The inaugural edition of NZ Enduro was a wrap! Located in the South Island, between Nelson and Blenheim, this three-day event took place in the native forest and the most typical trails of the area. Jérôme was happy to join this event to find again race feelings. It was a good training to prepare the 1st EWS in Rotorua in 2 weeks.
Big names attended the race: Jamie Nicoll, Damien Oton, Yohann Barelli, Adam Craig, Chris Johnston, Ludovic May, Alexandre Cure, François Bailly Maitre and locals who know well the tracks.
The first day was a good warm up, only 1 stage up to Whites Bay which has everything: 9 minutes of pure speed, technical sections and hard steep but short climb! Jérôme finished 2nd by 2 seconds behind Damien! Amazing start of the race! The fight gonna be tight!
Nydia track, race day 2, picture: copyright Sven Martin
The second day was the most epic one, on the famous Nydia track: if you don’t like roots and pumping in between them, stay at home! It’s a hard day with only 26 km but it takes the day to get rid of the crazy nasty trails. It was a big challenge for all the riders and if you try to go fast, you can easily crash. Jérôme made the experience, by losing his handle bar on a root and his bike fell in the bank…he tooks him almost 1 minute to get it back to the trail! Even with that crash Jerôme finished 3rd of that day. It was over for the win (45 seconds behind the leader Jamie Nicoll), but the fight for the second place was still on with 3 riders in less than 10 seconds (Barelli, Oton, Clementz).
Wakamarina, race day 3, picture: copyright Sven Martin
In New Zealand heli drops are quite usual! For the last day of race, the organisation managed to flight 120 riders to the start of the 1st stage. The riders get the chance to ride the beautiful Wakamarina trail, in the middle of crazy big and green punga ferns. The native forest got the most amazing atmosphere where you can ride and really feel like you are in the other side of the world! This day was faster with long descent and Jérôme found the terrain that he likes. He didn’t do any mistake and was able to deliver the best of his riding.
Jérôme won all the 3 stages of the day and was happy to show that he is able to find again his race level.
Thanks Alpinestars for the custom jersey dedicated to New Zeland with a black&write fern!
|Pauline could not race because of a trap nerve in my low back.
I manage to go to see Jérôme in the track by water taxi!I hope to feel better for EWS in Rotorua.
Perfect race preparation for our « bach » house in Link water.