8 août 2021
Notre Miks Peleckis
racing AND winning on Scott Ransom
As soon as I saw the information regarding the race during Super 8 festival – I knew that I want to be a part of it! The course had been prepared by some of the best French eMTB riders, so I knew that it will be two adventurous days for every participant.
For me this is the best race format to use the eMTBs to their full capacity – long distances, technical climbs (the ones you could never do with regular MTB) and amazing descents. Here everything is important – riding technique, battery management, your equipment and physical shape. There is no room for weak links in this chain if you want to do good.
Going back to the race itself – it was Wednesday evening, we finished preparing the bike in our Tandem Riviera workshop and I headed straight to La Plagne region in France. After a short night in my bus, I woke up excited and ready to go racing – but I had no idea who I will be racing against.
As this was the first edition of the festival, they reserved the Grand 8 distance for professionals and confirmed amateurs (I fall in the later category). The first person I recognized was Tracey Mosely. We had already competed together during E-Tour du Mont-Blanc in 2019, and that gave me a good idea of what level to expect. Later on I saw some other Factory Racing guys arriving, so I knew it won’t be a walk in the park.
The first day of racing was relatively short (35km with 2500m+), so with two batteries I was planning to put my Scott Ransom eRide in Turbo mode and leave it like that until the finish, but the weather threw us a curveball. It started raining not long after we had left the Start line, and of the beginning of July it was relatively cold. So, when we were approaching the maximum altitude of 2500m, the rain turned into hail, and temperature dropped to +2 degrees. Not ideal if you are pushing your body to the limit, and as we know, the battery capacity is dropping in the cold as well, meaning I had to check the Range constantly.
I managed to stay in the leading group, and before dropping in the last descent of the day, I knew that the result could be quite good. The trails were very technical, as we were going on hiking trails on our way up and down. I had some small mistakes, and some of the riders caught me, meaning that the first day of the race we finished quite close. All left to do was to wash and prepare everything for the second, the deciding day of racing. Oh, and during the prize giving ceremony I found out that there are two groups (500Wh and 600+Wh), and with my Bosch 625Wh battery – I was leading the 600+Wh group.
The second day started with something nobody expected – the Sun was out! The trails were still very wet, and once again I saw the consequences of my mistake in the preparation – I had left the “dry” rear tire, meaning that on the muddy and slippery climbs I would struggle quite a lot. So not long after the start of the second day, I was falling behind the top 2 guys. But as the day was longer (60km and 3100m+), I knew that I still had some time to catch up.
We arrived on an incredible ridge trail, and once the gravity took over, I knew that I was riding good. After all, my bike with 180mm suspension front and rear was made for this. In the middle of 1000m descent, I caught up with the front guys, and during the battery change, I even managed to take over the lead of my group. Few kilometers further I made a mistake and took a wrong turn. I knew that I lost some time, but I had no idea how much. It was at the bottom of the descent, in the last feeding zone, that I saw two of my main competitors in front of me. So, for the last climb and descent the plan was simple – I had to stay in front of them. The trails had dried out nicely, so I managed to pass them and get a little gap between us. From that point on, I was managing my lead, and after more than 6h of racing – I arrived at the finish line 1 minute before the 2nd place.
The feeling you get from racing your bike is irreplaceable, so – see you in Verbier E-Bike festival for the Bosch E-Bike Challenge on 15.08.2021
Un extra GRAND MERCI à notre cher Miks !! Il ne gagne non seulement des courses sur son eMTB mais il travail chez TANDEM en tant que Data Manager et Conseiller de Vente!
Crédit photo : @JNJphoto (Elles sont superbes! Merci beaucoup.)