The Shimano Epic Enduro was … Epic

Every year a challenge – that’s the deal and this year the Fonce crew registered for the Shimano Epic Enduro. For those who never heard of it, in a nutshell it’s:
  • 90kms
  • 4.300m D+/D-
  • 8 timed specials
  • Liaisons are not timed but during the day you need to respect  3 time gates. If you miss a gate, you’re out … simple, right ?;)


The climbs were what we expected them to be: Long, hard and with the necessary ‘hike a bike’ sections.
The descents were timed, crazy, fun, technical, extreme and long. We checked the video’s up front but as we anticipated, a simple looking run appeared to be a “Triple Black French Alps Bloso” like track, sometimes meaning: getting of our bikes and doing some track walking. We finished attaining Silver. Personally after +/- 60 kms and 3300 meters D+ I didn’t remember my own name and my legs and arms were on fire, I even passed on the first round of beers and focused on ‘not throwing up in public’ …
We took the Commencal Meta AM to the Shimano Epic Enduro, a bomb proof bike she proved to be, giving us the extra confidence we needed to tackle those black sections while being in race modus.

Some bike setup lessons we learned:

  • Foresee appropriate rubber for the event, a downhill / super gravity compound for a rear tyre is no luxury.
  • Chains dropped in some cases (on the endless Roman cobblestones tracks, arms are burning again when I think of them), a descent chain guide looks like a must.
  • ❤︎-ed the Pikes

Next year?

Looking back it was all worth it but if we would come back next year, we’re going for Gold! Respect to all riders who finished the complete race and extra kudo’s for Jérémy Arnould from Team IRWEGO who finished 3rd with his Commencal Meta Hip Hop!



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