Features Editor Al spent a couple of weeks in the Alps and managed to find the time to catch up with Morgane Charre, the 2012 Elite Women’s World Champion, on her home trails in La Clusaz, just outside Annecy.
While La Clusaz isn’t a resort you’d normally travel to as a week-long holiday destination, it certainly delivers the goods for a couple of days of enduro bike thrashing. The trails are smooth and flowy with not a single breaking bump in sight (we can hear your arms gasping a sigh of relief from here!) and are axle deep in fresh, soft and grippy dirt. If that doesn’t sound good enough, the trails have all been built by hand – the catch berms are lovingly crafted and perfectly formed to keep you speeding down the mountain.
Sitting behind Morgane as we ready ourselves to drop in is as daunting as it is exciting. Safe in the knowledge she’s going to school me with every flick of her bike around every turn, the only thing I’m concentrating on now is making sure I can stay close enough (at all costs I might, including style and composure!) to get some awesome footage of her nailing the trails where she cut her teeth.
Hitting turn one, she speeds up quicker than Usain Bolt leaving the starting blocks and I’m left wondering if my brakes are seized on or if I’ve gone backwards up the track! Her precision down this technical, twisting and tight track is Jedi-like and I’m once again forced to miss turns and take risks to keep on her back wheel. We’ll let the video do the rest of the talking, but my God, that was one wild ride!