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.
Enduro World Series Round 3 – Les Deux Alps
From Round 2 at Val D’Allos it was back up into the French Alps for the 3rd round of the series at Les Deux Alp. This would be a different format again to the previous rounds, this time run by the organisers of the Crankworx bike festival.
The course map was released on Friday but again there was no way you could walk the courses. I chose instead to go for a ride with a few friends and went off exploring the back of the mountain, which included riding some of the Mountain of Hell (a big mass-start race) qualifying track. It was a beautiful trail which had everything – techy stuff, high speed singletrack and even some meadows.
The first thing that struck me about this area was just how steep the mountains were. I felt as though I had been on my brakes the entire ride! This was something I soon became used to as on Saturday we were allowed to practice the 4 stages.
Since they were all accessed by the chairlift, I decided I should have time to do them all twice. I did manage that – but it meant I was out riding from 9.30am to 5.30pm and came back pretty damn knackered. Maybe not the best idea I’ve ever had the day before a race, but it was done now and I just hoped I could hold on for one more day.
I started the day off feeling pretty tired, understandably, but thankfully it was a late start as they put the highest ranked riders last this weekend!
Stage 1 was the crucial stage of the whole day as it was the only really physical, pedally one, and it was the longest too. I knew that it would be a tough job to keep ahead of XC racer Cecile Ravanel on this stage. This race was also the first race back for Anne Caroline Chausson (AKA Anne Caro) after she broke her ribs in Round 1 at Punta Ala – even more strong competition in my attempt to win round 3. I knew I would have a tough day.
I started off the stage pretty steadily, just trying to pace myself, and as I started the steep climb in the middle of the stage I could see Cecile ahead of me. I had made up some time and felt good, but as the steep climb ended, the long traverse began and I just ran out of steam. I got slower and slower and was willing the trail to start to descend again
It did, finally, downhill all the way to the finish – but I was so dead I rode the bottom section horribly and lost all the advantage I had gained. I ended up crossing the line in 2nd place losing 9 seconds to Cecile, but I was still happy to be ahead of the other girls.
The rest of the day would now be about getting that time back. Stage 2 was my favorite as it had some nice steep tight techy riding at the top and then some fast berms and single track near the bottom. I had a pretty good run and finished up in second again, this time behind DH racer Emmeline Ragot. Most importantly, I had taken time from Cecile and I was now back in front by 7seconds.
I also enjoyed stage 3 even though the trails were pretty cut up and destroyed by the time we came to race it. I managed to take the win on a stage where a few of the girls punctured, and extended my lead over Cecile by 22 seconds.
All I had to do now was hold on to that lead in stage 4, the final stage. It was also my least favourite, as it was so steep and rough at the start.
I have done very little DH training or riding for the last 12 months, so by now my hands and fingers were really starting to feel the last 2 days of what had been essentially DH runs on my trail bike.
I rode super safe again on stage 4, took no risks and finished up in 4th. It was good enough to still take the overall win with a gap of 15 seconds over Cecile. Anne Caro got faster throughout the day, and took the final stage win. I expect in Colorado for Round 4 she will be back to her normal speed and will be, as always, a very tough person to beat!
Next stop for the Enduro World Series is Winter Park in Colorado. This will be a tough race as its a high altitude venue, and I’m sure we will have some more North American riders challenging for the podium spots.
To have won the first three rounds of the Enduro World Series is just amazing.
I never expected to be able to do that when the season began. I have now set myself a tough challenge to be able to keep it up, but I will be trying my best to keep the run going!