Video: Jerome Clementz Takes on the Trans Madeira

Jul 1, 2018
by Jerome Clementz  
Views: 2,695    Faves: 3    Comments: 0

I went for the first time to Madeira island during the Enduro World Series in 2017. We rode 4 days around Machico, and due to a busy calendar of racing, I didn’t have the time to see other trails around the island (despite local riders tellins me to do so)! I left the island a little bit frustrated because the weather conditions were not fantastic, and I also felt I was missing something. When the organizer of Trans Madeira contacted me earlier this year to come back and race Trans Madeira, I didn’t wait much and signed right away as it was the best opportunity to discover the island properly!

5 days of racing with a real traverse of the island from east to west, 120 other riders attend the event from 26 different nationalities! We camp every night in a different place, and the organisation provided a shuttle every morning to gain elevation. In total we climb 6 500 meters up and enjoy 14 000 meters down throughout 211 km of 29 special stages. The menu looks appealing!

Attending the race, some of the well-known riders have made the trip such as Steve Peat, Josh Bryceland, Josh Lewis, Ludo May, Yoann Barelli and the local Emmanuel Pombo, and in the womens field, Inès Thomas is also there!

Day 0:

It’s time for everyone to arrive, before the race starts and we meet in the famous beach of the island in Machico for a first campsite along the Atlantic Ocean. Building bikes, discovering the week's schedule (we’ll wake everyday at 6am!), we pack all our personal stuff in one allowed bag and find our dedicated tent! The atmosphere is really relaxed, and we start to meet new campsite neighbours.

The race:

Pictures can tell the whole story! But what is the most surprising in this island is the diversity of landscape. Every valley, every side of the island, every altitude, provide another environment. From open stage into dry terrain and dusty trails, we jump onto jungle tropical and humid (and slippery) ones! The colours are amazing either with red rock, black volcanic sand beach, grassy and green field, or rocky part around the coast.

In general, next to the summit, we are above the cloud and enjoy a spectacular view into the peaks around this volcanic and steep island! By going down, we often cross the “sea of cloud” around 1000 meters elevation and we cannot really see the trails that freaks us out sometimes and the soil is moist and greasy! Afterwards, we end up either in a rock garden or dusty trails surrounded by eucalyptus tree forest.

The organizer finds a good balance between hiking technical trails which are pretty steep and bike trails built specifically for the event. The days are relatively long with on average 40 km, 1300 elevation up and 9 stages to race! Fortunately, we have time to chat and take times during the liaisons to enjoy the view, telling our “incident” during the stages and laugh a lot!

For my side, the most spectacular day was number three where we cross literally the island from south to north. We pass over the highest summit, Pico de Ariero at 1818 meters, and then we rode a liaison of 20 km in between a little-perched village, following a “nevado” which is a water canalisation and we must ride in a black tunnel twice of 1 km distance and of course I forgot my light! A real adventure in a remote place and we finish the day riding down the track alongside the cliff on the north side of the island, it was extremely exotic.


The race was interesting during all the week! I won the first 3 days with a tight fight with Josh Bryceland who was just behind me for some seconds. We reached to take 1’10 advanced onto Emmanuel Pombo the local rider. However, the last two days were in his garden and on the 4th day he gained 50 seconds on us in one day. Anyway, the atmosphere was good, and he was giving us some details of the tracks before riding them to balance the competition, and everyone gave its best to be the fastest! In the end, Emmanuel Pombo beats me, and I finished second by 17 seconds and Ratboy by 34 seconds. We cannot compete against the speed of Pombo who perfectly knew the track but that was a good fight! The organisation was already set up for the first edition and we enjoyed a well-deserved cocktail next to the beach the last night!

Another “Trans” has been born with a real good quality of trails and organisation. The Freeride Madeira team has done a really good job. A real technical background and some physical fitness are necessary to enjoy the event plenty. But it’s the perfect way to visit Madeira island with our enduro bikes and have the overview of each part of it! We end up with a big smile on our face and tired legs, and I can tick to my checklist another great event!



  • 4 0
 Awesome. I’m heading there this weekend.
  • 1 0
 I was there riding a couple of years ago. And yes, it is an amazing place!
  • 4 1
 without doubt the worst "music" on a semi sponsored video on this site in many a year... simply dreadful shite
  • 4 1
 I want to see the 29er he rode
  • 2 0
 This guy is a beast! Just look how he rode this weekend at the Mountain Of Hell, he is still in the pace!
  • 1 0
 Best bit was Josh's sneaky clap on the ass!

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