Had a tough two days in the rain and mud at the Swiss Super Enduro in Torgon. A great event consisting of 6 different DH courses linked by lifts and climbs to access starts! Saturday was very wet and only did one run to orientate myself! The rain was pouring and conditions steep, deep and oh so slippery! Met Jo Pauly from Ride Ability in Morzine (Another local MTB Guide) We did one run together before deciding on full mud spikes for seeding and first run.
With the weather so bad we were told we would do a night dual slalom….On a grassy ski piste!!! The combined times being our seeding placing and accumulated time too. Winner being rider with smallest accumulated time after all runs etc.
Needless to say, me being a former British Dual Slalom Champ I thought I had all the “old school`moves dialled….Oh how wrong can one be? God, I was crap with a capital C! First run against a keen youth rider and had him for two gates before missing the next two and getting a wopping time penalty…Over zealous, decision made to stay calm and conservative for run two! Alas got the hole shot jump and binned it on gate four….The embarrasment rolling through the finish with grass poking out my lid and in last place in the girls for sunday…. meaning I found out that I would be starting after 150 riders and having to pass them each run all day from the back…Buggeration!
It poured all night and arrived in Torgon at 7.30am to find the race had been put back from 8.30am to 9.30am, I could have had a few extra minutes in bed ;(
The first run was oh so bloody steep and lary tight. One narrow line to follow cut into a mulchy forest floor.With some steep off camber shoots and rocky and roots aplenty….Really was the name of the game all day!
Well despite starting almost last I passed quite a few had a tumble and past a few more…All good and second quickest girly and 22 over all! So some time made up! Next run was more eventful with a stupid crash on a rocky bus top….Blame go straight on pilot and lack of respect for spikes on wet rocks!!! This was to be my pedals undoing alas. I struggled to get my foot to release in the crash and pulled out very hard in the mid-air panic stage before hitting the deck. This ripped the pedal almost off the axle which I discovered on the pedal to the next and longest stage! Eeek.
I rode the whole 14 minute stage panicking that the pedal was going to come completely off, I looked down a number of times to see the axle almost completely exposed and at the end even had to stop with the pedal attached to my shoe and try to thread it back on to the axle…Not advised on a steep camber and riders coming past! At lunchtime the mechanic said it was a no goer and I needed a new one….NOT got one with me! So washed the bike and waited to go back up on the rickety old 2 man chair. The chair necessitated rider clutching bike on the side of the lift with pedal resting on the seat. Not so good with aforementioned pedal hanging off! So I hastily rustled up a zip tie and attached it best way I could to my crank! Anyway, I got to the top with no dramas. Next run was a disaster however, the pedal came off twice and finally I must have had it attached to my shoe only to lose it when I put my foot down going round an axle deep rut. It’s now in a muddy grave on a mountain high above Torgon!
The last two runs were highly stressed. Its tough trying to keep a carbon soled spd shoe on a spindly metal axle! I managed to not come off but rode extremely slowly trying to not stab myself in the calf with the axle! So, with six runs of high drama and mud I had survived my first super enduro race. The Rocky Mountain Slayer was awesome for the event. Gobbled up all the steep drops and flew up the climbs…Doing what it was designed for! My EVOC Freeride Rucksac protected my back superbly in my rocky high-speed stack and Rukkus Clothing race kit was bright and Bling at the end of 8 hours racing in the mud! Thanks to SRAM AVID and Rock Shox for providing the best suspension, brake and running gear a rider could ever wish for.
Jet washed and clean I wondered over for the presentations, I watched proceedings whilst ordering a well-earned beer….Shock upon shock I was announced as second in the women and 36th overall! Off up to the podium totally unprepared and beer left lonely on the beer tent bar! Wow, happy to get 2nd to a girl who specialised in this sort of racing and others who were seasoned campaigners in enduro racing too. So with a place on the podium I am now addicted to enduro dh racing! Despite being shattered, when I arrived home I searched the net for other races. One next weekend in Lenzerheide -Trek Bike Attack and one in sweden in a few weeks. All too much money so will have to save the pennies for one closer to here or find some new sponsors keen to get into and have a part of enduro racing.