French National SBX Champs in Grand Bornand and Spring in Morzine

Yesterday was the last big race of the season, the French National Champs in Grand Bornand. It’s a fairly local race for us but still meant a 5am start. Once again the venue was a much smaller mountain which not many of us had heard of before so good to get to see something new. It’s been so hot and slushy in the afternoons here we were surprised at how they had managed to get enough snow together to build such a fun looking course.

Grand Bornand lower slopes

The home run on the lower slopes starting to look a little bare…

Course run through

  • Drop in roller
  • Wu-tang
  • 3 big long rollers
  • Step down road gap thing
  • Left berm
  • Roller
  • Step up
  • Really tight right turn
  • Left berm
  • Step up in to ‘half a tea cup’ 180 degree right turn kinda thing
  • Step down
  • Jump
  • Left turn
  • 4 Rollers, last two were a double
  • Tabletop Jump
  • Big right berm
  • Finish Jump

Maisie and Marlies

Young Max, Myles and K-Wizzle up top

Max, K-Wizzle and Myles chilling

Hiding from the Sun

Straw hats and umbrellas to hide from the sun were the order of the day for the marshals.

After inspection we lined up for our first training run which was pretty much a 50% run just to check out the course and see how it was running. All was good and such a fun track to ride!! Had a rest up before next training run however after a few delays from crashes we were told that there was no more training runs and it was straight into qualifying. Sucked loads but 1 training run was all most of us managed to get in.

Maisie hitting up the Wu-Tang

I was really annoyed with my qualification run and got to the bottom knowing I had made lots of little errors and knowing that I definitely hadn’t gone fast enough although when the times came in I was 33rd and only 1 place off qualifying and missed out by 0.06 of a second!! Gutted. Still a good result though for a pretty big race.

The other guys all did pretty good with Max and Kyle both managing to get through their first heats and ending up top in the top 16. Myles McKnuckle did not live up to his new nickname and went massive off one of the jumps landing on his back pretty hard in his qualification run. Sounds like crash of the season but hopefully he’ll be back on his board in no time.

Kyle in his first heat

Max getting looooose and leading his heat the whole way down!

The ‘Tea Cup’, possibly the most fun feature we’d hit all season!

Bankes about to take out the dude in yellow.

Max not so lucky in his 2nd heat. The jump into the ‘Tea Cup’

It was all done by 2pm and time to pack up the vans and head back to Morzine. For full list of results check the FIS website however they are not up just yet. No more proper races for the last few weeks of the season. It’s all gone so so fast but its been good laugh for sure.

Before the race I had a few days off work so could get some general riding in! Managed to make it over to Chatel and Morgins properly for the first time this season and I think it could possible be the last time as well as the snow is disappearing fast! There was some sections of proper ‘agricultural’ riding. Not gone out for general kind of mellow day just touring about like you do when your just in the alps for a week so made a nice change.

Myles and Soph in Morgains

Couple more days and don’t think this lift will be running. Felt about 20C at the bottom!

Also managed to go to Cascade de l’Arpenaz which is a massive waterfall near Sallanches. I’ve seen it loads from the motor way and always wanted to go right up to it so we did. It doesn’t look big from this photo but its so high that all the water just get caught by the wind and blown to the side. We were literally directly under it and if the wind had stopped would have got soaked. The photo doesn’t do the waterfall any justice but it is massive! The photo is a stitch of 4 wee photos as my s90’s 28mm lens was nowhere near even close to fitting it all in. Will definitely go back though with my proper camera before the season ends.

Definitely feels like the season is coming to and end though. Shorts and jandels are out in town and as its so slushy up the hill in the afternoons theres been plenty of slack lining been done.

Myles the occasional slack line ninja!

Feel ready for the end of the season though now and looking forward to getting out of Morzine. Went over to Cham again the other day and managed to get a wee bit of biking in which was really really good fun. Did my first bit of ‘downhill’ in over 5 years and I can’t wait to get new bike sorted out when I get back to New Zealand, just wish I had one here! Still a month left and only 20 days until Avoriaz closes. Last few weeks could get pretty dull around here as people are slowly starting to leave. Should be able to get a few hikes and other trips in before I leave. Still haven’t been to Annecy yet so that could be the next trip.