Les Houches, which is quite impressive too even if she is a local rider (Saint Gervais). Oh, she took the 2nd place at the EWS 100 in Crans-Montana, and she is a ski athlete on the Freeride World Tour... So yes, this 24 years old woman is talented and we should see her on a bike next year on more races. Axelle Murigneux took the 3rd place this week-end and won the 2021 title in the Women category.

In the Men's field, the battle was quite hard for the 1st place, and it's finally Ludovic Oget who took the win with a total time of 37"40.96 minutes, and he also won the 2021 overall. The 5 riders behind him finished in the same minute making the battle quite tight! With the rain coming just at the end of the very last stage on Sunday, we finally were lucky with the weather. And as the very last meters of this stage 6 were very steep and slippery, the crowd (90% made by the riders) came to cheer, encourage and yell all those warriors who passed through this section without falling off their bike. That made the end of this week-end and epic end of the Enduro Series season with an ambiance we can only see during the big international races.

See you in 2022 with more races in beautiful places in France.

The gondola let the riders access to 3 of the 5 different stages this week-end.
The gondola let the riders access to 3 of the 5 different stages this week-end.
Axelle Murigneux s big smile on Saturday morning.
Axelle Murigneux's big smile on Saturday morning.
About 290 riders came this week-end for the last round of the French Enduro Cup.
About 290 riders came this week-end for the last round of the French Enduro Cup.
The top of Stage 1 on Saturday morning as the sun rises for the recce.
The top of Stage 1 on Saturday morning as the sun rises for the recce.
Starting the week-end with the sun was quite a happy moment after some torrential rains earlier this week in the Alps.
Starting the week-end with the sun was quite a happy moment after some torrential rains earlier this week in the Alps.
The locals were he to support the riders.
The locals were here to support the riders.

Instead of the E-Bike category this week-end gave some place to the young Minimes boys and girls 13-14 years old with a one day race.
Instead of the E-Bike category, this week-end gave some place to the young Minimes boys and girls (13-14 years old) with a one day race.

Maiko was the fastest boy in the Minime category. You can already see he knows how to proper ride a bike
Maiko was the fastest boy in the Minime category. You can already see he knows how to proper ride a bike!

Young Minime rider Elno Couttet in the most technical stage of his Saturday s race.
Young Minime rider Elno Couttet in the most technical stage of his Saturday's race.

Ema Cathelineau was one of the 4 girls competing in the Minime category 13-14 years old . She proudly took the win.
Ema Cathelineau was one of the 4 girls competing in the Minime category (13-14 years old). She proudly took the win.

Sorry just the photographer here playing with light in the beautiful forest of Stage 1.
Sorry, just the photographer here playing with light in the beautiful forest of Stage 1.

Valentin Le Gall took the 2nd spot in the Junior category and finished 15 scratch of the week-end. Another fast young boy
Valentin Le Gall took the 2nd spot in the Junior category and finished 15 scratch of the week-end. Another fast young boy!

3rd Junior Leon Poppe trying to find the right line between the roots in Stage 1.
3rd Junior Leon Poppe trying to find the right line between the roots in Stage 1.

Junior Tom Lesquir in full attack on Stage 3 on Saturday. He took the win by 4.68 minutes over 2nd place Mathis Fleury.
Junior Tom Lesquir in full attack on Stage 3 on Saturday. He took the win by 4.68 minutes over 2nd place Mathis Fleury.

Junior Mathis Fleury took the 2nd spot of the week-end at only 4.68 seconds behind 1st place Tom Lesquir.
Junior Mathis Fleury took the 2nd spot of the week-end at only 4.68 seconds behind 1st place Tom Lesquir.

Junior Woman Alizes Lassus didn t leave a chance to the other young women. She took the win here in Les Houches.
Junior Woman Alizes Lassus didn't leave a chance to the other young women. She took the win here in Les Houches.

You can see that Justine Henry gave it all she had on her bike 3rd in the Junior Women category.
You can see that Justine Henry gave it all she had on her bike! 3rd in the Junior Women category.

Some Juniors can be as fast as stylished even in the slippery woods.
Some Juniors can be as fast as stylished, even in the slippery woods.

The entrance of Stage 4 was a good reminder that Sunday will be wet and slippery
The entrance of Stage 4 was a good reminder that Sunday will be wet and slippery!

Young Junior woman Clara Imoucha pedaling through a very wet dirty section in Stage 6.
Young Junior woman Clara Imoucha pedaling through a very wet/dirty section in Stage 6.

Raphael Giambi was heavily supported by the other Cadets and Juniors riders in this really impressive-steep-sleepery section at the end of Stage 6.
Raphael Giambi was heavily supported by the other Cadets and Juniors riders in this really impressive-steep-sleepery section at the end of Stage 6.

Junior Men podium of the week-end.
Junior Men podium of the week-end : 1st Tom Lesquir, 2nd Mathis Fleury, 3rd Theo Mathieu
Junior Men podium of the Enduro Series 2021 season.
Junior Men podium of the Enduro Series 2021 season : 1st Tom Lesquir, 2nd Theo Mathieu, 3rd Enzo Perez
Junior Women podium of the week-end.
Junior Women podium of the week-end : 1st Alizes Lassus, 2nd Claire Chabbert, 3rd Justine Henry
Cadet podium of the week-end.
Cadet podium of the week-end : 1st Raphael Giambi, 2nd Valentin Le Gall, 3rd Leon Poppe

Oh wait have you seen the view Maybe she didn t
Oh wait, have you seen the view? Maybe she didn't!

Juliette Willmann on her way to the top step of the podium for her first Enduro Series race.
Juliette Willmann, on her way to the top step of the podium for her first Enduro Series race.

2nd here in Les Houches and 2nd of this 2021 season Charlotte Rey rode with consistency for sure.
2nd here in Les Houches, and 2nd of this 2021 season, Charlotte Rey rode with consistency for sure.

3rd of the week-end and ending the 2021 season with a 1st place overall Congrats to Axelle Murigneux with her best season
3rd of the week-end, and ending the 2021 season with a 1st place overall! Congrats to Axelle Murigneux with her best season!

Enduro Series stages can be long and hard to ride. Cecile Delaire s face says it all.
Enduro Series stages can be long and hard to ride. Cecile Delaire's face says it all.

Sarah Chamaillard is 4th of the week-end in the Women category.
Sarah Chamaillard is 4th of the week-end in the Women category.

1st Woman in the Open category Emilie Maison riding in one of the most technical part of the week-end.
1st Woman in the Open category, Emilie Maison riding in one of the most technical part of the week-end.

Canadian Ariane Moreau competed in the Open Women category. She ended 2nd.
Canadian Ariane Moreau competed in the Open Women category. She ended 2nd.

Women podium of the week-end.
Women podium of the week-end : 1st Juliette Willmann, 2nd Charlotte Rey, 3rd Axelle Murigneux
Women podium of the Enduro Series 2021 season.
Women podium of the Enduro Series 2021 season : 1st Axelle Murigneux, 2nd Charlotte Rey, 3rd Sarah Chamaillard

Riding in Les Houches be like... Next level landscape
Riding in Les Houches be like... Next level landscape!

Levy Baptista is back at racing after a few weeks off due to a hand injury. He didn t compete for the win but I guess he had time to admire the view
Levy Baptista is back at racing after a few weeks off due to a hand injury. He didn't compete for the win, so I hope he had time to admire the view!

With 3 stages wins over 7 Ludo Oget was the man to beat this week-end. He ll be back next year with the number 1 plate.
With 3 stages wins over 7, Ludo Oget was the man to beat this week-end. He'll be back next year with the number 1 plate.

Glenn Macarthur had a good fight with the top guys this week-end. He took the 2nd spot here in Les Houches and also for the 2021 season.
Glenn Macarthur had a good fight with the top guys this week-end. He took the 2nd spot here in Les Houches, and also for the 2021 season!

I guess Levy Baptista didn t want to start the 1st stage like this. Nice wet roots dance buddy
I guess Levy Baptista didn't want to start the 1st stage like this. Nice wet roots dance buddy!

Top 10 for Lucas Monetti in Les Houches and 4th place overall for 2021.
Top 10 for Lucas Monetti in Les Houches and 4th place overall for 2021.

Just lower than 2000m high the start of most of the stages started right in the woods.
Just lower than 2000m high, the start of most of the stages started right in the woods.
Last round of the French Enduro Cup. See you next year
Last round of the French Enduro Cup. See you next year!
There was no dust this week-end. It was all about wet dirt slippery rocks and roots.
There was no dust this week-end. It was all about wet dirt, slippery rocks and roots.
They don t call the track blueberries sauce for nothing
They don't call the track "blueberries sauce" for nothing!

Master 2 Camille Lepley took another race win. But as he competed and won only 2 rounds of the 4 rounds of the season he didn t win the overall.
Master 2 Camille Lepley took another race win. But as he competed (and won) only 2 rounds of the 4 rounds of the season, he didn't win the overall.

Some Master riders are really fast.
Some Master riders are really fast.

Master 1 David Metche gave it all he had but it was not enough to beat Samuel Amouroux.
Master 1 David Metche gave it all he had but it was not enough to beat Samuel Amouroux.

3rd place Florian Roch full speed on the permanent part of Stage 3.
3rd place Florian Roch full speed on the permanent part of Stage 3.

Damien Sanfratello is lucky enough to have a photo of him with a bunch of asses yelling around How to start a stage with attitude
Damien Sanfratello is lucky enough to have a photo of him with a bunch of asses yelling around! How to start a stage with attitude!

Stage 3 on Saturday gave us the photographers a bit of some breathtaking landscape to play with. Sorry but it s just the Mont Blanc massif right in front of you
Stage 3 on Saturday gave us, the photographers, a bit of some breathtaking landscape to play with. Sorry, but it's just the Mont Blanc massif right in front of you!

After a beautiful and sunny Saturday this was the view on Sunday morning as the night delivered a lot of rain in the valley and some fresh snow up there at 2000m high.
After a beautiful and sunny Saturday, this was the view on Sunday morning as the night delivered a lot of rain in the valley and some fresh snow up there at 2000m + high.

Stage 4 on Sunday was a sweet reminder that Summer is almost over and Autumn is right at the door here in the French Alps.
Stage 4 on Sunday was a sweet reminder that Summer is almost over and Autumn is right at the door here in the French Alps.

The beautiful forest where the last stage of the week-end were. Too bad the loamy dirt was a bit too wet
The beautiful forest where the last stage of the week-end were. Too bad the loamy dirt was a bit too wet!

The few pedaling sections here in Les Houches were nothing compare to those long and hard ones in Thollon-les-Memises.
The few pedaling sections here in Les Houches were nothing compare to those long and hard ones in Thollon-les-Memises.

Elite Men or not they are all racers. In 2 words send it
Elite Men or not, they are all racers. In 2 words : send it!

It s fun to see your local MTB shop owner racing and winning the Master 1 category. Well done Sam
It's fun to see your local MTB shop owner racing and winning the Master 1 category. Well done Sam!

Alex Balaud the Enduro Series organizer here opening stage 6 and checking everything s all right before the riders take the start.
Alex Balaud, the Enduro Series organizer, here opening stage 6 and checking everything's all right before the riders take the start.

Too bad you don't have the sound of this crazy ambiance in the very last part of the last stage of the week-end. Like a World Cup, really!
Too bad you don t have the sound of this crazy ambiance in the very last part of the last stage of the week-end. Like a World Cup really

Podium scratch of this week-end in Les Houches.
Podium scratch of this week-end in Les Houches : 1st Ludovic Oget, 2nd Glenn Macarthur, 3rd Florian Roch, 4th Raphael Giambi, 5th Romain Croz
Podium scratch of the Enduro Series 2021 season.
Podium scratch of the Enduro Series 2021 season : 1st Ludovic Oget, 2nd Glenn Macarthur, 3rd Florian Roch, 4th Lucas Monetti, 5th Raphael Giambi

Being a ski athlete on the Freeride World Tour being 2nd at the Crans-Montana EWS 100 and winning this week-end in Les Houches for her first participation. Juliette Willmann 24 years old has talents for sure She said she ll do more bike races next year. See you in 2022 then
Being a ski athlete on the Freeride World Tour, being 2nd at the Crans-Montana EWS 100 and winning this week-end in Les Houches for her first participation. Juliette Willmann, 24 years old, has talents for sure! She said she'll do more bike races next year. See you in 2022 then!
After winning the 2018 season Ludovic Oget just won this 2021 season on the Enduro Series French circuit. Happy man
After winning the 2018 season, Ludovic Oget just won this 2021 season on the Enduro Series French circuit. Happy man!
Winner of the week-end winner of the 2021 overall after winning all the 4 races and 4th place scratch of the week-end. Oh wait Raphael Giambi is only 14 years old Enduro World Series staff be ready to welcome him in a few years
Winner of the week-end, winner of the 2021 overall after winning all the 4 races, and 4th place scratch of the week-end. Oh, wait, Raphael Giambi is only 14 years old! Enduro World Series staff, be ready to welcome him in a few years!
One happy girl here Axelle Murigneux finishes 3rd this week-end and wins the Enduro Series 2021 overall. She ll have the number one plate next year for the 1st time
One happy girl here! Axelle Murigneux finishes 3rd this week-end and wins the Enduro Series 2021 overall. She'll have the number one plate next year for the 1st time!



Regions in Article
Les Houches


5 Comments

  • 2 0
 Thanks a lot Pinkbike! One more time your recap is really great and gives the real feeling of the race. Your photos are always beautiful. It was a fantastic WE and a very nice race to participe with an amazing atmosphere at the end of the last stage! This part was hard and the fans support was well deserved by all riders. I was happy to be in and cross the line. Nice end of the French Cup for this year!
  • 1 0
 Merci !
  • 3 0
 Not only is Juliette Willman a fantastic sportswoman, we are lucky enough to have her as a wonderful role model at the Chamonix mtn bike club. Chapeau Juliette, you ROCK!
  • 3 0
 Great photos. That was a great weekend racing , the atmosphere at last stage was amazing
  • 2 0
 Merci !

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