Race Report: Isabeau Courdurier and Alex Rudeau Win the 2021 French Enduro Championships

Aug 24, 2021
by Richard Bord  


As another new venue on the Enduro Series calendar, Thollon-les-Memises didn't disappoint... well, except for stage 4 which was cancelled due to the fog/clouds on Sunday as it didn't allow the helicopter to land in case of any accident. Thollon-les-Memises, right above the amazing Leman lake and the Swiss border, teamed up with Bernex to host the 2021 French Enduro Championships, which was also the 3rd French Enduro Cup for the E-MTB racers and for some riders (depending on what license you own).

A two day race in an Alpine terrain with 5 different tracks ridden a multiple of times to finally have 8 timed stages (11 for the E-MTB riders). Four of the tracks were created for this event from pedestrian trails or simply from scratch like a part of stage 1 shaped in the middle of an amazing loamy terrain in the forest. A gondola and a chairlift helped the riders to reach the top of the stages, but they still had to pedal up on some long climbs for the liaisons.

A total of 350 riders came to ride this week-end and almost all the best French Enduro riders were here to fight against the clock and eventually claim the 2021 French title. The battle in the Women category was really interested as the 2019 World Champion Isabeau Courdurier came alongside the 2018, 2019 and 2020 French Champions, Laura Charles, Melanie Pugin and Morgane Charre. There was also all the precedent French Champions in the Men category with Thomas Lapeyrie (2018 ), Adrien Dailly (2019) and Theo Galy (2020). The E-MTB French Cup was also intense with the venue of Nico Vouilloz himself, 3 times E-MTB French Enduro Champion (and I let you count for the rest guys!), Yannick Pontal, Mathieu Ruffray, Kevin Marry or Kenny Muller. Before you ask, Isabeau Courdurier finished 1st and is now the 2021 French Enduro Champion with Alex Rudeau. I'll let you scroll down through the pics for the rest of the story!

Next and last step of the French Enduro Series : Les Houches, 18/19 Sept.

Legend Nico Vouilloz still riding at a top level but on an E-Bike now.
Legend Nico Vouilloz still riding at a top level, but on an E-Bike now.
Nico Vouilloz always has his personal tricks. From 20 years ago to now Special spring shock mount on his Lapierre GPL2 E-Bike.
He always has his personal tricks. From 20 years ago to now! Special spring shock mount on his Lapierre GPL2 E-Bike.

Adrien Dailly likes to give some love to his bike before the race. Setting his number 2 plate on Friday afternoon.
Adrien Dailly likes to give some love to his bike before the race. Setting his number 2 plate on Friday afternoon
Ex Enduro World Series rider now team manager and Isabeau s mechanic Cedric Carrez should be proud of his team the Lapierre Zipp Collective.
Ex Enduro World Series rider, now team manager and Isabeau's mechanic, Cedric Carrez should be proud of his team, the Lapierre Zipp Collective.

Morgane Such fell last week-end during trainings but she didn t go to the doctor... So let s see if she can manage to ride with a finger like this Rock and Roll Morgane always
Morgane Such fell last weekend during training, but she didn't go to the doctor... So let's see if she can manage to ride with a finger like this! Rock and Roll Morgane, always!
With 350 riders on the list there was a few pro riders and a lot of privateers this week-end.
With 350 riders on the list, there was a few pro riders and a lot of privateers this week-end.

E-Bike rider Valentin Escriou was one of the 1st to set off the first stage early morning on Saturday.
E-Bike rider Valentin Escriou was one of the 1st to set off the first stage early morning on Saturday.

How to proper start a good race week-end With this kind of view for the 1st stage
How to proper start a good race weekend? With this kind of view for the 1st stage!

The 2019 Enduro World Champion Isabeau Courdurier really wanted to be here in the French Alps this week-end for the French Championships. Looks like she won a new jersey
The 2019 Enduro World Champion, Isabeau Courdurier, really wanted to be here in the French Alps this weekend for the French Championships. Looks like she won a new jersey!

Not sure these 3 guys had time to appreciate the beauty of this forest...
Not sure these 3 guys had time to appreciate the beauty of this forest...

With a bunch of EWS race wins Adrien Dailly is one the best Enduro riders in the World. He unfortunately had a crash on the second stage on Saturday and lost confidence for the rest of the week-end. Still managed to be 8th.
With a bunch of EWS race wins, Adrien Dailly is one the best Enduro riders in the World. He unfortunately had a crash on the second stage on Saturday and lost confidence for the rest of the weekend. Still managed to be 8th.

Yannick Pontal started the week-end behind his team mate Mathieu and then tried to keep the pace behind the legend Nico Vouilloz. He took the 2nd place of this French Cup and the 1st place overall.
Yannick Pontal started the weekend behind his teammate Mathieu, and then tried to keep the pace behind the legend Nico Vouilloz. He took 2nd place in this French Cup and 1st place overall.

These mountains above Evian and close to the Leman Lake and the Switzerland border are a real beauty. A part of the landscape from the top of stage 1.
These mountains above Evian and close to the Leman Lake and the Switzerland border are a real beauty. A part of the landscape from the top of stage 1.
Some raspberries to catch along the tracks for the photographers or the slowest riders.
Some raspberries to catch along the tracks for the photographers or the slowest riders.

Only a few drops of rain came from the sky this week-end but the dirt was already wet and didn t dry much making a lot of segments very slippery.
Only a few drops of rain came from the sky this weekend, but the dirt was already wet and didn't dry much, making a lot of segments very slippery.
Some slippery roots some wet dirt and sometimes some loamy dirt made the stages interesting and fun to ride.
Some slippery roots, some wet dirt, and sometimes some loamy dirt made the stages interesting and fun to ride.

The 2020 French DH Champion Romain Paulhan switched for a smaller bike and still made it to the 3rd place Impressive
The 2020 French DH Champion Romain Paulhan, switched for a smaller bike and still made it to 3rd place! Impressive!

There is always 2 categories in this World. Choose yours
There is always 2 categories in this World. Choose yours!

Seems like Alex Rudeau loved the physical and technical stage 1 which played a big role in his win this week-end. Here is our 2021 French Champion
Seems like Alex Rudeau loved the physical and technical stage 1, which played a big role in his win this weekend. Here is our 2021 French Champion!

This guy here is a 4X legend. The 2018 Four Cross World Champion in front of Tomas Slavik still rides fast but on a different bike. 38th this week-end in Thollon-les-Memises.
This guy here is a 4X legend. The 2018 Four Cross World Champion (in front of Tomas Slavik) still rides fast but on a different bike. 38th this weekend in Thollon-les-Memises.

The 2020 French Enduro Champion Morgane Charre let her National title to Isabeau this week-end after a nice battle. She finished 3rd.
The 2020 French Enduro Champion Morgane Charre let her National title to Isabeau this weekend after a nice battle. She finished 3rd.

Matthieu Ruffray opened the E-Bike category on Saturday but didn t hold his position for Sunday as his team mate Yannick Pontal and Nico Vouilloz pushed too hard. Our beers waffle training from last week in Annecy didn t pay unfortunately
Matthieu Ruffray opened the E-Bike category on Saturday but didn't hold his position for Sunday as his teammate Yannick Pontal and Nico Vouilloz pushed too hard. Our beers + waffle training from last week in Annecy didn't pay, unfortunately!

This young fella Nans Arnaud charged all the week-end and even won 4 stages in the Juniors category to finally catch the 2nd place.
This young fella, Nans Arnaud, charged all the weekend and even won 4 stages in the Juniors category to finally catch 2nd place.

5th place for Hugo Pigeon who managed to win one stage.
This is what it should look like at the end of the amazing hard-beautiful-technical-physical stage 1: all blurred.

This is what should looked like your vision at the end of the amazing hard-beautiful-technical-physical stage 1 all blurred.
5th place for Hugo Pigeon who managed to win one stage.

The battle was tight this week-end between Melanie Pugin French Champion 2019 and Isabeau Courdurier. Melanie finally took the 2nd spot only 7.91 seconds behind Isabeau after 42 14.73 minutes on the timer.
The battle was tight this weekend between Melanie Pugin (French Champion 2019) and Isabeau Courdurier. Melanie finally took the 2nd spot only 7.91 seconds behind Isabeau after 42'14.73 minutes on the timer.

Junior Alexis Icardo made it to the top step of the podium meaning he will wear the French Champion jersey during one year
Junior Alexis Icardo made it to the top step of the podium, meaning he will wear the French Champion jersey for one year!
Master 1 David Metche riding down the steep trails of stage 3 to the 2nd place.
Master 1 David Metche riding down the steep trails of stage 3 to 2nd place.

It seems like these wild horses didn t care about the race but some of them stopped eating the grass for a few seconds to check how fast were the riders.
It seems like these wild horses didn't care about the race, but some of them stopped eating the grass for a few seconds to check how fast were the riders.
Two wild horses pictured here.
Two wild horses are pictured here.

Can you spot the motorized wild horse Mathieu Ruffray in his element here.
Can you spot the motorized wild horse? Mathieu Ruffray in his element here.

I already said it but note this name Raphael Giambi. This young Cadet rider is sometimes as fast as the best Elites riders. He really could kick some ass in a few years on the international scene
I already said it, but note this name: Raphael Giambi. This young Cadet rider is sometimes as fast as the best Elites riders. He really could kick some ass in a few years on the international scene!

Kevin Miquel is a wild horse Power and consistency winning one stage over 9 pushed him to the 2nd step on the podium. Vice French Champ
Kevin Miquel is a wild horse! Power and consistency, winning one stage over 8, pushed him to the 2nd step on the podium. Vice French Champ'!

When the sun appears behind the clouds you better be ready to push the button on your camera It didn t last long on Sunday morning
When the sun appears behind the clouds, you better be ready to push the button on your camera! It didn't last long on Sunday morning!

Cadet rider Romain Bouladou 2nd pushing hard trying to follow as much as he can the young prodigy Raphael Giambi.
Cadet rider Romain Bouladou (2nd) pushing hard trying to follow as much as he can the young prodigy Raphael Giambi.

Kevin Marry chilling between 2 stages.
Kevin Marry chilling between 2 stages.
With a broken hand Levy Baptista couldn t ride this week-end but still came to support the others pilots.
With a broken hand, Levy Baptista couldn't ride this weekend but still came to support the others pilots.

Estelle Charles riding on her Rossignol Prototype Heretic. She made it to the 4th place.
Estelle Charles riding on her Rossignol Prototype Heretic. She made it to 4th place.

Dust and and rolling rocks for the start of Stage 3 and Isabeau being cheered by the boys.
Dust and and rolling rocks for the start of Stage 3, and Isabeau being cheered by the boys.

Can someone buy a new voice to this crazy dude Arnaud Garanger Thanks for the ambiance along the track mate
Can someone buy a new voice for this crazy dude Arnaud Garanger? Thanks for the ambiance along the track mate!
Stage 3 view from the start.
Stage 3 view from the start.

While some are going down full gaz on Stage 3 E-MTB racers pedal up to the top.
While some are going down full gas on Stage 3, E-MTB racers pedal up to the top.

A week after racing the E-MTB Tour du Mont Blanc with Marco Fontana T-Lap a.k.a Rider 404 switched his bike and made it to the French Enduro Championships. tontondubled
A week after racing the E-MTB Tour du Mont Blanc with Marco Fontana, T-Lap a.k.a Rider 404 switched his bike and made it to the French Enduro Championships. #tontondubled

Ludovic Oget took the 7th place of the week-end.
Ludovic Oget took 7th place this weekend.

Some won a race without this part... But not an Enduro race.
Some won a race without this part... But not an Enduro race.

A crash on this slippery stage didn t stop Nicolas Vouilloz on being the fastest of the week-end on an E-Bike.
A crash on this slippery stage didn't stop Nicolas Vouilloz on being the fastest of the weekend on an E-Bike.

Kevin Marry on boost mode in stage 5.
Kevin Marry on boost mode in stage 5. With less than 15 seconds (14.91) behind Nico Vouilloz (49'59.84), Kevin Marry pushed hard all the weekend to finish 3rd. Two bikes on the podium for the Lapierre Overvolt Team.

Jack Piercy of Great Britain took the 3rd place in the Juniors category but he also won the last stage in front of the Elite Men
Jack Piercy of Great Britain took 3rd place in the Juniors category, but he also won the last stage in front of the Elite Men!

French Enduro E-MTB Champion congratulate her team mate Isabeau Courdurier a.k.a the 2021 French Enduro Champion.
French Enduro E-MTB Champion congratulate her teammate Isabeau Courdurier a.k.a the 2021 French Enduro Champion.
A great battle at the top between Melanie Pugin French Champion 2019 and Isabeau Courdurier.
A great battle at the top between Melanie Pugin (French Champion 2019) and Isabeau.

This is how the girl spirit shines in the MTB world. Girl power
This is how the girl spirit shines in the MTB world. Girl power!

Just because you can t beat Pierre Real s style 100m before the finish line
Just because you can't beat Pierre Real's style 100m before the finish line!

Alex Rudeau s big smile after his win.
Alex Rudeau's big smile after his win.
A happy and tired Nico Vouilloz after a nice week-end of battle for this E-MTB French Cup 3.
A happy and tired Nico Vouilloz after a nice weekend battling for this E-MTB French Cup #3

Looks like being injured helps winning races...

Elite Men podium of the 2021 French Enduro Championships 1st Alex Rudeau 2nd Kevin Miquel 3rd Romain Paulhan
Elite Men podium of the 2021 French Enduro Championships: 1st Alex Rudeau, 2nd Kevin Miquel, 3rd Romain Paulhan

Elite Women podium of the 2021 French Enduro Championships 1st Isabeau Courdurier 2nd Melanie Pugin 3rd Morgane Charre.
Elite Women podium of the 2021 French Enduro Championships: 1st Isabeau Courdurier, 2nd Melanie Pugin, 3rd Morgane Charre.

French Champion colos and medal.
French Champion colors and gold medal.
Some ups and downs this year for Isabeau means a lot of emotions. Bravo Isa
Some ups and downs this year for Isabeau mean a lot of emotions. Bravo Isa!

Podium of the E-MTB French Cup 3 1st Nico Vouilloz 2nd Yannick Pontal 3rd Kevin Marry
Podium of the E-MTB French Cup #3 : 1st Nico Vouilloz, 2nd Yannick Pontal, 3rd Kevin Marry

Isabeau Courdurier is the 2021 French Enduro Champion What a year for this lady
Isabeau Courdurier is the 2021 French Enduro Champion! What a year for this lady!

Each trophy was hand made by a local artist.
Each trophy was hand-made by a local artist.

Elite Men
1st. RUDEAU Alex (FRA) — 36'25,27
2nd. MIQUEL Kevin (FRA) — 36'45,49
3rd. PAULHAN Romain (FRA) — 36'58,65
4th. JEANDEL Louis (FRA) — 37'10,52
5th. PIGEON Hugo (FRA) — 37'19,68
Elite Women
1st. COURDURIER Isabeau (FRA) — 42'14,73
2nd. PUGIN Mélanie (FRA) — 42'22,64
3rd. CHARRE Morgane (FRA) — 43'00,80
Elite E-MTB
1st. VOUILLOZ Nicolas (FRA) — 49'59,84
2nd. PONTAL Yannick (FRA) — 50'05,83
3rd. MARRY Kevin (FRA) — 50'14,75

French Championships Scratch Results
E-MTB French Cup Results


12 Comments

  • 8 0
 That's been the best enduro write up on this site all year. The ews ones just havnt been upto the usual high standard, just feels lacking in pics and story. Is that because gmbn have the rights now?
  • 3 0
 Thanks for the kind words!
  • 4 0
 Really enjoyed this article! Wish more more regional and national events were covered this well.
  • 2 0
 Thanks mate!
  • 3 0
 Paulhan was not 2020 DH french champion, it was Coulanges... Paulhan was national champion something like 2015
  • 1 0
 My bad, you're right, Romain Paulhan was the French DH Champion in 2010!
  • 2 0
 @richardbord: 2010, oh looks like I'm getting old !
  • 4 2
 Flat pedals win medals! Alex Rudeau, Morgane Charre and Romain Paulhan
  • 2 0
 Nico still with a Lyrik?
  • 2 0
 Lighter and easier to steer according to him
  • 2 0
 @Toy: I know he was totally upset by the Zeb's behavior, but Novyparts made great job on their kit and that's why the rest of the team is not with a Lyrik like the boss.
  • 1 0
 Hugo Pigeon was flying down the track

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