The rider who helped make enduro what it is today
Riding an enduro sometime soon? Enduro World Series champion Jérôme Clémentz is here to give us his top three tips to help your race go as well as possible.
If practice is allowed, find the key points of the race, the bits where you have to do something special. A line choice, noticing a sharp corner, a place you have to shift, the length of the uphill, anything. Before you race, go through all the points you’ve noticed, and in the right order.
If you’re not allowed practice, learn to read the way the trail is taped or the marks on the ground. Skid marks mean something will happen soon, so shift, brake and be ready for action. Look forward to anticipate what’s coming up, keep the flow and give yourself time to find your rhythm.
2. Slower is faster
Don’t think about descending as fast as possible. You don’t have to think about the goal, but about what you have to do to ride fast.
Think about breathing, pedalling efficiency, where to put your eyes, pacing yourself, and how to be smooth. Focus on what you’re doing, not on spotting your mate cheering for you on the side of the track. You’re less likely to do stupid things as you near the end, and it also makes you feel better and enjoy your ride more.
3. No pain, no gain
It’s a race, so you have to give it your best. Make sure you know the elevation, distance and approximate time for each stage and transfer; this means you can save energy on a long stage, or ride wide open on a short one. When you cross the finish line you shouldn’t have any energy left (except to drink a good beer).
A race is a good reason to improve and push your limits, so even if it hurts in the stage try to stand up on the pedals in a technical section, or sprint to the finish line. The feeling afterwards and the satisfaction of having given your best is amazing. No matter what the final rankings are, the fact you did your best is reward in itself.