Enduro stars up the stakes

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Two factory team riders will bring a world class level of competition to events at Queenstown Bike Fest this
week.

Scott riders Remy Absalon and Pierre-Charles Georges, of France, are signed up for Saturday’s Super D and next Friday’s Coronet Enduro.

Both are in the country for the Enduro World Series at Crankworx, Rotorua, at the end of the month.

Absalon, 31, rode at the Queenstown Bike Fest two years ago, then with Commencal, and is about as good as it gets on the world stage.

The three-time winner of France’s iconic Megavalanche finished 13th overall in the EWS last year, with five top 15 finishes.

He’s also won Crankworx (Whistler) and Superenduro titles.

Absalon says: “EWS are my main goal for the season, that’s why I’m back in NZ.

“Queenstown Bike Fest is just before, so it is an opportunity to come back again for training and enjoying this place I had liked so much.

“At Queenstown, you can ride the beautiful bike park with jumps, berms, so perfect for fun, but you can also ride wilder spots like Coronet Peak on great trails with a nice view.

“The only problem is NZ is very far away from France - otherwise I would be there all the European winter, for sure.”

Absalon will race seven other EWS races through to October, in Ireland, Scotland, France, USA, Canada, Spain and Italy, along with the Alpe d’Huez Megavalanche.

He rates his current form as OK - after a weather-enforced break over winter.

“I am happy to be in NZ for one month to train … on your great spots.”

Absalon says many top riders come to Queenstown for winter training, adding: “It’s hard to say how to attract more again – but maybe a world cup in the future? I hope so.”

Georges also took down the Alps Megavalanche, winning in 2014, to go with his 2012 French National title. He competed in seven UCI World Cup races last year.

paul.taylor@scene.co.nz