Return of the (mountain) bikers

This past weekend was the occasion for some serious, national-level competition among off-road bicycle racers — the kind of young daredevils who ride what the French call a VTT, which stands for an all-terrain bicycle.

The competition was held once again just outside Saint Pompon, less than five kilometres from Daglan. And it’s a big event, with people arriving from all over the country. Here’s a look at just one of the parking lots:

Cars and campers fill the lots.

I’ve posted about this competition before — on May 28, 2012, in “VTT comes to the GDA,” and then on March 28, 2017, in “Thrills (and possibly spills) in the hills.”

It appears that this competition tends to be a family event — that is, Mom and Dad drive Junior (with his or her bikes) to the venue, because the competitors seem to be teenagers, and some are probably too young to drive.

The course is not only incredibly steep, but incredibly rugged, with serious rocks all over the place. Here’s a look at one young rider making his way up onto the course:

Heading up one of the main downhill runs.

Here’s another look at the same downhill run, with a couple of riders just barely visible up the slope:

One going up, two coming down.

By the way, I assume that the young guy heading up the track was going to make a sharp left before he collided with the riders coming down.

For a final look, here’s the finish line for at least one of the races:

And here’s the finish!

So, it’s quite a popular event. And while it’s not my cup of tea — and certainly not something I would or could attempt — I’m glad it’s a success, and I’m also glad to see so many young people who are fit enough, and skilled enough, to race the course.



This entry was posted in Bicycling in the Dordogne, Exercise and fitness, Life in southwest France, Sports, Sports in the Dordogne and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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