Post by Mary on November 5, 2020
Jamie stood on the top step of the podium at the Sunn Epic Enduro race down in Olargues on the 17th October. Like so many events this year the race was postponed from May due to Covid-19. This year Jamie entered a new age-category so it was the ideal year to go for a win and he did it 🙂 The fast riders tend to stay fast even with age so it’s never easy to be number one. Fortunately there aren’t too many old blokes that can keep up with Jamie!
Coming on the back of a summer with a lot less bike riding than usual, this year’s Epic Enduro race was not at the ideal time for Jamie in terms of race fitness. In fact during the month before the race his training consisted of 2 bike rides and one turbo session. He did give up beer for 6 days, 2 weeks prior to the race but he ditched that idea the week before. No one wants to risk over-training 😉 Jamie back-loaded most of his training with 4 days of riding the trails of Olargues during the week of the race itself. And apparently that’s all he needed to complete the 4,500m of ascent and descent with 9 “specials” or timed-stages of mostly downhill, very technical singletrack and finish in first place. Jamie started riding at 5am in the dark and finished at 6pm, almost in the dark. It’s a long, hard day in the saddle but he’s done a few of them over the years.
With so many holidays, Ride the Alps trips and other plans cancelled in 2020 Jamie’s victory at the Epic Enduro was a real moment of joy during a less-than-joyous year. Jamie thinks he might do a little bit more training for next year’s endeavour – the Colorado Trail Race from Durango to Denver (or maybe the other way around). That will take a bit longer than 13 hours!
Jamie loves the riding down in Olargues, which is in the Herault department of southern France. There’s a lot of very technical natural singletrack, very rocky and often dry and dusty. Tough and chunky, Jamie says. The hills are smaller than here in the Alps but there are plenty of them and it’s a very beautiful area. We are thinking of running a trip down there for those of you who like their riding on the technical side. Having race the Epic Enduro three times now and done almost 3 weeks of riding down there, Jamie knows the area and the trails very well. We’ll let you know what we come up with. Keep on checking-in with our Blog 🙂
Many thanks to “Arc en Ciel” for the photos.