Now that the title celebrations have finally died down, Enduro21 caught up with the Frenchman to talk about his incredible year…
What has been the best moment of 2012 for you?
Christophe: "After such a good year it’s hard to pick one moment but first on the list is winning the world title. Riding into the paddock in Finland as the world champion was an incredible feeling. But close to that is also my win at the ISDE. It was a tough week but to finish it as the overall winner was fantastic."
Although you won the ISDE, it was a result that didn’t come easy for you. What happened on day two?
Christophe: “On day two I crashed really hard. The impact has quite severe and I initially thought that I had injured myself. For a moment I thought my race was over but luckily it was nothing more than a couple of bruises. But I suppose that’s part of racing – the faster you race, sometimes the harder you crash!”
Although there was a great rivalry between David Knight and yourself, there was also a deep respect. Tell us about what happened in Portugal?
Christophe: "It was on the final lap on day one Portugal. On the liaison section I fell into a deep water hole on a river crossing and drowned my bike. I tried to fix it but didn’t have any luck. At that moment David arrived and could see I was struggling. Without hesitation he stopped and helped me to restart my bike so I could win the race. He didn’t have to as we were both fighting for the title but he did and I’ve a lot of respect for him as a result of it.”
What was your favourite event of the season?
Christophe: "I loved the GP of Spain. The muddy conditions were my favourite. I think that was probably the best I rode all season, it was a perfect weekend.”
What was your worst result of the season?
Christophe: "The GP of Italy. Though it was one of the most beautiful events of the year, it was also the toughest for me. I crashed in the enduro test and lost the race. It was my first defeat of the season.”
Are you looking forward to defending your world title in 2013?
Christophe: “Yes, I very excited about next year. The calendar set out for 2013 looks good and there should be some excellent races. But I will not rest this winter, I’ll work harder than before – I want to defend my title!”