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Florac - France

FEI Emirates Endurance Worldwide Rankings Ride - September 07th 2002
A Ride report by Franz Brueck

One of the most difficult and oldest european endurance rides: the 160 km Florac in France.

Held on September 7th, the ride this year was also the French championships 2002. 109 starters of 5 different nations crossed the start-line 4 a.m. to do the first loop to "La Béssède", 46 km in the darkness. It was amazing to see this 109 riders along a light-line in the mountains of the "Parque National des Haute Cevennes". The fastest speed of the first loop (Phillipe Thomas) was 15,5 km/h, a little bit more than in 2001.

The second loop (43 km) crossed the "Mont Aigeual", 1.578 m altitude, than straight down to "Meryueis" to the second Vet gate at "Aven Armand". The track was very stony, the speed high and therefore some of the leading riders fall out. Claire Lux on Datila, AR, left this gate in the first group, Cecille Miletto on Falène de la Drome, SF, owner H.H. Sh. Mohammed al Maktoum, and Cecille Démière on Menkhan, AR, in the sec. group.

Crossing over the "Cause Mejean" 37 km, the competitors arrived in "Ispargnac", a small village in the valley "Gorges du Tarn".

Only 22 km, Cecille Démierre left at first place for the third loop, 1 minute after Cecille Miletto and two minutes after Claire Lux. All three riders arrived together at the last Vet gate and passed without any problems.

Only 8 km to run to the finish in Florac, and Demièrre left, once more, as first for the finish, short time later, Miletto and Lux.

Hundreds of spectators saw half an hour later a very happy Miletto on Falène de la Drome as winner of the Florac 2002 Ride and the new and old French Champion, sec. Claire Lux and third Démierre.

First man after this "girl-group" was Samuel Bettendorf, 4 th place.

52 competitors did finish this difficult ride, a little bit less than 50%. This is a very good result.

The organization of Florac 2002 was professional and perfect.

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