Enduro World Series 2014: Valloire Preview
Round three has the greatest number of vertical descents in the whole competition
If there's one country that's always a highlight on the Enduro World Series calendar, it's France, the sport's homeland.
Round three will take place at the base of the Galibier Pass in the Savoie region of the northern Alps this Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 June 2014.
Valloire has seen riders compete in Enduro competitions here for over a decade. Now the World Series is back for another year of fast singletrack descents and insane alpine views.
So, what should you be looking out for this weekend?
Valloire has the most vertical descents of the whole series. However, after the gruelling uphills in Scotland, the riders will be thankful for the French chairlift access for ascents.
The course has yet to be revealed, but from what we already know about Valloire, it's going to be an interesting one.
We do know that the organisers have opened a whole new part of the mountain that's never been ridden before. So two of the four stages will be totally new for all the riders, which could shake the competition up a bit.
Will the French take the winning spots on the podium?
Frenchman Nico Lau stormed into first place at round two in Scotland, so the question is will riding on home turf work in his favour this weekend.
Meanwhile in the women's race, Anne-Caroline Chausson is bound to be itching to gain ground over Tracey Moseley. However Cecile Ravanel beat Chausson at TweedLove, so the comp may not just be a two-woman battle any longer.
Nico Vouilloz is back
In other French-related news, Nico Vouilloz is back after injuring himself earlier this year and missing out on the first two rounds of the 2014 season.
"I'm starting to feel good and ready to resume competing!"
The former Downhill World Cup champion is keen to get back on his bike after knee surgery last season knocked him out of the running as first Enduro World Champ.
He told bike site VeloVert that he is "starting to feel good and ready to resume competing" but doesn't think he'll be knocking anyone off the top spot.
And the weather?
It looks like we've got a mixture of sun and rain on the way. But as the guys over at Dirt Magazine say, it's changing by the hour.
All in all, it looks set to be a gripping weekend - we'll be giving you updates on what happened come Monday morning!
Want to catch up on what happened at the last round in Scotland? Watch the video below...