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New Heights: Pairs Racing in the Swiss Alps

Collage of race photos

The Pairs-Format Enduro MTB Race is a 3-day stage race that takes place in the Swiss Alps and, as you can guess from its name, is a pairs mountain bike race where both members must start and finish together.

Privateer Bikes rider Katy Curd entered with her fellow coach Sam, and the pair tackled the adrenaline-fueled challenge together. Keep on reading to hear about Katy's first hand experience of the race and how they got on.

Katy and Sams race numbers
Collage of Katy racing and posing with her bike

Katy: Since I stopped racing bikes professionally, I've started racing for the pure fun of it. I enjoy finding new events that provide an adventure, with no idea what to expect and no expectations of me. My one goal is to simply enjoy the ride and the pairs race in Switzerland provided that.

The racing in pairs format is completely new for me, both riders are timed on all stages, but the slowest time counts. The concept of riding with your best mate down trails totally blind and having no idea what’s coming and no idea how long the stages are certainly challenges you as a rider mentally and physically.

The race was 3 days long, with 14 stages overall and what ended up being 1 hour and 57 minutes of racing. Both Sam and I had no idea what to expect, but the stages were amazing fun. A good mixture of super-fast and long stages. hard sprint stages, with a load of technical descents into exposed trails on the side of the mountain. It was a game of tactics choosing the strongest rider up front on the stage. I would take the lead on the more pedally stages and Sam would take the lead on the longer more demanding stages and we both dragged each other up to speed.

Overall, it was an amazing experience, it certainly challenged us and with 6+ hours on the bike, it felt like a real adventure, not just a race. I found it hard on the descents, not being used to the 15-minute stages my hands didn’t quite have the strength to hold on. It pushed me mentally as well as physically, I think I experienced every emotion under the sun over the 3 days of racing but loved pushing myself to the limit and still giving it everything we had until the finish line.

Selfie of Katy and Sam