Désaxé World Ride #9, Grenoble 27th/28th June

Report by Mmedo Duffort


Probably the best Giant Slalom location in Europe?

After our Swiss adventures, Grenoble provided a different challenge for Team GB. Again, Louis, Richard and myself flew to Switzerland only to find that Richard’s bag had opted for a different destination – or no destination at all as it turned out. We waited for a while but with one of the finest GS courses in Europe waiting for us we eventually made a dash for it. 

As per last year, the Désaxé World Ride festival managed to close a road at the foot of the Alps where a dozen excellent international riders met early on Friday afternoon. Unlike last year, the GS was moved further up hill which provided a faster, safer ride with a truly stunning backdrop. Fast it certainly was, especially towards the end, and all three Brits managed to crash at some point over the course of the afternoon. Richard, who had borrowed Franck Pannetier’s board was unfortunate to hit the ground whilst attempting a massive slide at the end of his first run. Louis and I crashed within seconds of one another whilst filming each others ride down the course. Lucky for both, this was after the race. To be fair, our slams were minor when compared to Richard’s who carried evidence of it the whole weekend.  With the first run races through I surprisingly found myself ahead of Janis Kuzmins (only ranked number 1 in the world!). Oh, the sweet sound of that announcement. But it was not to last and I eventually finished in fifth place, just one ahead of Louis.

Louis is a fine friend but a fierce competitor and he made sure over the course of the weekend that the order was restored, taking fifth in the special and in the hybrid. Richard, who let’s forget rode borrowed gear throughout the weekend, did very well in an extremely competitive field (think racers from Latvia, Germany, Spain battling it out against the French #1 and #2), taking 12th place overall, with Louis finishing fifth whilst I took sixth. Full results available from the ISSA website.

The Three Musketeers – Louis, Mmedo and Richard

The weekend was notable for the lack of rain, the abundance of good food and wine and the general friendliness of the competition. For those wanting a nice race abroad, this is definitely one to consider. The Special and Hybrid are run on flat but on a very good surface and the Giant is worth the trip alone. Oh and Richard eventually got his bag back……

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