Video and Race Report: 2019 Swiss Enduro Cup - Round 2

Jul 25, 2019 at 1:43
by Virgile Lecoultre  
Views: 758    Faves: 1    Comments: 0


Photos by Antoine Fournier, Video by Camille Germann, Words by Virgile Lecoultre
July 20th, 2019. Zinal, Valais, Switzerland, hosted the 2nd round of this year Swiss Enduro Cup which also served as the first (albeit unofficial), ever, Swiss Enduro Championship. The race, Rock the Besso, 5th edition, challenged riders over 6 stages. The 44 km course had a total of 1800 m of climbing, 3 gondola lifts and 3600 m of downhill.
Along with 188 starters, top Swiss and French EWS riders (Mélanie Pugin, Gustav Wildhaber, Maxime Chapuis, Patrick Luthi, Theotim Trabac, Tim Bratschi), local heroes and riders from Switzerland, France, Luxemburg, Germany, Italy gathered in Zinal for this one-day race.

Rock the Besso 2019
Zinal is located at the far end of the Val d'Annivers and is surrounded by 5 summits over 4000m. Guess which summit the Besso is.

Cristal-clear skies, comfortable temperatures were with the riders for this 5th edition of Rock the Besso. The course provided a blend of what the Valais has to offer in terms of trails: stage 1 and 2, which together form stage 5, starting above the tree line and ending 1000m below had a majority of high-speed, dusty, rocky trails. Stage 3, starting on the opposite side of the valley, is a steeper and slower stage and offers riders a mix of tight switchbacks in soft loam and larch needles and off-camber traverses. Back on the other side, stage 4 is again a mix between fast rocky and rooty traverses and switchbacks at its end. Stage 6 required riders to hike a bike and closed the race by providing a steep, soft, fresh trail in loam and larch needles.

Rock the Besso 2019
Alpine meadows to reach the start of stage 1

Rock the Besso 2019
Today’s winner Gustav Wildhaber creating new lines on stage 1

Rock the Besso 2019
Can you smell the larch needles on stage 3?

As stressful as racing? Volunteers preparing a variety of fresh foods and drinks for riders after stages 3, 4 and 5

Rock the Besso 2019
Organizers at work

Podium contenders and last years’ winners Maxime Chappuis (Specialized Racing), Manu Allaz (Orbea Cross Road) and Peter Stephan (Wheeler IXS) were unable to follow Gusti Wildhaber (Cube Action Team)’s pace, who took it by winning every single stage of the day. Tim Bratschi (Wheeler IXS) and Patrick Luthi (Scott Prof) completed the podium.
In the women’s race EWS podium contender and Rock the Besso past winner Melanie Pugin (Pivot Supertour) took the win, with Sidonie Jolidon and Andrea Kuster at the 2nd and 3rd position.

The juniors’ race was taken by Robin Kuechler (RMC Obwalden), Emeric Ienzer (Bold Cycles),Liam Seydoux (Bold Cycles). The Masters 40+ race was dominated by Florian Golay (Lapierre-CrossRoad Cycles), followed by José Carron and Raphael Salamin (Cyclone Gravity).

Rock the Besso 2019
Maxime Chappuis charging on stage 6

Rock the Besso 2019
Last year’s winner Patrick Luthi could not take it this year

Rock the Besso 2019
Ludo May (BMC Switzerland). Racing is about having fun on the bike, isn't it?

Full throttle for Andrea Kuster on stage 5. Feeling the arm pump?

A few more switchbacks on stage 6 before reaching the finish line

Not your average camper van. Beer time after stage 6

Rock the Besso 2019
Rock the Besso 2019

The Men’s category podium: Gustav Wildhaber (1st), Tim Bratschi (2nd), Patrick Luethi (3rd). Women’s podium: Melanie Pugin (1st), Sidonie Jolidon (2nd), Andrea Kuster (3rd).

Rock the Besso 2019
Rock the Besso 2019
Masters 40+ podium: Florian Golay (1st), Jose Carron (2nd), Raphael Salamin (3rd). Men U21 podium: Kuechler Robin (1st), Emeric Ienzer (2nd), Liam Seydoux (3rd).

Rock the Besso 2019
Time for the National anthem for Robin Kuechler, Florian Golay, Sidonie Jolidon and Gustav Wildhaber

Full results here

More infos about the race here and here
More infos about the Bold Enduro Helveticup here and here

PS: did I mention the after-race party somewhere?


18 Comments

  • 3 0
 Yeaaaah want an amazing race !! It was really cool (the trees on sp3 hurt a bit) ! Thanks for this race and see you next year and don’t listen to the roadbikers !!
  • 1 0
 yeeea boiiii
  • 1 0
 @camillegermann: Absolutely agree. It was bloody good. Luckily the weather held till the night. Great landscapes, amazing trails and relaxed atmosphere. What more would you like? Thank you guys.

Just one thing though: there was a present for any entry. I must say I did not quite understood what that was! Big Grin
  • 1 0
 @EnduroManiac: it's a "durty bag", www.instagram.com/p/BxphKVJod1p/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link you check how to use it ... ahahaha enjoy
  • 1 0
 @jean-germain: voilà c’est clair comme ça! Merci ????
  • 1 0
 Cows dont wear such shitty googles.. EndurCow
  • 1 0
 that's soooo sicckkkkkkk
  • 1 3
 destroying trails, thats it
  • 2 0
 So do the cows, horses, hikers, rain, snow.... Stay on the road if you’re not happy !
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