Tracy Moseley is a world renowned mountain biker. A professional MTB racer, she has multiple downhill world cup wins to her name, several world champion titles, and a whole host of other race wins under her belt. Let’s just say her trophy cabinet must take a long time to dust.
This year, she has turned her hand to enduro racing with phenomenal success. She is currently the leading individual woman in the new Enduro World Series, a race series that combines the endurance of cross country with the excitement and technical skill of downhill. Our demystifier article has all you need to know about this new race series.
After winning the first round in Punta Ala, Italy, she has remained undefeated. This is Tracy’s report from the front-line of racing, in her own words.
My second trip out to Europe in 2013 was always going to be a busy one with 3 races back to back; the first round of the French Enduro Series, and rounds 2 and 3 of the Enduro World Series.
I decided to enter the first round of the French Series in Samoens as I thought it would be good preparation for the second World Enduro Series event, which was being run under French rules. A weekend of getting used to the format and the super long, tough trails was the goal.
In the French Series there is no ride practice allowed on the course at all. The courses are marked out on the Friday and you are free to walk them, but there is no way you can walk all 5 stages – you just get an idea of the terrain which helps with your tyre choice !
French Enduro Series (Round 1)
It’s an early 7.30am start on the chairlift as the first stage starts around 8.15am. Racing flat out on trails you have never ridden is tough, but wicked fun.
During Saturday we did 5 runs over 3 different stages, culminating in close to 1 hour of racing!
A big storm earlier in the week made the conditions a bit slick on the steep, freshly cut terrain. I had to use Bontrager DH Mud tyres on the front all weekend just to have enough control and steering
Sunday was an even tougher day as it was the longest stage, and we had to do it 3 times. It was close to 20 minutes of testing terrain with some pedaling thrown in the mix for good measure.
I’d had a pretty big crash on Saturday but got away with little damage. However, it was a clear reminder as to what can happen when you lose concentration. Thankfully, I managed to stay on the rest of the weekend and rode well enough to take the win ahead of Cecile Ravanel.
This was one of the toughest tests of enduro I have done and I just hoped that it would be worth the suffering, as it would be good preparation for next weeks World Enduro race.
World Enduro Series Round 2 – Val D’Allos
After a few days of recovery and some driving we arrived at Val D’Allos, a beautiful village in the mountains about two hours north of Nice.
We had a few days to wait until race weekend so had the chance to do some rides on the other side of the valley. It seemed as though wherever you went in the valley you could find a long climb on the road up, then epic single track descents back down. It was stunning!
The riding was good and I rode a lot. In fact, I felt I had probably done a bit too much before a big race weekend – but it was hard not to as it was so much fun!
The French race format had to be adapted slightly to fall in line with the Enduro World Series rules, as there must be some practice allowed at an EWS event. This meant that instead of doing each stage twice, the first time down each new stage was a practice run. No stopping allowed though, just a roll down to check out the stage.
For me this meant that the previous weekends marathon of 8 timed stages would hopefully have been much tougher than this weekend where we actually only had 6 timed stages. However I think the intensity of the World Series and the pressure that I put myself under soon made it tough. It felt like a full on French enduro by the end of the weekend!
I took an early lead after stage 1 and managed to win all 3 stages on Saturday, giving me a lead of around 50 seconds going in to Sunday.
The long stage on Sunday was brutal. Tough single-track traverse climbing to start, then just a long relentless trail that needed concentration and hard pedaling to keep your speed. I lost out on the first time to Cecile Ravanel, but the second time down managed my energy better and went quicker, taking some time out of the rest of the girls. That left me with the final stage where I knew I just needed to ride safe.
That’s often the hardest thing – to just try and ride safe. I found myself thinking about it way too much and rode the worst I had all weekend but thankfully it was good enough to still take the overall win.
It was an awesome feeling taking my second win in the Enduro World Series, especially at the venue where enduro racing began in France 11 years ago. A special race to win!