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Mont dore 2010, the word of nicolas schatz

This weekend we were in Auvergne to race the mythical Mont Dore - Chambon sur Lac hillclimb. This race is also a round of the European Mountain Championship which reinforces the competition, in particular the Italian Simone FAGGIOLI (2009 European champion) official driver of the manufacturer OSELLA. Unfortunately we cannot compete with him, because the European regulations are more liberal than in France, so their cars are much more powerful. With its 50 bends over 5 kms, the Col de la Croix St Robert is an extremely technical track with an additional difficulty this year: bad grip.

Testing: From the start I set a good pace but I slide a lot: I have difficulty in getting the power to the ground and in passing the corners at full speed. I still set the best time of the French riders in front of Lionel REGAL and very close to Simone FAGGIOLI. I decide to change some settings on my car to improve the handling. From the first turns I feel that it has a better behaviour. I made a nice climb without any big mistake and I had a lot of fun. I finish these tests in the same place with 1 second of advance on Lionel REGAL and 2 tenths behind Simone FAGGIOLI. Unfortunately Sébastien PETIT went off the road in the lower part of the course but could not repair.

Race: The tactic is simple: attack from the start! Lionel REGAL has put on new tyres and I start with 3 km old tyres. I take a good start and attack the first part of the track but from the first turns, I slip again and I can't find the feeling of the day before. But I don't let go and I try to ride fast without doing too much. When I cross the finish line (a bit sideways...) I improve my time of the day before by 1 second but Lionel REGAL does better for 2 tenths: the battle is launched! The exits follow one another in an impressive way, the direction of race decides to cancel the third round of the race. I go to the pre-grid of the second heat with the big motivation to go and get Lionel REGAL. I take off perfectly and the first turns follow each other. But at the 2/3 of the course I am surprised by a lump of earth that I hit in a rope, which unbalances the car and twists a steering rod. I continue to attack hard and I cross the finish line at full speed, but I know that with this mistake I have little chance of improving. I still do better with an improvement of 7 tenths but Lionel REGAL does even better and wins the race. Alban THOMAS finishes in a good third place. Overall Simone FAGGIOLI wins the European Mountain Bike Championship for the second time.

Conclusion : With all the crashes the race was very stressful. I'm quite satisfied with my weekend because before I never had any luck here and this year we were in the lead. For the championship I am doing a good operation by increasing my lead on Sébastien PETIT, on the other hand Lionel REGAL is also approaching his 6th title.

Scratch result: 1. Lionel Régal (on Reynard 1KL) in 2'16''50 2. Nicolas Schatz (on Lola T94/50) at 1''002 3. Alban Thomas (on Lola B 99/50) at 4''172 4. Billy Ritchen (on Lola B 99/50) at 6''437 5. Stéphane Baudin (on Reynard 1 KL) at 6''538 6. Fabien. Frantz (on Reynard 92D) at 7''098

In the championship: 1. Lionel Régal 352 pts 2. Nicolas Schatz 322 3. Cyril. Frantz 283 (1st sport proto) 4. Sébastien Petit 278 5. Alain Castellana 246 6. Térence Reynaud 239

Video of the race:


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