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Raid In France Ready To Fire – Preview

Ready For Raid in France – by Rob Howard of Sleepmonsters.com

Teams are now registering for the 9th edition of Raid in France which will take place in the Ardeche Department, with the start and finish at Devesset Lake.
This year there are 35 teams registered for the race, including three times winners 400 Team Naturex who said pre-race; “We did this race every year with different team compositions. Raid in France is a very wild adventure every year. There are always difficulties of navigation and surprises. For the French, it’s the race to do every year. A kind of French championship! We have already won 3 times and we believe we have chances again this year!”
This year their team is Adrien Lhermet (Captain), Sandrine Béranger, Nicolas Seguin & Julien Moncomble, and they will be looking to follow up their recent World Series win at Raid Gallaecia. This is an entirely different team line up to the one which raced in Spain.
There are, of course, other strong French teams to challenge them, many with years of Raid in France experience. The race has a very loyal following who enjoy its technical and adventurous courses, combined with a ‘Back to Nature’ philosophy and strong environmental values.
 
Among the most experienced teams are Issy Aventure Absolu Raid 1 (who finished 4th at RIF in 2016), Lozère Sport Nature (with lots of RIF experience & a win at Tierra Viva in Argentina for two of the team) and Ertips (the oldest AR team in the world, with the same team name since 1995).
International visitors include teams from Belgium, Canada, UK, Switzerland, Sweden, Brazil and Italy.
All have a mix of AR World Series experience in their squads, and a mix of nationalities in many cases.  Canada AR have team stalwarts Nathalie Long and James Galipeau and they are joined by Dave Schloss all the way from Australia and Wouter Huitzing from the Netherlands. They have not raced together before, but if they gel and luck goes their way they may be one of the strongest international challengers.
Huitzing has just returned from the gruelling 5 day Dragon’s Back Race in Wales so his recovery may be an issue, and he is not the only one.   R’adys (Switzerland) team captain Oliver Gyger also took part in the same race, as did Kevin Stephens (UK), who is racing with the join UK/France team of Endurancelife Aventure Absolu Raid.
Their next challenge is a course of 427km through the Ardeche, with over 12,000m of ascent and the race will start at on Monday (at midnight Sun/Monday), after the opening ceremonies. There will be a live site with tracking and you can follow all the news at on the site here.
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