2011 Le Touquet
After finishing second at the 2011 Dakar, Cyril Despres didn’t take much time off from the racing scene. He did a few interviews, and then traveled to Paris for the Le Touquet enduro. In the following text, Cyril Despres discusses his "off season."
Incredible though it might seem, apart from a brief flying visit, I haven’t been back in Andorra since I left for Buenos Aires on December 27!
Almost as soon as I got back from South America I went up to Paris for a series of press and TV interviews, and from there straight up to Le Touquet for the enduro.
I have never been much of a believer in the "it is the taking part that matters" school of thought, but the Enduropale Le Touquet has to be the exception. With 400,000 spectators over the weekend it is a huge party, with off-road racing as the guest of honor.
With little time to train, even less to set up my KTM 450 SX and a certain amount of fatigue from my activities earlier on in the month I wasn’t expecting a podium finish and was more than happy with my modest result.
With Red Bull now partner of the Enduropale, they organized a number of activities prior to event, like this coaching session for 20 or so young riders from the north of France. Johnny Aubert and I spent a day with them at the Loon Plage moto-x circuit, and despite suffering from a certain amount of thermic shock, a good and very convivial time was had by all.
Later in the week things got a bit more studious when I did a ‘question and answer’ session at the Red Bull Energy Station with 30 sports management students. Topics ranged from the life of a rider on the Dakar to relations with sponsors.
Now I am at last back in Andorra and will take a few days off to relax my long-suffering family. There’s no place like home!