Video: The Wild & Rapid French National Championships Track in Morzine, France

Jul 26, 2018 at 4:44
by Pinkbike Staff  
Jump onboard with Point1 Athletic Development coach Chris Kilmurray and check out the first headcam run from the French National Championships track on the famous Le Pleney hill in Morzine, France.


Video credit: Point1 Athletic Development


44 Comments

  • + 53
 those 'off camembert' sections look awkward
  • + 5
 can't upvote this enough...
  • + 41
 With tracks like that to cut your teeth on, theres little wonder why the French are dominating DH.
  • + 13
 Well we do have 3/4 good riders in the top 20 but if you look at which country dominates DH WC it is Uk without doubt. Half of the top 20 is coming from there. FFC is not supporting DH which is slowly dying in France, less and less DH races, too many enduro races.
  • + 5
 @Balgaroth: Because everyone has a trail bike to DH/enduro with - few have DH bikes or will ever buy them - the resorts cater trails to enduro bikes and much lesser skilled riders. I sadly believe the DH bike will become a relic of the past in 10-15 years. What do you think?
  • + 3
 @Balgaroth It's because we ride in the mud and slop all year so are used to it when it rains on the WC circuit, whereas in France / other European countries you actually get sun. In relation to the FFC, our national downhill series was sponsored by a bank and then crumbled and is run independently by each of the organisers of each round (There's more to it than that but I don't know the ins and outs).
  • + 2
 @hairy-g: yes we have sun, but the Alps have storms almost every 30 minutes it seems (20+ days of rain so far this July here in Austria). Knowing how to ride in the rain & mud is a must for racers in the European Alps.
  • + 9
 @neimbc: I understand what you say and really hope you're wrong. Sure enduro/trail bikes are fun and competent these days but every time I put a foot back on my DH bike it's like seeing an old friends, instant good time much better than with anything else. After having to use my enduro bike at the park for 3 session I can says it's nothing like the real bike and on top of that because I was still hamering it down I got mechanicals on each of these sessions ... I'd say in 15 years DH bike will be owner by those who actually keep it real and love DH riding and proper racers. Are sports car dying anytime soon despite all the polution rules, speed limits and all this shite ? Nope, DH bikes will follow the sam path I hope.
  • + 1
 @hairy-g: I'm not even sure it's down to the races. I lived in Ireland for 3 years and the bike scene is much different. Here people go on beefed up XC spins that we call enduro, there (and UK it seems) people session section of a trail for the craic, play on a jump and stuff like that (British pie stuff like). In France people don't do that, no banter mostly unless you're a dirt jumper orstreet rider. It probably doesn't help to develop skills which limits only our most talented riders to come out (but then really strong as they were always serious). I might be wrong but that's my bet on it.
  • + 13
 Well, Morzine is a bad example as it technically belongs to great Britain.
  • + 2
 Enduro bikes are great and all, but the big rig will always be my fav... Got back on it this evening after being out of riding for a while, felt so good to chuck it around.
  • + 2
 @Balgaroth: Hey don't go thinking that our cycling fereation give a rat's ass about DH - trust me, they don't
  • + 2
 @neimbc: who cares Big Grin we going to be the ones saying, I did my time on them hahaah, I have an enduro bike which I use more of the time, but never will I change my 26 dh beast
  • + 3
 @Balgaroth: I own a Capra and would never DH it - Run after run all summer long it would die. I use my DH bike for that, and will continue to do so - just wish the resorts made more challenging terrain than the paved dirt roads their bulldozing in everywhere.
  • + 10
 Hello from Morzine, I'm racing there in the master class (I'm the oldest man on the track at 60)
For sure it's a good one, we had a storm there yesterday afternoon, so this morning a few places were quite sketchy, it totally dried out by the afternoon.
Quite physical but very nice track.
  • + 3
 Looks awesome, have fun man!
  • + 12
 where can i get one of those orange cushions around the trees? i need to wear it when i am riding
  • + 12
 that'll be fun in the wet...
  • + 4
 Just got to walk ( with hiking boots) through there in the (very) wet... hella sketchy. I wouldn't get paid to do it.
  • + 1
 Check out Amaury Pierron's Facebook page,he's got a video of him and his brother training there... mud and laughs all the way.
  • + 2
 @nozes: It's not his brother but a friend Wink The video coming from P2V team
  • + 4
 Now that is a proper DH course. Steep, off camber with huge ruts, giant roots, drop offs and many different line choices. You really have to be on your game to lay down a good race run on a course like this. I would love to see what that drop looked like where the rider hit it and than kind of missed the turn and ended up facing a tree. It looked like it jumped a stream or something. I love little trail features like this that let you know you're riding DH and not some tame xc trail. There is a trail at my local DH park that has a few little drops and jumps like that to let you know that it's not your everyday average trail.
  • + 3
 Some of the taping at the bottom of the course looks stupid. Having ridden some of that lower section why not use the berms to gather speed or is just temporary to stop it getting destroyed?
  • + 2
 Looks dead awkward doesn't it :-/
  • + 3
 I'm glad you said that. It looks a little odd to me, doesn't seem to flow that well.
  • + 3
 @jamesdunford: reminds me of be taping at old short course downhill races back in the day, to try and make the track a tad longer. It’s different to see, so I like it!

Also, having ridden most of that stuff, that’ll be insane trying to race it. That gap to tree will take some people out I’m sure!
  • + 11
 Because berms are for bike parks. This is a DH race. Looks like they've intentionally taped it to be hard - which they should
  • + 3
 This channel I'm subbed to makes awesome previews. Bit higher quality youtu.be/XAkLzxCIsh0?t=48s
  • + 1
 Looks more like EWC course, my money would be on Cecile Ravanel to take women’s title.
  • + 1
 If could have been so much more but... There's loads of better of piste in there...
  • + 1
 I’d take some different lines... mainly right from the start actually and find the easy way down!
  • + 2
 This track should be one of WC venues, looks so good.
  • + 2
 I've been told it would ! Watched the top elites ride it after my session .... Eiiiishhhh how can they handle such a speed on this track !
  • + 1
 @ed91: Haha I know right it's crazy how the elite's carry such a high speed on some tracks, it's a whole other level which is just all about having steel balls! I remember watching them at a National race here in the UK, blew my mind
  • + 2
 One of the best tracks ive ever seen.
  • + 1
 The French need to practice their whistle skills. They'll never get hired to track marshal for UCI with those weak blows!
  • + 1
 Finally a track with plenty of room for braking in the finish corral, HAH!
  • + 1
 That mini step-down to tree is an interesting touch
  • + 1
 Those whistles sounded pathetic.
  • + 0
 just back from riding few bits in there on pleney, looks pretty lame to some or the other off piste in there.
  • + 4
 ye couldnae ride outta yer garden.
  • + 1
 @AlanMck: yup and i'm calling it lame Wink
  • + 1
 @bat-fastard: Well I rode it post-race and can confirm it's not lame at all.
  • + 1
 It's a shame they closed off some of the French lines....

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