Nathan Watson takes a 2nd place finish at Le Touquet beach race
After 3 exhausting hours of sand racing, our Nathan Watson has ended up second at the (backbreaking) Enduropale du Touquet, the biggest beach race in the world, with more than 1200 riders partecipating this year and a massive crowd of over 250.000 fans.
Even though it is labeled as an enduro race, it is solely held on the beach. In this year’s edition Nathan Watson traded off his enduro bike for a KTM 450 SX-F and lined up at the start. Watson has been contesting the French beach race series throughout the winter, with impressive results, but didn’t have much experience with this route in particular. Winning 3 out of 6 races, Nathan came to Le Touquet as a hot favorite to top the podium.
After a good start, he rode smoothly for the first laps but, with virtually no break from the energy-sapping sand throughout the 3-hour-long race, permanence was just as important as speed. Well aware of that, Nathan managed his rythm flawlessly and as the race went on, he was able to move his way up chasing Milko Potisek, the rider who eventually won the competition. Once on the finish line, a knackered Watson was pleased with his result but disappointed not to take the win.
“There was a lot of pressure and hype on me this race weekend. I have had a good season in the French beach race championship, but I haven’t had much experience with Le Touquet and it’s so much bigger than all the other races in the series. I had a good start and rode a solid safe race with no mistakes. I’m really happy with second place, to get on the podium at my first real shot at Le Touquet is something special. I am a little disappointed not to have taken the win, but it’ll give me something to aim for next year.
One of the biggest factors in the race is the physical hardship, other than the start straight there is nowhere to get a rest – you are stood up and riding hard the entire three hours. There are so many riders out there, you have to weave left and right to get past them and sometimes you get a little held up. The event is amazing, with all the build-up before the race, I’ve never been so nervous. The fans are incredible too, there are so many here cheering us on. My team have been great all winter so it’s nice to reward them with this result. I definitely want to be back here next year and hopefully to take the win.”