WHAT A HARD RACE !
The 3rd round of the Enduro World Series took place in Peebles, Scotland. We properly experienced the Scottish weather: during the 2 days of practice we got the rain, then sun and again the rain and even the hail! 8 stages to discover the local trails of the Tweedlove valley with no shuttle, all by bike. It was exhausting to ride the entire loop but we really liked the different stages they built for the race. Jérôme was still sick and his shoulder sores so we were worried about the race. Fortunately we got a rest day on Friday to “recharge our batteries” before the 2 days of racing!
The Scottish landscape offers us a beautiful view on top of the Tweedlove valley before entering to the dark forest! Jérôme got the perfect color matching jersey with tweed color!
The first day was extremely nice: 4 stages around the beautiful landscape of Scotland under the sun. It was a long day with 59 km and 1500 elevation but we enjoyed the transfer time which were long enough to make it easily and get ready to the demanding stage! Jérôme finished 13th (+37’) due a crash on stage 3 and lost 20 seconds but he was happy to not feel pain in his the shoulder any more. Pauline got 15th and struggled with her ankle sprain.
Jérôme: “I felt better when the race started on Saturday, motivation was high and I was confident in my chance to get a good result. Usually this kind of terrain suits me well and I was hungry. Unfortunately I wanted to do too good and push too hard. I did a lot of mistakes all week end long and crashed too much. I was forcing and I didn’t have the form and the focus to handle this kind of riding in these tricky conditions. I managed to put some decent results on few stage (2-4 and 5) but on the other one it was a hard to do what I want and I lost the consistency which is a key point in this kind of race, especially if you don’t have the speed or the legs to dominate.”
On Saturday night, the race organizer decided to shorten the second day of the race due to windy and cold conditions. Instead of racing 4 more stages, they cut the last day into 2 stages.
Jérôme did a good start of the day with an 8th place on stage 5 in the muddiest track we ever done in World Series event! Unfortunately the last one was not on his hand; he crashed twice and lost precious seconds. At the end he finished 15th. He is a little bit disappointed of the result but sometimes it doesn’t work as you planned!
He said: “I accept the result, will try to recover and stay focus for the rest of the season which is still long. I truly believe that this was only 2 bad week and I’ll do my best to come back strong for the next races!”
All the results per category:
Pauline was happy to finish 12th at the end of the week-end! “I am not a big fan of wet conditions but I used to ride in mud and slippery roots at home so I took it as an advantage, it helped me to gain 3 places on Sunday! I am super happy to get into close the top 10 and in the middle of pro riders!”
On the 31st of May Jérôme turned to 31 years old! After the race we celebrate his birthday with all the riders and media under the Cannondale tent. It was a relaxed and nice moment share with all of them.