Très Beau La Bresse - XCO World Cup Round 3, La Bresse

May 26, 2016 at 8:24
by Matthew DeLorme  


Round three of the XC World Cup stops in the Lorraine region of France, in the Commune de La Bresse tucked up in the northeast corner of the country. This region is known for its Bresse breed of chicken and a country Blue Cheese. La Bresse is just a four hour drive from Albstadt, Germany. Being so close to the last round, we came in Monday evening and had a bit of time to kill before the work got underway. When we arrived, the weather was cold and gloomy. Instead of developing a severe case of cabin fever, or holing up in a cafe to consume Wi-Fi all day, we took to the hills with camera in hand. This is what we found. La Bresse is not only home to what may be the best of the World Cup XC tracks, but also excellent trail riding and some fine eats. Here are 36 hours in photos around La Bresse.

Welcome to Commune de La Bresse.
Welcome to Commune de La Bresse.

It s cloudy and wet when we pull into to town but the forecast looks brighter in the coming days.
It was cloudy and wet when we pull into to town, but the forecast looks brighter in the coming days.

Blue berry blossoms and Daffodils up in the alpine.
Blueberry blossoms and daffodils up in the alpine.

A party of French hikers heading out into the mists.
A party of French hikers heading out into the mists.

La Bresse

Mid mountain pine forest give way to the gnarled birches just before the alpine zone.
Mid mountain pine forests give way to the gnarled birches just before the alpine zone.

A rainy day hike proved to be useful scouting for the next days ride.
A rainy day hike proved to be useful scouting for the next day's ride.

La Bresse has some beautiful woods. The twisted tress of the alpine are enchanting when they are cloaked in fog.
La Bresse has some beautiful woods. The twisted trees of the alpine are enchanting when cloaked in fog.

Mid point refuge stop. Just long enough to refuel and kind of dry out.
Mid point refuge stop. Just long enough to refuel and kind of dry out.

Solace in the back country
Solace in the back country

Matt Opperman and Alvaro Dominguez enjoying a back country lunch and a break from the rain.
Matt Opperman and Alvaro Dominguez enjoying a back country lunch and a break from the rain.

Lots of protein and and very packable. Sardines make a good lunch during a full day of hiking.
Lots of protein and very packable. Sardines make a good lunch during a full day of hiking.

The woods of La Bresse are bubbling with spring run off creeks.
The woods of La Bresse are bubbling with spring run-off.

The view across the lake from the refuge hut.
The view across the lake from the refuge hut.

After a long day out in the rain a hearty country meal is the perfect way to warm up.
After a long day out in the rain, a hearty country meal is the perfect way to warm up.

Baguette dispenser Yes if you re home late from tending the herd and miss the bakery this bad boy has you covered after hours.
Baguette dispenser? Yes. If you're home late from tending the herd and miss the bakery, this bad boy has you covered after hours.

Sausages sausages sausages. This town is a carnivore s heaven.
Sausages, sausages, sausages. This town is a carnivore's heaven.

Old timer out on the prowl.
Old timer out on the prowl.

Love those chilly mountain streams.
Love those chilly mountain streams.

With an extra day here in La Bresse and none of my normal media squid comrades around I went out and had my own media squid recce. The trails here are a blast.
With an extra day here in La Bresse, and none of my normal media squid comrades around, I went out and had my own media squid recce. The trails here are a blast.

Found out the views we couldn t see the day before were quite nice indeed.
Found out the views we couldn't see the day before were quite nice indeed.

Slip sliding down the lovely Le Bresse single track.
Slip sliding down the lovely Le Bresse single track.

It s all tile roof tops in town La Bresse. What needs to be investigated is wether or not this is a Citroen repair shop or just a super fan s house.
It's all tile rooftops in La Bresse. What needs to be investigated is whether or not this is actually a Citroen repair shop or just a super-fan's house.

The action starts tomorrow here at the holy grail of xc tracks. This one is going to be a beauty.
The action starts tomorrow here at the holy grail of XC tracks. This one is going to be a beauty.


MENTIONS: @mdelorme




28 Comments

  • + 37
 Really hungry all of a sudden.... Amazing photos!
  • + 2
 I was going to type the exact same thing.
  • + 3
 @Offrhodes: +1, I miss my daily saucisson
  • + 4
 You can have my sardines.
  • + 17
 @mdelorme
Ahaha, Bresse breed of chicken is not from "La Bresse" but "Bourg-en-Bresse", not really the same area... Smile
Plus, the title is not very French, but great article anyway !
  • + 10
 I tried. French to English Google research is dubious at best. I figured something was bound to come up wrong. This is a beautiful place though. Thank you!
  • + 3
 "the title is not very French, but great article anyway !"

Mais, c'est effectivement TRÈS BEAU La Bresse !
  • + 3
 @Bragelonne I will never use "très beau La Bresse" but somthing like "La belle région de La Bresse"
@mdelorme If you have some free time in this area you can contact me for some nice trails
  • + 2
 Beyond the french language teasing (well deserved considering how the french get teased for their english Wink ), these were very beautiful pictures of an incredible MTB area. Not just La Bresse, but the whole Vosges mountains are amazing to ride. I'm really bored with the trails around my home town but I'm lucky those mountains are not much more than 1h drive away.
  • + 14
 Really loving all the XC coverage lately, including this pre-race kinda stuff!
  • + 6
 I second that...thanks for the XC coverage!
  • + 1
 Am I the only creep here that goes into XCO stories only for pictures of Emily Batty, prefrably a video interview?
  • + 3
 @WAKIdesigns: If only there was some place on the internet that had pictures of hot women. But until something like that gets invented I guess you & your boner will have a lonely quest on this mountain biking website, good luck pal
  • + 10
 it s not sausage !! Its SAUCISSON
  • + 6
 That Citroen sign is most likely a remnant of an old repair shop from the 50s or 60s, when they didn't use big sign boards and just painted their walls Smile
  • + 1
 It's a cool sign- my father had a DS wagon in th 60s here in Cali
  • + 2
 Yeah baguette machine!!?? Gorgeous alpine trails? I'm down. You can keep the Cheetos and Pepsi machines. Wish I lived in France.
  • + 4
 That region looks just astonishing. And the food! Is it lunch yet?
  • + 2
 This article is a good reminder i should spend more time à la Bresse.
  • + 2
 Vosges...every time a pleasure to be & rider there!
Great pics! Smile
  • + 1
 NICE article! Sick photos Matt.
  • + 1
 wow I din't expect a such beautiful exhibition of photography.
  • + 1
 Beautiful riding and scenery!
  • + 2
 Juicy pics.......
  • + 1
 Great shots!!!! Oily and moist AF
  • + 1
 Jeese man. Well done with the photos. You have a great eye.
  • - 3
 Baguette dispenser. The frenchies are so weird
  • + 5
 OK, I'll take the bread vending machine. I'll let you handle the one with the Fritos, Doritos and Cheez-it. Enjoy

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