For three days, from 27 to 29 September, Ambert will become the global capital of Enduro.
Then, the core of the Auvergne - Rhône Alpes region will host the season’s last EnduroGP event, which is organised by the Motor Club Livradois.
French Enduro was born in this area and the Motor Club has been a reference point ever since its foundation on 10 September 1979: the discipline has always been a real priority and important national events have been organised here. The most obvious example is the Rand’Auvergne, which will turn thirty next year.
550 French and international riders participate in this classic annual race since 1991. The technical passages of an ever-exciting track insert themselves perfectly into the site’s natural beauty. It’s an event to discover the magnificent Livradois - Forez Regional Natural Park in the friendly atmosphere that only Enduro can create.
The organisation of such an important event might be an end in itself for many, but for the MC Livradois it was just the beginning: since 2006, tests and trials of the national Enduro Championships were frequently organised with great success.
This year, the Wold Championship will arrive: there’s those who will have to defend themselves against their rivals, but there’s also those who might make one final effort and go for the title. However, this isn’t all: just like in any EnduroGP race, the professionals will share the track with amateurs.
The route will not be easy neither for those who want to win the race, nor for those who simply hope to make it to the finish line: narrow paths, obstacles to overcome, and a terrain which changes continuously along the 70 kilometres that have to be covered more times. There are also three special tests, still to be revealed (editor’s note: follow our Track Reviews in the next stories) and two time checks.
Even if the main show is the race, there will be a lot to experience for anyone who is not personally participating: a paddock in the centre, in front of Ambert’s old station, where it will be very easy to follow all special tests.
Maybe a future champion will decide to become a rider during the three days of Ambert and try out one of the minibikes available in the Kids’ Village at the paddock. There will also be an exposition section in the Village which will be dedicated to the latest products from the motorcycle industry. These can be bought at special prices from Wednesday onwards.
The relationship between motorcycling and the environment is a heavily debated topic.
In 2015, FIM launched the programme KISS (Keep It Shiny and Sustainable) in order to protect the environment and optimise the sustainability of its competitions.
Sport is very powerful in raising people’s awareness: it is a priority for the International Federation not only to reduce the environmental impact, but also to increase the positive social impact, of every single event.
FIM and the organisers work together very closely and it was clear from the beginning that a Motor Club which prioritises respect for the environment would be a perfect partner for an initiative of this kind.
The FrenchGP will be the first event in France to have the KISS label. This confirms just how competent and attentive the organisers were in following the International Federation’s guidelines and in improving waste management. For example, fans won’t have to move from one special test to the next by car, recyclable materials will be used as much as possible, and experts will explain how the carbon footprint inevitably created by the event and its organisation can best be offset at a local level.
The same is true for the locations where the competitions will take place. Owing to the respect that the Motor Club has always had for the environment, it has earned the local authorities’ trust and collaboration in order to organise events which promote a unique territory of 320.000 hectares. Perfect for trekking and mountain biking, as well as for Enduro, the Forez mountains, only a few kilometres from Ambert, are characterised by alternating meadows, forests, and pastures.
We are certain that your whole attention will be on what is happening along the route in those days, but it is impossible not to love Ambert as soon as you see it. In the old town you can discover fifteenth century buildings made of wood and stones. Wandering around, you will notice the Church of Saint John, which was the Cathedral of Livradois for many years.
If we have to choose, two things make Ambert particularly famous: the distinctive round town hall and the famous Fourme d’Ambert cheese, which you absolutely have to try.
Riders and avid fans alike are also spoiled for choice when it comes to accommodation: whether you want a hotel, a camping site, a Bed & Breakfast or something else again, you can find your ideal solution on the website www.vacances-livradois-forez.com.
It is also rather easy to arrive in Ambert thanks to the two closes airports of Saint-Étienne and Clermont-Ferrand, which are only 88 and 77 kilometres away respectively.
Great Enduro, unpolluted nature, emotions, and tradition: three days to experience in Ambert from 27 to 29 September.