Photo Story – Ews E-series Valberg

Savage – brutal – hot! The recent Enduro World Series E-Series race in Valberg wasn’t for the faint-hearted!

Nestled in the French Alps, Valberg opened its extensive mountains to the eager riders for Round 3 of the EWS E-Series. The drive into Valberg is such a spectacular experience, turning every corner just dropped the jaw lower and lower. This hightened the feeling of what amazing trails would greet the racers.

An early start, a look out the window, an eager Joe and Leigh, what would be the set-up for training day 1? Leigh, the big man form Wales was more about surviving the heat, while Joe was busy nailing that 23psi in his front tyre. But both guys were excited about getting started.

A long day of riding means lots of battery power required. The guys could use 3 batteries during the day which they must change at designated stops.

“How was that run Leigh?” The guys sharing lines and experiences of the early stages.

Stages 1-4 were near the Village of Valberg and were tight twisty – Joe coined the term ‘anti-flow’ to describe them best.

Stage 5 headed out of Valberg and snaked its way along some explosive loose dusty marble-like trails. From there it was to the very picturesque Guillaumes village for a break.

Not too many places to hide from the heat in Guillaumes.

Rest and load up on food and drink before the big stages ahead.

Joe and Katy find a little shade while Joe runs through his day so far.

Leigh contemplates the task ahead. Next up was a timed uphill climb of almost 1000 meters vertical, over 10 km on a seriously technical trail with an additonal element of the pressure of a 55 minutes time limit!

“What’s for dinner Joe?”

A rest, a belly full of food, and a recap after a long day of practice.

A check of the Go-pro footage to see where any valuable seconds could be made up.

Joe and Leigh patiently sit and wait their turn to be called to the start line.

As temps reached into the thirties, keeping cool and hydrated was key to survival.

What goes up must come down – stage 6 was 15 minutes of solid riding.

The grey sand of stage 8 made for a great way to wrap up the day.

Race day over, and time to sit and take in the huge weekend.