The inuagural Trophy of Nations takes place this weekend with the coveted rainbow stripes on offer for the winning nations.
France are currently one of only three nations fielding a full team, with the full compliment of Elite Men, Elite Women, U21 Women and U21 Men, along with Great Britain and the USA.
While the Australians have the current Enduro World Series champion Sam Hill, the USA have Richie Rude and Belgians have Martin Maes, it’s not hard to believe that the French have enough strength in depth to take three golds this weekend.
In the Elite Men’s race, the two riders on the overall podium Sam Hill in the Enduro World Series were French. Florian Nicolai had held the series lead for almost the whole season, all the way to the Queen Stage in Zermatt. Hot on his heels was Kevin Miquel.
And their reserve rider? Adrien Dailly is no stranger to EWS podiums or a title challenge, and you know fine well how fast the French are in Liguria.
Isabeau Cordurier is your 2019 Enduro World Series champion, having taken a clean sweep in all eight rounds of the series, she was pretty much unbeatable in 2019. It would be hard to think that anyone can topple her off her throne in Finale Ligure.
Morgane Charre is both a former downhill World Champion and bagged EWS podiums in the early season. Melanie Pugin has been gathering speed all year, finishing 12th overall and will be a solid addition to the heavy hitters leading the charge. Reserve Morgane Jonnier rounded out the year in 20th.
Your U21 Men’s race was dominated by Antoine Vidal, team mate to Cecile Ravanel, who leads some very fast young Frenchmen at the Trophy of Nations. Nathan Secondi finished fifth overall, with his team mate, Francescu Camoin a mere ten points behind him in sixth. Their reserve, Erwan Bibbolet finished the season in fourteenth.
It’s in the U21 Women that France have yet to find the talent like Britain and the US have, with their highest ranked rider, Oceane Husson, finishing the year in 20th overall.
That said, we’re pretty confident the Brits can go out and kick some serious ass, and we know our lads and ladies will give the French a run for their money. While British riders might not have scaled the heady heights of recent seasons, what we do have is consistency.
Consistency is what wins a team event, so being the fastest person on the day is not going to win this championship. With so many podium threats in the British ranks, I say yes, we can stop the French this weekend. Bring it on.