Martin and Matteo head back to Europe for round 6 of 7 in the Enduro World Series. Martin goes into the event with a massive lead in the junior category – 2900 points to Brice Liebrechts 1,350, but that won’t mean that the youngster takes it easy – it’s just not in him – especially as brother Tom is also racing this weekend and plans to be right at his heels!
Rider: Martin Maes
Mechanic: Matteo Nati
Bikes: GT Force
It’s back to French rules this weekend with tracks being kept firmly under wraps until today and no walking or riding allowed until tomorrow’s official on foot inspections when walking and lift access will be allowed but no bikes or vehicles. Saturday will see one practice run and two timed runs for Stages one and two then Sunday will have one practice run and two timed runs for Stage three followed by a mass start section.
Val d’Isere also features on the downhill circuit and course organisers will have access to a lot of steep and technical sections to test the skills of this weekend’s riders. The 2012 Downhill World Cup track was universally challenging with lots of loose dirt and rocks, and the changeable weather with intense alpine downpours played havoc with many team’s preparations and tyre choice. This weekend promises typical alpine weather and we’re expecting to be faced with some fairly brutal climbs to test riders to the limit!
Martin’s DH teammates remember Val d’Isere last year for the great spectators Gee said “It would be great if the Enduro racers get anything like the turnout and the level of excitement that was there for us – the crowd was really lively.”
True to form there are heavy rains forecast interspersed with periods of sunshine. Sunday even threatens light snows on the mountaintops with temperatures staying cool – a range of 2-10 degrees C across the mornings.
Martin hasn’t raced at Val d’Isere before but he is in a great position and team instructions have been to “Just enjoy the experience.”
Current situation – team perspectives
Martin said “ I’m looking forward to the race – all of my family are here and I have Matteo to help me – the terrain here is very exciting, I can’t wait to get started.”
Dan said “I’m actually hoping that it does rain! Martin’s one of the fastest riders I know when it comes to riding in the wet – because of his very loose riding style those conditions just don’t bother him.”