After the unfortunate cancellation of day two at the opening round of the French Enduro Championship due to torrential rain, competitors were greeted with clear skies and summer sunshine at round two of the series in Aiglun.
Following a seven year absence from the picturesque nature reserve of Aiglun, the organising club, Moto Club Dignois delivered a much celebrated return to the region for all of the 300 competitors entered.
Based on his success at the opening round of the series in Requiata, KTM's Antoine Meo arrived at round two as clear favourite. However, swapping his normal 250f for the lighter 125 two-stroke many felt a new Enduro 1 winner would emerge.
Making his customary cautious start to the morning on day one, Meo quickly established himself at the front of the field to win seven of the nine special tests while also topping the overall classification. HM Honda's Rodrig Thain placed 21 seconds adrift of Meo to secure second. Behind the leading duo Sherco's Fabien Planet fended off a day-long battle with Yamaha's Jeremy Joly to complete the top three.
Continuing to impress with his speed on the smaller capacity machine, Meo claimed victory on day two. Although heading the standings after the first two special tests of the day, Thain slipped back to finish as runner up to Meo. Resuming their rivalry on day two, Planet placed just two seconds clear of Joly to secure third.
In Enduro 2, Husqvarna's Juha Salminen grabbed victory on day one. Julien Gauthier (Kawasaki) finished behind Salminen to claim second while KTM's Jeremy Tarroux ended his day in third. After injuring his ankle during the first special test of the morning, Husaberg's Pela Renet recovered strongly to place fourth.
Setting the fastest times in the first four tests of the day, Renet overcame his previous day's injury to win day two. Tarroux was 22 seconds behind Renet to finish as runner up to the Husaberg rider with Gauthier rounding out the top three. Salminen retired due to a mechanical failure.
Once again, KTM's Christophe Nambotin proved unbeatable in Enduro 3. Winning all of the day's nine special tests, Nambotin placed almost one minute and 50 seconds clear of Beta's Manuel Albepart. Gas Gas' Sebastien Guillaume ended his day ten seconds behind Albepart to finish third.
On day two, the positions remained unchanged as Nambotin claimed his second win of the weekend followed by Albepart and Guillaume.
In Enduro Junior, Husaberg's Matthias Bellino worked his way from a slow opening lap to earn a comfortable win on day one. KTM's Roman Boucardey took advantage of a fall by Yamaha mounted Kevin Rohmer on the final extreme test to finish second.
On day two Bellino again remained untouchable to finish almost two minutes clear of his nearest rival Rohmer while also finishing as runner up to Meo in the overall classification. With Rohmer a distant second, Sherco's Carrier Berenger recorded his first podium of the season to finish third.
The French Enduro Championship continues with round three in the city of Chabreloche on July 14/15.
1. Antoine Meo (KTM) 46:01.53; 2. Rodrig Thain (Honda) 46:23.36; 3. Fabien Planet (Sherco) 47:19.62...
1. Juha Salminen (Husqvarna) 47:13.477; 2. Julien Gauthier (Kawasaki) 47:22.896; 3. Jeremy Tarroux (KTM) 47:41.042...
1. Christophe Nambotin (KTM) 46:07.705; 2. Manu Albepart (Beta) 47:56.141; 3. Sebastien Guillaume (Gas Gas) 48:05.593...
1. Matthias Bellino (Husaberg) 47:10.689; 2. Roman Boucardey (KTM) 48:46.554; 3. Kevin Rohmer (Yamaha) 48:50.274...
1. Antoine Meo (KTM) 45:54.693; 2. Rodrig Thain (Honda) 46:25.292; 3. Fabien Planet (Sherco) 47:15.485...
1. Pierre-Alexandre Renet (Husaberg) 47:10.576; 2. Jeremy Tarroux (KTM) 47:32.769; 3. Julien Gauthier (Kawasaki) 47:40.172...
1. Christophe Nambotin (KTM) 46:24.935; 2. Manu Albepart (Beta) 48:09.255; 3. Sebastien Guillaume (Gas Gas) 48:38.133...
1. Matthias Bellino (Husaberg) 46:08.259; 2. Kevin Rohmer (Yamaha) 48:35.534; 3. Carrier Berenger (Sherco) 48:50.274...