The French Maritime Alps are full of succulent singletrack, and the lifestyle doesnt look too bad either. Holiday anyone?
There’s nothing quite like some high-quality on-the-bike footage to help you appreciate how gnarly big mountain riding can be. This video, with plenty of chest-mounted camera work, nails it.
We followed Bartek “Jaws” Krzyszton to the Black Hills in France, one of the best freeride spots in Europe. Miles away from any form of civilization, the men spent days sleeping in tents so they could fully explore this mountain bike haven. Their days were spent filming and watching Jaws dig and ride his bike in a completely pure freeride environment unlike any other. He was not afraid to go big, fast, nor steep and they have the footage to prove it. Jaws Freeriding The Remote Black Hills Of France | Jawsome, Ep. 2
And what about if one weekend every year, all the trails chairlifts opened up to a big ‘grand fondo’ style event, with no timing or racing, just a wristband that gets you food, drink and chairlift access.
It gets even better. Imagine doing a 30 minute flat out descent and arriving at a big tent, with cheese fondue, cold meats, beer, wine, chocolate, bread… Oh yes this does exist!
This may be impossible to happen in Australia, but this goes on in France and Switzerland, and is called the Passportes du Soleil and Flow was there again this year, basking in the sunshine of the alps with a myriad of trails at our glove tips.
80 km – 15 ski-lifts – 6000m of total downhill!
9 different resorts to start from :
– In France: Avoriaz, Châtel, Les Gets, Morzine and Montriond-Les Lindarets.
– In Switzerland: Champéry, Morgins, Torgon and Les Crosets.
1000 m of total uphill climb
8 refreshment points. Start at any time between 7.30 a.m. and 9 a.m. from each resort.
Our start point was Les Gets, France and we made it back there as the last lift closes after hours and hours of descending. A truly life changing experience with the highest speeds, biggest views and cherries Euro dudes ever.
The two main centres; Chatel and Les Gets turn into a mountain biking festival with a huge bike demo system, night racing, expo’s, trials demos and live music. It’s a real buzz!
Flow’s tips for Passportes success:
– Set up your bike with meaty tubeless tyres.
– Take a real camera, it’s eye boggling out there.
– Start early, aim for the complete loop.
– Eat and drink everything within sight.
– Talk to everyone in the lift lines.
The largest premium bicycle brand in France, is a part of the large parent mob of Accell Group with Ghost Bikes and Hai Bike. And since last year, the popular dual suspension models using the OST+ (a variant on the excellent four bar linkage, Horst Pivot design) patent held by Specialized ran out, so we’ll be seeing more of these bike all over the world.
Lapierre pump out 110,000 bikes annually, how many spokes does that add up to?
With the frame construction coming from Taiwan, and part of the world’s assembly, Lapierre still maintain the assembly and distribution of the European share of the market’s bikes right out of the Dijon facility. Gilles Lapierre, the son of founder Jackie Lapierre maintains the name in the business as the general manager.
Welcome to the Raid des Terres Noires – one sweet enduro course in Digne-les-Bains, France.
Commencal SuperTeam rider Nico Quéré is here to show you how to ride it like a madman. He might call himself an ‘easy rider’ but don’t be fooled, there’s nothing easy about what he does here.
The Pass Portes du Soleil is a heady mix of chair lifted descents, jaw dropping vistas and oh-so-much cheese. At a decent clip, it takes around half a dozen hours (maybe more) to complete the full circuit of this annual event, as it links up ten or so Swiss/French alpine resorts of the Portes du Soleil region.
It’s a superb experience, and that’s why thousands upon thousands of Frenchies, Italians, Germans, Swiss, Brits and more take part every year. To cope with the demand, the Pass Portes is now spread across three days, but even still the carnival buzz is irrepressible.
To tell the tale is no easy task. Ask a six year old to tell you how Christmas day feels, that’ll be a pretty close approximation. With a GoPro in hand, clad in layers of merino to keep the chill away on the chairs, and a brand new Lapierre Spicy Team to ride, Flow headed into the fray once again. We’ll let the pictures bring you the story.
3 minutes with Kilian BRON at his backyard playground, Semnoz, FRANCE.
Each episode of Focus 311 will turn an artistic lens on a different pro mountain biker throughout the 2013 MTB season.
Round 3 of the Enduro World Series took place at Crankworx Les 2 Alpes with the Cannondale Enduro Les 2 Alpes. While Tracy Moseley has managed to dominate each and every round of the inaugural enduro series, a different man has taken home first place at each venue so far.
For the Cannondale Enduro Les 2 Alpes, Frenchman Jerome Clementz was able to clinch the win and cross the finish line first with a total time of 32:54.738 after four epic stages. This is not Clementz’s first win on the Crankworx stage; he took home the gold in Whistler at last year’s Canadian Open Enduro and also at the Mountain Of Hell held during last year’s Crankworx Les 2 Alpes.
While the men fiercely battle for supremacy of the Overall Series Title, Tracy Moseley has her lead on lock with a third straight win in the Enduro World Series and a time of 38:54.914. The current standings of Overall World Enduro Series Title as of today’s event are Clementz and Moseley.
“The Cannondale Enduro Les 2 Alpes has been the toughest race in the series so far and featured completely different terrain to the last round,” says Enduro World Series Managing Director, Chris Ball. “We saw a different rider win each stage of today’s race on both the men’s and women’s sides and everyone was talking about how tough and different the course was compared to previous rounds. I feel like the sport is jumping up a notch, each round we go through.”
Second fastest Pro man at today’s Cannondale Enduro Les 2 Alpes was legendary World Cup downhiller Nicolas Vouilloz (FRA) +20.282 and coming in third was current World Cup downhill racer Samuel Blenkinsop (NZ) +23.051.Second fastest Pro woman was Cécile Ravanel (FRA), a rider with cross-country roots coming in +15.328, and in third was 2011 UCI Downhill World Champion Emmeline Ragot (FRA) +21.921.
With the exception of Stage 1, which featured a notoriously steep and grueling climb, the other stages favoured downhill technicians and was regarded by the most seasoned enduro athletes to be some of the gnarliest stages they had seen to date. The Enduro World Series was created in October 2012 with the aim of uniting the world’s mountain bike enduro racing community. The Enduro World Series links the largest mountain bike enduro events in the world with the best trails possible.
Full results: cannondale_enduro_les_2_alpes_FINAL.